As mentioned Monday I was with some other priests during the Super Bowl. Although it turned out to be a great game, at first I had more investment in the commercials than in the particular teams. At one point during the commercials we looked at each other and said, “What is this? Good Father Week or something?” There just seemed to be a preponderance of “good Dad” commercials.
It is sad that we are so incredibly used to poor father figures in movies, in sit-comes, in books, and in the public awareness that we would find the presentation of positive role models odd. One of them actually made me tear up a bit – not something you want to do during a football game, and so I excused myself to get another snack before anyone would notice.
A commentary recently said that Super Bowl commercials reflect where the nation is at the moment. I don’t know if I would go quite that far, but it is an indication of something going on within at least a portion of our culture. If it wouldn’t sell, they wouldn’t have used it for a commercial.
Is it true? Are we ready for positive father figures? Do we yearn of the “good father?” Are we ready to inspire instead of pander? Are we willing to reinvest in the family? As they used to say, “Stay tuned.”