Rollin' Like Sisyphus

When They Came For The NFL, No One Was Left To Stand Up For Me

Posted in State Of The World by Huckleberry on October 31, 2013
15-yard penalty for breaking up the play and making the offense feel bad about themselves. Plus, it's almost over now.

15-yard penalty for breaking up the play and making the offense feel bad about themselves. Plus, it’s almost over now.

Two posts in a week?
What the Hell is going on?
Is the End well and truly Nigh?
Well, yes, but it won’t be nearly as exciting as you think.
While there are plenty of harbingers of our own impending demise to turn to – the economy, the political climate, the prevailing “culture” – there are also plenty of people talking about them in thorough detail.
No need for me to guild that lily.
The one area where this is creeping in pervasively without nary a peep from the commentary class is the professional arm of my beloved sport of football.
It’s headin’ South, boys, quickly.
Today is Halloween, the last day of October, the last day of PINK in the NFL for the year of Our Lord 2013. But that isn’t where the story ends, it’s where it begins.
The NFL’s got a top-secret project – it’s growing a vagina.
It is now actively courting female viewers, which in a vacuum would be fine if it could do so by encouraging them to appreciate the game as it is. Unfortunately, their push is less about convincing women to love the sport as it is, and more about altering the sport to appeal to feminine sensibilities. On the surface, a lot of the push to eliminate concussions, to avoid high tackles, to protect the quarterback at all costs, seem like they’re attempts to make a gentrified sport that better meshes with the “safety conscious” Soccer Mom Faction.
But it isn’t really about the safety, and I’ll circle back to this point a moment.
With any dedicated campaign to pitch woo to Middle Class women, the pandering gets slathered on thick. PINK everything for an entire month to “bring awareness” to a medical condition that’s been known and understood for a century; the shifting nature of NFL commentary from discussions of Xs and Os to gossip sessions about the personalities involved in the game; altering the dynamics of the game through specious penalties; consideration of rules changes that account for self-esteem.
Hell in a Handbasket if you ask me.
For a long time, many women loved to dismiss football as the ultimate meathead sport – a violent game with no redeeming merit. Anyone who has watched football with an open, analytical mind for even 90 seconds can tell you that football is a deeply cognitive sport that offers both a strategic and a tactical dimension for the fan disposed to appreciate such things. For whatever reason, not a woman I know realizes this, even the ones that watch football. They are by far attracted more to the personalities involved rather than the execution of plays, the exploitation of matchups or the 20 layers of subtle complexity involved in every phase of the game. As I said once recently to someone, I can’t remember who, the NFL is more interested in attracting fans interested in the “soap opera” of players talking smack about each other leading to a game, relayed via an ESPN reporter who read it on Twatter, than in fans who watch Merril Hoge break down game film.
Anyway, back to the point I wanted to circle back to.
All of the rules changes to make it a safer game aren’t just about safety. They are an attempt to streamline the game, to make it a pure offensive spectacle, to make it less cognitively impenetrable to a potential audience known for their love affair with The Real Housewives of Walla Walla Washington, and the immediate aftershow dissecting the events of the just-aired The Real Housewives of Walla Walla Washington. The new rules are about eliminating layers of complexity by diminishing the role of the less flashy elements of the game to the advantage of the obvious, showy aspect of the game.
Move the chains. Score points. Do it again.
In conjunction to this is a new rule under consideration that touchdowns can be negated if the Officials feel that the player scoring the touchdown taunted in any way a defensive player during or after the scoring play.
Jack Tatum wept.
If I’m still watching the NFL in five years, I’ll be highly surprised.

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4 Responses

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  1. El Borak said, on October 31, 2013 at 10:02

    Sad to say, though I still wear my Purple, I haven’t watched a single game this year. And not just because the Vikings suck.

  2. Doom said, on November 2, 2013 at 20:13

    I quit watching back when they made it all equal, except not. When they started tinkering with leveling and pretty much just fixed this, and every other sport. If I want stupid meat rigged sport I’ll watch pro wrestling. Which I don’t by the way. Glad, personally, to think guys are getting out of the sport. Go play it. Go play some other sport. Glad to see it takes it’s death dive, personally… hopefully… finally. It’s tried for decades now.

  3. El Borak said, on November 3, 2013 at 13:46

    I watch pro Wrestling. It’s the realest thing on TV.

  4. Doom said, on November 4, 2013 at 13:34

    Crap. You got me there, El Borak.


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