January 29, 2009

Why Johnny Can't Read

Forget everything you've read previously. The real reason Johnny can't read? Because his parents think watching the Superbowl is more important than his education, and schools agree. From a WTAE 4 story:
Classes in the Pittsburgh Public Schools will be pushed back from the normal start time on Monday. The district is hoping to reduce absenteeism after Super Bowl XVIII on Sunday night.
That's right kiddies; forget about responsibility. Showing up on time? Totally unnecessary! Stay up late, stay out, party 'till the cows come home! Deadlines? Why, that's so 20th century!

Remind me to avoid hiring people from Pittsburgh; there's no guarantee they'll show up.


  1. The Western PA schools routinely shut down each year for the first day of Buck Season, too.

    Gotta go out and git yerself a deer.


  2. Are you REALLY surprised? I mean football is almost holier than religion in this country. I know theatre folk who firmly believe that there show be no shows (stage) on Super Bowl Sunday. Not because the audiences are small, but bbecause "everyone" should be able to watch the game! Jeez!

  3. @rosebuckle: Mostly crew, I imagine. As a former box office guy, I always enjoyed shows on Super Bowl Sunday since it was usually filled with women annoyed with their husbands.

    Now, and I can't BELIEVE I'm going to defend this, I am totally ok with what the city of Pittsburgh is doing. I love that city and if I could live anywhere in the world not named Los Angeles or New York, it would be Pittsburgh. I love the people. I love the atmosphere and that place has really cleaned up. Had my kids been more aware of the world around them, I certainly would've kept them home from school to watch Obama's inauguration, just like my parents kept me home in order to watch the maiden voyage of the space shuttle Columbia. Granted, those are FAR more historical matters than a football game. But to the people of Pittsburgh, a city that saw horrific times in the 80s as the Japanese began producing cheaper steel, things like winning a Super Bowl become VERY important to the community. It's unifying.

    Plus, we are talking about a town whose mayor, prior to the Steelers-Ravens AFC Championship 2 weeks ago, changed his last name from Ravenstall to Steelerstall.

  4. Rick-
    At least hunting they're learning how to put food on the table.

    Hmm. Religion. That explains why I'm not interested.

    El Derelicto-
    Inauguration: frankly, every school should have been showing that, as part of civics class.

    But as for football, I simply am not wired to accept the deification of a corporate enterprise disguised as a sport.

  5. It's not about "corporate deification" as it is about city pride. The Pittsburgh Steelers are not like other sports franchises. They are family-owned and have been for 75 years. And unlike most sports franchise owners who made billions elsewhere before buying a franchise, the Rooney family founded the team and have made their money through the team and built their own little empire with businesses in the community. If this were, say, the Tennessee Titans or Jacksonville Jaguars, I would agree. But a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers are very different.

  6. El Derelicto -
    Fair enough. I'd rather see it handled more thoroughly, that case. Let the city declare it "Steelers Day," and teach the kids about how the contributions and sacrifices the team has made has earned them the recognition, regardless of whether or not they won the game.

  7. Agreed. Make it about humility and community dedication and spirit. One can only wish that all sports franchises showed their kind of values. Heck, all business for that matter.

  8. Total Population of the city of Pittsburgh as of 2006(according to Wikipedia): 312,000

    Total estimated in attendance at the Steelers victory parade (according to ESPN): 300,000

    God, I love Pittsburgh.