Americans Love Football (and why its a bad thing)

The video game Madden Football comes out every year in August signalling the start of both the virtual and actual football season.  Training camp news pours in, we wonder whether Brett Farve will play football and we hear about the latest holdouts.  For me it is a reminder of the worst part of the sporting year.  It means baseball is winding down and Football will dominate sports for the next four months.  On September 9th the National Football season will begin again and we’ll count the rest of the year by weeks.  America loves football, it consumes us. Men fawn over their heroes and woman try to become part of the mens ritual of Sunday.  For me however, football is mirror to American society.  A mirror whose reflection is getting less and less appealing.  Football reflects a great number of the negative things about us.  Here are a few that I came up with.
– Football is xenophobic.
Football is exclusively played by Americans.  There are less than a handful of foreign born players and relects the US natural isolationist tendency.  What does it say about us that we love a game so dearly that no one else plays?
– Football rewards violence.
From our earliest days as a nation we have solved our conflicts with violence.  Indians issues, problems with the British, border issue with Canada – we always turn to violence.  Football is an embodiment of that trait.  Smash the player in front of you, deliver the big hit and maim your opponent are virtues of the game.
– Football is is best watched on TV.
Football took off in the late 50’s.  Anyone know what also took off in the late 50’s?  That’s right television.  The game lives because it is been perfected for television.  The action fits in the little box and Americans (fat Americans I might add) sit watching their boxed heroes.  All the action perfectly detailed for the small screen.
– Football is sexist.
Woman do not play football.  Their are not womans versions of the game, there are not womans world cups or Womans football.  It is a game played for men,  by men.  All the commercialism around the game re-enforces these notions with men making fun of silly woman while clever men dupe their wives while watching the game. (I was inspired but the DiGiorna ads for this one)
–  Football is about domination, taking territory and imposing one’s will
There is no diplomacy in football.  The game is designed for one team to over power the other team and dominate them.  Sounds like US foreign policy since WWII.  What is going to happen to us when the country doesn’t reflect it’s game. There are the few that came into my head and I know people are going to get pissed off at me.  I actually like football.  I just don’t like sometimes what it represents.  It can be gross overkill and gaudy,  just like the United States.

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By Laurent Courtines

I'm here and I am ready to go. Been doing my homework and I have things to say.

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