Halftime in America

Published: February 6, 2012

By Jim Lichtman
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The Super Bowl is about everything that is over-the-top. From the two-hour pre-game to the intro of the teams, and the million dollar ad buys for commercials that compete for most creative, funniest, most special effects, well… you get the idea. This year caught all of us completely flat-footed.

You could hear a pin drop… not when Madonna made her entrance to the big half-time show, but afterwards, when we all saw a shadow walk slowly toward the camera and a voice that was pure gravel and gravitas. Clint Eastwood summed it all up without fury or fireworks.

“It’s halftime. Both teams are in their locker rooms discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half.

“It’s halftime in America, too.

“People are out of work and their hurting. And they’re all wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback. And we’re all scared because this isn’t a game. The people in Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together. Now, motor city is fighting again.

“I’ve seen a lot of tough eras; a lot of downturns in my life; times when we didn’t understand each other. It seems that we’ve lost our heart at times. The fog of division, discord and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead. But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right and acted as one, because that’s what we do. We find a way through tough times. If we can’t find a way then we’ll make one.

“All that matters now is what’s ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And how do we win? Detroit’s showing us it can be done. And what’s true about them is true about all of us.

“This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do the world’s going to hear the roar of our engines.

“Yeah, it’s half-time America, and our second half’s about to begin.”

Now the only question that remains is when are all of us going to stand up and stand for the best we can be rather than how divided we can act?

It’s up to us to work with others in a truly cooperative way; to take responsibility more seriously than we take ourselves.

It’s up to us to criticize less and inspire more; to encourage leadership more than salesmanship.

It’s up to us to pursue a reputation for honor more than we honor elevating the bottom line.

And it’s up to us to strive to become a little more heroic in our own lives instead of looking to others.

It’s halftime in America, so let’s give our second half all the character and courage we’ve proven in the past.



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