A security guard stands by a sign for NFL football's Super Bowl XLVIII stands in front of MetLife Stadium Sat. Feb. 1, 2014, in East Ruthoford, N.J. The...
Charlie Riedel

The February 2 ‘MHP’ Syllabus


Grab your Buffalo wings, your nachos, and your beverage of choice. This Sunday in #nerdland, it’s all about the big game.

Super Bowl XLVIII has finally arrived in all its New York-New Jersey splendor. From Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square to preparations at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New York and New Jersey are ready to host one of the most watched sporting events of the year. While Super Bowl ratings have fluctuated, the NFL has maintained a steady flow of revenue in recent years. This year alone, the NFL raked in $9 billion in revenue. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has stated that by 2027 he’d like that number to grow to $25 billion. On their own, each NFL team 32 in all) is worth an average of $1.17 billion. But it’s not just the money that’s bringing attention to the sport, two recent efforts, one to unionize NCAA players and another to legalize marijuana use for players, have created lots of media buzz in the past few weeks.

On Sunday’s Melissa Harris-Perry, we’re covering it all!

If the Seattle Seahawks prevail, quarterback Russell Wilson will become only the second black starting signal-caller to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy. It would be yet another iconic moment that makes professional sports such an integral part of American culture. In a time when about 70% of NFL players are black, the relationship between football and race is as complex as ever. On Sunday, Melissa and her panel will explore the complicated intersections of race, manhood, and football.  

When spectators line up on Sunday to enter MetLife Stadium, they will undoubtedly be visually inundated with NFL branding and Super Bowl XLVIII banners. But if they look up, they will also see billboards paid for by the Marijuana Policy Project asking the NFL to allow players to use marijuana. The group argues that marijuana use has less associated risks than alcohol and the sport of football itself. As a painkiller, marijuana is also less dangerous than opiate painkillers which are being abused at increased rates. On Sunday’s show, we’ll discuss the merits and risks of allowing NFL players to use the drug that is coincidentally only legal for recreational use in the two states facing off in Sunday’s game. 

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday at 10 a.m. EST on msnbc! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.

Melissa Harris-Perry

The February 2 'MHP' Syllabus