ValueSpeak
A Weekly Column
By Joseph Walker

SUPER SUNDAY


      It’s still a week too early to know if there are going to be any problems with Super Bowl XLI.  But as far as I could tell, there was only one problem with Super Bowl I.

      The Green Bay Packers weren’t green.  They were blue.

      And even though I had never before seen a professional football game live and on living color TV, I had read enough Sports Illustrated to know that the dark jerseys worn by the Green Bay Packers were green.  NOT blue.

      “Maybe it’s something special they’re doing for the Super Bowl,” my Dad suggested.  “It’s a special jersey for the big game.”

      I might have gone for that had it not been for the purple-ish tint to Bart Starr’s face.

      “Those colors aren’t right, Dad,” I said.  “I know it.”

      Eventually Dad agreed.  Which led us to a new problem: what to do about it?  Since we had never before had a color television, we didn’t know a thing about tint and color adjustment.  And as usual, Dad had thrown out the instructions, confident that there wasn’t any problem with any TV that couldn’t be fixed with masking tape, tin foil or a sharp rap on the side.

      “It’s probably a problem with the transmission,” Dad said.  He flipped the channel selector knob to the other station that was carrying the game.  Not only were the Packers wearing blue uniforms on this channel, but the grass on the football field had a decidedly blue-ish tint to it.  Dad shrugged his shoulders and sighed.

      “I’ll get a repairman out tomorrow,” he said, resigning himself to spending the first Super Sunday afternoon watching the blue-ish Packers trounce the purple-ish Kansas City Chiefs, whose helmets should have been a bright cherry red.  It was a minor irritation, to be sure, but it somehow cast a pall over our enjoyment of the pre-game festivities.  This was the first Super Bowl, and we were watching it on our super new color TV.  It was supposed to be... you know . . . super.

      “At least we can still see the game,” Dad sighed.

      Just a few minutes before kickoff, my big brother Bud arrived with Craig, a college friend who hailed from Alberta, Canada.  I didn’t know much about Canadians, but my fourth grade teacher was from Canada, and she was one of the smartest people I knew.  So it didn’t surprise me a bit when Craig took one look at the TV and knew there was a problem.

      “Why are the Packers wearing blue uniforms?” he asked.

      “There’s something wrong with the TV,” Dad said.  “I’ll call the repairman tomorrow.”

      Craig looked at the TV for a moment.  “I don’t think you need a repairman,” he said.  “I just think your tint is off a little.”  He reached behind the set and began fumbling with buttons.  Suddenly our color TV was a black and white.

      “Oops,” Craig said. “Wrong button.”

      A moment later color was restored – and perfected.  The Green Bay Packers were resplendent in their traditional green and gold.  The Kansas City Chiefs looked crisp and sharp in their red and white.  The field was green, the sky was blue and it was a Super Sunday, indeed.

      It amazed me then – and often has since – what a difference a minor adjustment can make.  A pinch of salt, a slight twist of a screw, a well-placed nail or a tweak of a button from someone who knows what they’re doing can change everything.  The same principle holds true in matters emotional.  While there are some hurts that cannot be easily repaired, it’s amazing how much a kind word, a friendly gesture or a gentle touch can change our perspective.

      And make everything seem . . . you know . . . super.

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