Everyone in America has a pastime when it comes to sport.
Of course, the prototypical pastime of traditional American antiquity is baseball, aka, béisbol, to you fly-over folks.
Sports have transformed into a beacon of social and racial progress and a vehicle by which crusaders of equality and nicey-nice level playing fields perpetuate their agenda. It could be argued the newest American sports pastime is flying the banner of social justice loudly, proudly and flamboyantly across the gridiron.
My favorite sports pastime is hating on football.
My hate is sincere and timeless. It is not rooted in that sport’s recent romance with leftist tropes and virtue grandstanding and the gravitation of quasi-lesbian niche groupies (though none of this helps football’s cause). My disdain for football is visceral and ageless. I despise the sport, I despise the aura of wannabe masculinity that surrounds it, and I despise its hypnotic debasement of our lazy society that seeks spoonfed distraction in such a stupid game.
At the risk of prolonging this “introduction” to a historic post, let me reiterate.
I’m not a fan of the sport and the intensity of my feeling is strong enough that I wrote a blog post about it on February 4, 2013, just before that year’s Super Bowl. Entitled “Football is stupid and boring; a true testament of American character!”, I recounted my life’s history of this aversion to football and all its tiresome dumb props. Last year, unable to detach myself from that annual swelling of January/February disgust as the BIG GAME loomed, I reprinted the post on another blog on January 26, 2020. This time, I named the post, “Post-Industrial diversions perpetuate American aimlessness.” It was the same article with some minor grammatical tweaks and the addition of an image. The Coronavirus was beginning its scourge. Football now seems such a triviality in this year’s context, but I fear the Super Bowl is again rushing to the obnoxious forefront of the American mind. Consumerist distraction is the American way, even when it means sticking your head in the sand as a means of carrying you through a pandemic or, specifically to football, when allowing Orwellian groupthink conglomerates to use the game as a neuronal pathway to implant a social paradigm in our skulls.
On that note, here is my 3rd reprint of a post from 2013.
2013: Football is stupid and boring; a true testament of American character!
2020: Post-Industrial diversions perpetuate American aimlessness
2021: Football is the cure to a functioning society
Without further ado.
I certainly can’t remember a day in my life when I actually liked football.
Now, I haven’t always had an aversion to sports. Baseball was the sport of my youth. I played in Little League and dived into the sport with all the statistics-minded abandon of a modern-day fantasy-footballer during my teen years. Even as a youngster, I recall many nights lying in bed after the lights were out and listening intently as Vin Scully announced the Dodger home game while the buzz of the crowd framed the tinny sound emitting from my clock radio. Much of my youth was intertwined with the fate of the Dodgers, with their glories and defeats. The concept of competition and athleticism did not offend or bore me. Later, in my 20s I also became a hockey fan and pledged my allegiance to the L.A. Kings. Who couldn’t love the Miracle on Ice? That was what sports should be…in my mind.
But football absolutely bored me. As a boy, I succumbed to the popular illusion of football as the great signifying group participation effort that bestowed all the fake male bravado that Americans ate up like armchair pansies. I tried my best to learn about football, to learn the rules and follow the weekly games, but I simply did not have it in me.
Football was not for me.
Much of my family liked football, of the professional and college variety, and during the autumn holidays it was inevitable that a group of male relatives would gather loudly around the television in complete disregard of the parallel family events at hand, but I would venture as far away from the televised gridiron mayhem as possible. It’s not that I enjoyed the family events. I simply hated the football spectacle even more than listening to adults prattle on about Stuff I Didn’t Care About. In fact, I frequently found myself outside where I could stare at the sky or the trees, neither of which preoccupied themselves with boy’s games or girl’s stories.
I went anywhere I could find that didn’t involve men in helmets and tight shiny pants, running around in spurts of 4-second action. Boring. At such a young age, my sense of self was not cemented and I believed something must be wrong with me for not liking football. Football was what men liked. Men acted simple and masculine when football was present. Manhood seemed to regress before my eyes when the stupid game was at hand. They were loud sheep as the game clock counted down the inexorable fits of “action.” I never summoned the ability to sink to that level.
Hey man, I tried my best to like football. I tried desperately to integrate it into in my manly arsenal. If I could just bring myself to like football, I would be like all the men I knew, lumbering robots mesmerized by the oval pig-skinned chicanery. But no matter how I tried, it never came to me. The spell of football missed me every time.
There came a point in my life where I was able to surmount the pinnacle of self-empowered maturity and see with clarity the idiocy of our American cultural lie which could ever entertain the foolish notion that football defined masculinity in this post-industrial technologically-enabled “slothciety” called America at the turn of the Century. I saw football for what it is, and more importantly, accepted that its hollow image was not worth my time, and indicative in a grander sense, of a sociological malaise that I was thankful not to be a part of.
Football has become the vehicle of empty-headed American arcana which found bold ascendance in the latter 20th Century just as the last remnants of true American masculinity was struggling over its last gasps of air.
Football today is a vehicle of blind consumerism and a displaced sense of masculinity that has been rendered homeless by the rapid equalization of the genders. Football is less about the game than it has ever been. Football is America. It is a symbol of excess, gluttony, shallowness, instant gratification and impatience. It is a boring sport boasting of a lot of hot-aired faux strategies and steered by well-placed periods of inactivity rather than actual movement. Football oozes commercialism and half-time glitter. All spontaneity and originality is cloaked within allotted and pre-purchased time frames of carefully measured doses of expensive trashy offerings.
Football is us!
I heard someone argue that football should be the American pastime. Not sure about that, but football is more American than America.