Safe Landing Does More Than Super Bowl Trip

There's a big difference between what is real and what is fake.

What is real is the unbelievable water landing by US Airways pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger III and co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles and the tremendous response by the flight crew as well as all the emergency responders that contributed to no lives lost in the crashing of Flight 1549 on Thursday.

What is fake is US Airways' official sponsorship of the Super Bowl bound Arizona Cardinals.

Sure, they have a plane in their fleet that is painted with the Arizona Cardinals colors, but that has nothing to do with what airline the team actually flies.

The Arizona Cardinals arrive at games thanks to the folks at Northwest Airlines, we're told.

And we don't quite feel right about that. When it came down to business, why couldn't the Cardinals work out a deal with U.S. Airways and vice versa? It's because, we believe, it wasn't that important because there was an appearance of a real relationship.

In the end, that doesn't serve the interests of either parties or the fans for that matter.

It's like the time when former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was endorsing Air Tran while it was well known that the team's deal was with Delta, who actually did fly the team to games.

I'm not trying to pick on the airline or the Cardinals here. I'm just trying to point out a practice which shouldn't exist -- the marketing department pays the team for sponsorship rights, but can't give the team the best deal on travel. They should go hand in hand.

Connections that are real go so much further in today's world. The safe landing of U.S. Airways flight 1549 did more for the airline than any faux sponsorship could.

Actually, the best thing U.S. Airways did for the Cardinals was to cut its direct flights from Pittsburgh to Tampa in September. That could slow down the group of Steelers fans hoping to get to the Super Bowl.

Questions? Comments?