Watching the Super Bowl: A Constitutional Right

True 'Blewski

If you find your constitutional rights being violated this weekend, call Alan Dershowitz. But do yourself a favor and wait until Monday.

"I never take business calls during the Super Bowl," says Dershowitz, the famed constitutional defense attorney and Harvard law professor. "I'm not going to let business interfere...I know where my priorities lie."

Except for a sudden dash across the sky by Halley's comet--which appears about as often as the Patriots do in the Super Bowl--not much is going to deter 90 million Americans from watching the big game this Sunday.

But here at Harvard, in the company of educated men and women, football obviously takes a back seat to...

"Nothing," says Ann Wacker, a Cabot House associate and wife of UHS director Dr. Warren Wacker.

Well I guess I can understand their excitement over Sunday's Super Bowl. Dr. Wacker rooted for the Patriots way back in 1960 when the team entered Nickerson Field for the first time, and he and his wife have waited a long time for Patriots success. And Mrs. Wacker, who has seen just about all 19 of the previous Super Bowls, will be rooting for the Pats, she says, because she "has to be [a Patriots fan] to live in this household."

But at least Dr. Wacker has his priorities straight. Wacker, unlike Dershowitz, has taken a sacred professional oath to heal the sick, so he'll be accepting calls and mending the wounds of the ill as a dedicated physician should.

"But I can talk on the telephone and watch the game at the same time," Wacker says.

You would think that at least the best and the brightest here at Harvard can relax and put a single, 60-minute football game in its proper perspective.

"I get so worked up [during a game] I have to get out of the room to pull myself together," says Robert Coles, professor of psychiatry and medical humanities.

"It's the old underdog story. The David and Goliath story keeps working its way out," says Coles, a true Pats fan. "It's a question of whether to dream and hope the dream comes true or to be a realist and say, 'oh well, they're going to lose."'

Ah, finally someone who can take time out to wax philosphical and talk about the important...

"We don't answer the phone during the game," warns Coles.

But seriously, there must be more important things than the Super Bowl.

"A call from the White House--alas, I suspect I would take it," says government professor Joseph Nye. "It depends on what the score was. If it was close I would try to put it on hold."