Organizers for the now-in-the-books Super Bowl XLVI (that’s No. 46 for those of us who have not kept up with our Roman numerals) are to be heartily congratulated for what seems regarded nationally as a standout. During these past two weeks, I’ve read with some attention the media perspective on central Indiana. Admittedly, when Allison Melangton, President and CEO of the Indianapolis Host Committee started encouraging folks to knit scarves for volunteers, recruiting school kids to write welcome notes to put in visitor’s hotel rooms and branding all manner and sort of thing “super” – “Have a Super Day” – “Participate in Super Cure” – and even go to the “Super Care Clinic” if injured or unwell – it occurred all this hospitality might serve to reinforce bigoted views of middle Americans as rube residents of Hooterville.
And, yes, scores of coastal commentators begin their review of this year’s big game with remarks akin to, “It’s hard to believe Indy has pulled it off.” Why is it hard to believe? Can’t they simply remark this was one of the best Super Bowls in years, without the ad homonym? Yet the very good manners I feared might expose to ridicule have been repeatedly mentioned with high praise. The homemade scarves are desired as a symbol of the warm welcome offered. The children’s notes have been pointed to in virtually every mass medium as a highlight of the visitor experience. How can folks be so stunned by common courtesy? Still as a routine writer of old-school thank you notes, I sometimes get cards from recipients thanking me for thanking them. Have we become so rude a simple handwritten message is coveted? Whatever the reason, I’m happy to see politeness getting kudos. In fact, I say to those behind the effort, have a super day.
By Terry Anker