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By Gerald Nino/CBP (US Customs and Border Protection archives) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Looking through social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) I saw  how various people were spending their time watching this year’s Super Bowl.  I didn’t know anyone personally who attended this year.  Most of my friends were either home watching the game and updating social media as the event progressed – few were at parties or bars watching.

But what I noticed were that celebrities were posting picture after picture of themselves in the stands of the game.  And this got me thinking of those who are able to go and who will simply never see a Super Bowl game (or any NFL game, for that matter) live and up close.

I’ve been to a couple of NFL games.  Fortunately, I was able to receive the tickets for free.  Otherwise, I would rarely, if ever, be able to afford a game.

According to a report I found from 2013, the average ticket price for an NFL game is $81.54.  With federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour, one may need to work 11.25 hours to afford just the game ticket.  The average Super Bowl ticket was about $3,600 according to some sources.  And that means they would have to work 496 hours to purchase an average Super Bowl ticket (or 12.4 weeks of 40 hour work weeks) for a three-to-four hour game.

What I find interesting is that taxpayer money will fund the stadiums which hold the games that many taxpayers themselves can not afford to attend.  So the poor essentially pay for the benefits of the rich.

In 2001, when the Super Bowl was in Tampa, I volunteered at the Hospitality Village.  Only those who had a special ticket could get in.  Sponsored parties were held in various areas of the village.  And then those who were at parties in the village moved over to the stadium to find their seats and the privilege to watch the game live and absorb the excitement around them.

The have nots, like myself, looked upon a stadium that I could not afford to get into.  I’m also guessing that the way sponsorships and VIP passes work, I’m sure many didn’t have to pay for their ticket but they were given the ticket for free.  Often, it’s about who you know.

Yesterday, I mentioned the subversive nature of Jesus in my sermon.  Sure, he may be someone hanging out in the stands during an NFL game.  He did eat with the privileged during his time.  But he also spent time with those who were thrown away by society.  Jesus would have been hanging out near the side of the road with those begging for food and in the work areas of the stadium with those who had to work through the game.  The Hospitality Village would be open to all in Jesus’ realm.

Maybe the League of God would be an NFL game with people of every economic level in a stadium.  Maybe it would be a stadium with the poorest sitting on the sidelines watching the game in the privileged areas while the super-rich were required to have the nosebleed seats.

I wonder how that would turn our society on it’s head…

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