Something debilitating and utterly inescapable marred the Obama inauguration. The million spectators along the great mall felt it. The dignitaries attending the ceremony were afflicted by it. I suspect that Chief Justice John Roberts flubbed his lines because of it.
It was cold. Very cold. Too cold to expect anyone but a drunken throng of Green Bay Packer fans to congregate outdoors.
But it was not an unexpected cold. It’s January in Washington for God’s sake. It’s a damn winter wonderland. The average temperature for D.C. in January is 30.6 degrees. The average high for January 20 is just 42 degrees. A ceremony cloaked in 28 degrees was hardly surprising, though that was a considerable improvement over Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration, when the temperature fell to minus 2 degrees.
We have two choices to save the inauguration from the big chill: Wait for global warming to make the ceremony bearable. Or take a lesson from the greatest cultural force in American history – the National Football League.
The time has come for the American presidency and the NRL to merge, or at least to make the marriage official. It’s time to harness the presidential inaugural to the Super Bowl.
The NFL, after suffering through championship games in miserable cold, now rotates the Super Bowl (with occasional lapses) to sensible places where mellow winds warm the spectators and the sun beams down on the mighty crowds.
The inauguration would fit niftily into the half-time show. Of course, the speech might need to be shortened and vetted by the network execs at Fox. All the dignitaries would have to guard against a wardrobe malfunction. But the new president would get to share the stage with one of his cultural equals: some aging rock icon.
And Fox, rather than risk Justice Roberts messing up his lines again, could bring in Judge Judy.