So mr. jolt is watching soccer, specifically, U.S. v. Guatemala, on ESPN tonight.  Busily reading blogs, I look up at the sound of strong, martial music.  A commercial, promoting U.S. Soccer that, to paraphrase (I will try to update tomorrow if I can find a transcript of the commercial) says something to the effect of:

11 men, facing challenges they never have before (dah dum dah dum dah dum – picture of soccer game) struggling, fighting to triumph (dah dum dah dum dah dum – picture of American flag in close-up in the background)  their courage is an inspiration, etc., etc.

Look, I like sports well enough and enjoy soccer and I enjoy watching athletes at the top of their game the same way I enjoy other people performing at the top of their game.  BUT, this is a sport, it is a game, it is entertainment (at least in this country, I know in others it can be far more).  Star athletes are not heroes.  I’m not saying I don’t admire someone succeeding in the face of adversity or overcoming something, etc., but playing soccer ( or any other sport) is not saving lives, it is not finding a cure for disease, it is not stopping a bully or an abuser.  A sports person is not a hero by virture of their speed or ability with a ball.

And, sorry, putting a picture of the flag in the background, with hyperbole of the like that you would think that the soccer players had single-handedly rescued a dozen kids from a burning building just ticks me off.   I find crass commercialization of the flag an offense in a way that burning a flag in political protest would never ever be.