Super Bowl XLIII could be viewed as a microcosm of 2009 America, where the rich continue to get richer. The NFL, the team owners, the players, the media and TV reap the financial benefits of the event, while America crumbles around it. For a week, the Tampa area's economy will benefit from the game. This is good. But then the "show" departs, and the area and its citizens will continue their day-to-day battles. Despite tough times, the football fans, being who they are, will see the game as almost a religious experience. But, when the stadium lights go out on Sunday night, will the country be a better place? Will its citizens be in a better place? No! Will the Super Bowl have benefitted anything or anyone other than the entities listed above? No! Jobless numbers will continue to rise; 45 million, including 18 million children, will still be without health insurance; schools will continue to hold bake sales to raise funds; much-needed human services will continue to be cut; veterans and the care they need will continue to be ignored; the causes and cures of deadly diseases will still remain a mystery, and government's indifference toward the average American will continue. America will not be a better place, nor will Americans be better off, because of Super Bowl XLIII. In the big picture, it's not a very significant event at all. It's just a football game.

GEORGE LARSON, MINNEAPOLIS