(Part 2 of 2 of my post NFL Therapy Session)
But all is not perfect in the land of football and gratuitous violence. While not the fault of the game (Hint: Men like to talk about “the game” like it’s an actual living thing), societal influences have worked to undermine Men’s enjoyment of our favorite sport.
By fans, I mean those drunken buffoons at a Buffalo Bills game in December, standing in a fucking blizzard with their shirts off, showing every inch of that 460 pound frame that was lovingly built by Budweiser and Bratwurst. While normal game watchers are bundled up in seven layers of clothing, these idiots are trying to start the wave and wondering how long it will be before they develop nipple frostbite. Having already covered themselves in several gallons of body paint in team colors, they habitually belly bump each other after every play, causing one or more of them to fall backwards, crushing your 12 dollar nachos and sending half frozen beer flying in every direction. Then they drag their stinking, paint covered carcasses to the bathroom smearing paint all over your kid, your wife, and the old couple unfortunate enough to sit on the aisle, slurring half-mumbled apologies with bratwurst and onion breath.
In other words, assholes.
These are the same jackoffs who have parked their motorhome across ten parking spaces in the lot in order to set up the 20 by 20 pop up tent with their team logo on it. They set up barbecues so fucking big they have to be towed and cook entire sides of beef, along with pretentious shit like canapés and jambalaya because they think it makes them look cultured. Their houses look like the NFL Shop blew a load of team colored semen all over the living room and I GUARANTEE there are at least two cars in the garage with cute license plates that read G0 P4CK or PATSROOL.
I play in a Fantasy Football League that has two women in it. One of them, despite being a Bills fan, is very good. So good, in fact, that she has come in second the past two years, which I can only say with no shame at all, because she came in second to me. Otherwise, I would have never admitted it. In any case, because she was so good last year, we let her bring in a friend, vouching that she knew what she was doing.
Not so much. I knew something was amiss when she asked, during the draft mind you, who Adrian Peterson was. We laughed because it was a cute joke, which stopped being funny seconds later when she asked again. Dead serious, “No really. Who is he?”
Wow. Just, wow.
Only Purple Jesus, the greatest running back to play for the Minnesota By God Vikings, lady. Then I thought, “Wait. This is good. She doesn’t know who he is and I FUCKING DRAFT NEXT!” Purple Jesus was as good as mine. Someone explained that he played for the Vikings and was a running back. They gave no further details, sensing the same thing I did, that she wouldn’t pick him. Plus she was a Giants fan. All was well until the following statement was uttered:
“The Vikings are the purple ones right? I like purple. I’ll take him.”
I just got screwed in the draft because this bitch likes the color purple. Rent a fucking Whoopi Goldberg movie then. Don’t draft the best running back in the NFL just because of the color of his jersey. That’s like a social worker drafting Eli Manning just because he’s retarded. It’s just not done.
Men do not follow a team because they have pretty uniforms. If this was the case, the Cleveland Browns would be playing in front of the janitors and parking lot attendants every week, because they have the ugliest uniforms in history. Shit brown jerseys, white pants, and an orange helmet do not inspire devotion. Men follow teams for good reasons, such as appreciation for the offense, how tough the defense plays, and how little their cheerleaders wear. If the coach wears a cool hat, bonus points…
Speaking of uniforms, a grown ass man should not be wearing the jersey of another man. I don’t care how much you admire how well they play, wearing a Drew Brees jersey after the age of 21 is gay. You may as well go to his fucking house and put on one of his dress shirts just so you can smell his cologne. My 10 year old nephew has a Brian Urlacher jersey he likes to wear, but if he wears one after he gets married, I will punch him in the nads myself. The only exception to the jersey rule is if you order one of those custom jobs that you can put your own name on and wear it to a bar pretending you actually play for that team. Even then, it’s only acceptable if it gets you some, so don’t think you can weigh 325 and get away with telling the ladies you are a running back, tubby…
John Madden was a great football announcer. Any man who has the stones to give away turkey legs as awards for great play on Thanksgiving is all right in my book. Madden put the Turducken on the map by incessantly talking about it every year. Sure he had an unnatural affection for Brett Favre, but he has a great video game, so he gets a pass. However, it takes more than NFL experience to make a great announcer. Much more.
Take Dan Dierdorf for instance. He played exceptional football for the St. Louis Cardinals for 12 years, and was rightfully enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1996. But as an announcer he makes me want to stab myself the face. He offers great insight in to the game, with pronouncements like, “They need to score more than the other team in order to win”, and “Punching someone in the groin is illegal in football”. Because he is such a genius, we have created a drinking game dedicated to Captain Obvious. Anytime he says something that would be readily apparent to a blind monkey, you take a shot. Simple, right?
I have never seen the second quarter of a Dan Dierdorf announced game.
Another announcer who makes my ears bleed is Tony Kornheiser. While he is entertaining on Pardon The Interruption arguing with that fat bald guy, that shtick doesn’t translate to the announcer’s booth. During his four years as part of the Monday Night Football crew, he proved time and again that he was incapable of providing any substantive contribution to the athletic discourse. In other words, he talked about anything except the game he was watching. I find it a constant source of amazement that Jon Gruden never punched him in the ovaries on live television. I believe that he was probably the worst MNF announcer in the history of the program, and this is a group that counts that fuck Dierdorf as an alumnus. That’s saying something…
An announcers job should be to inform the viewer what is happening during the course of the game. They should enlighten us as to the subtle nuances of the game or remind us how completely fucked up and abstract the rules have become. I should not be forced to listen to Bryant Gumbel talk about how he shot a 72 at Sawgrass on Thursday, or Deion Sanders talk about ANYTHING. And it’s not just the booth announcers, the pre-game crowd is just as bad. Are Shannon Sharpe and Keyshawn Johnson long lost twins? They must be, because they both speak the same language, Gibberish. Keyshawn still thinks the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will call him back from his little hissy fit walkout in 2003. If you can understand every fifth word out of Sharpe’s oversized mouth, you should be a translator at the United Nations. And they both suck dick so hard, they should moonlight as Shop Vacs.
Men watch football despite these unpleasant distractions, because it truly is a throwback to our atavistic roots. Our basest instincts are represented in the epic struggle between good and evil, played out on the grassy plain of the gridiron. Like battle, strategy and overwhelming physical superiority determine who the ultimate victor will be.
Well, that and the cheerleaders. Did I mention the cheerleaders?