February 5, 2012 § 1 Comment
I’m subversive by nature, a fact I’ve been aware of for some time. Which is why on this hallowed day, the day “America stops” as I’ve heard it put (I think the US began to grind to a halt some time back, but that’s another column), I take the greatest pleasure in speaking the unspeakable, profaning the most sacred of rituals in this country: Superbowl Sunday.
I have NBC on right now and just finished watching an interview with, to put it diplomatically, a morbidly fat slob of a butterball named Vince Wilfork, possibly described on some occasions as an “athlete”. Yes, eating presumably can be athletic when pursued with as much vigour as this “defensive lineman” for the Toledo Tripods, or whatever they’re called. Now, he seems like a fine young man but, it must be said, it is easy to see why obesity is so prevalent in this country when it is implicitly encouraged through the deification of fat slobs high-fiving eachother after making another homoerotic gesture better known as a “tackle”. One can almost hear the thoughts of couch potatoes nationwide: “hey, if that porkbelly can make it, why can’t I?”
This is not to be unsympathetic to overweight people. I’m unsympathetic to grid iron. So let’s continue in that vein.
Tailgating is not fun. Not when I come away from it with emphysema (exhaust fumes), an impending coronary attack (clogged arteries), and further numbing of the mind (ever met someone who likes to tailgate?). It should be outlawed, along with the term “at the end of the day” (that phrase is not particular to football, but what the hell).
Football is a game designed to help premature ejaculators feel better about themselves. Think about it. A sixty minute experience that takes 4 hours? If only we could stretch out time in this fashion whenever we felt like it. “What, honey? Two minutes? Nah- I was jackhammering for at least 45.” I use the term jackhammer in the most romantic sense,of course.
The other group of people aided by football’s popularity are boring men. Because the vast majority of men are boring, after all. Ever taken part in a group discussion at a bar with men? I have- because I a man and I have been to bars with other men. I have indulged in these conversations and, in those moments, I found myself to be dreadfully boring. Most men love football- and football, at least the American kind, is uniquely, stupefyingly boring. Which allows other boring things- such as men- to feel okay about rising to that same level of inanity on a regular basis.
Grandiose, bloated self-importance is another wonderful facet of this “game”. Just made a tackle? You’re special. Start celebrating like you did something other than what you’re paid obscene amounts of money to do. I’ve never seen a doctor in an African country complete an eye operation on a visually-impaired, poverty-stricken child, punch the air and scream “in your face, bitch”. Mr. NFL guy, it’s your (overpaid and overvalued) job, dickhead. These are the same idiots who talk too loud on their cell phone, drive large scale carbon-producing leviathans and are revered for their wife-beating machismo.
Now, I hear you football fans asking (if you’re still reading this), “why do you want to spoil this for the rest of us? Why can’t you just accept the fact that this game means a lot and is fun for a lot of people?”
Because football, like every other American sport, takes itself way too seriously. It also loves its place within the war machinery that is US nationalism, with its flyovers and overblown, oversung American anthem. It also loves to promote violence as a legitimate way of getting ahead. We are addicted to war in America (next stop Iran) and, when there are no wars to watch, we go and watch little ones played out on a 100-yard grid.
Guess what, idiot coach with the bluetooth in your ear on the sideline: you’re not that important. And you’re not Napoleon. Or Douglas Macarthur. Or any other megalomaniacal person responsible for carnage on a mass scale.
Make the game amateur, ban cheerleaders and flyovers and give poor black kids a different way out of endemic poverty. And replace the grid with polka dots.
Picture: Vince Wilfork. Eats too much.