Note: This ended up running long, so will be a two part post.
So I survived the first weekend without football. And before someone starts a debate about its “proper” name being American Football, please give it a rest. I am fully aware that the rest of the world refers to soccer as football and that is just peachy for all of them. I, however, call one sport soccer and the other football, and would appreciate being allowed to express my thoughts on either one without someone getting heir panties in a wad and starting an International Athletic Incident. What others call chips; I call French fries, in case anyone wants to start a Potato Flame War. And it’s Potato, with no “e” at the end…
Back to football. I managed to make it through the weekend without the NFL, but only barely. Sunday without football is like a pizza without cheese; you know what it is but it sucks because it’s missing the key ingredient that defines it. The NBA? No concussions. NASCAR? Way too much safety equipment. Plus, it’s just a bunch of cars turning left for four hours. Golf? If they hit each other with the clubs, maybe, but until that rule change happens, no. MLB? Watching baseball is like watching paint dry. Actually paint drying has the added effect of the fumes giving you a buzz, so watching baseball is WORSE than watching paint dry.
Apparently some network thought it would be cute to show a Rugby game on Sunday. It is called a game, right? Or is it a match? That’s the problem; I don’t understand the damn event. The violence level is acceptable, but who knows what the fuck they are doing? One minute they are having a group hug and the next someone stops and kicks the ball at some goal posts. I like the concept of no pads, but can someone throw the fucking ball forward and get some excitement going, please? I suspect that this is against the rules, but again, how the hell do I know? I am much too lazy to bother learning the rules of a sport I see once a year. That’s why that movie, “Invictus” didn’t do well at the box office. No one understood what the hell was going on. Plus Matt Damon has the worst South African accent ever. Not like that guy from “Lethal Weapon 2”. DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY!!!
No, Men watch football. But why? I mean apart from the standard love of competition and strategy. You could watch two homeless guys with no teeth playing chess in the park for that. There is something about football itself that is athletic Spanish Fly to Men. After some beer-fueled introspection, I think I have a bit of a handle on it (That’s what she said. Hah. Really, that joke never gets old.), and since it is my job, nay duty, to educate the world about being a Man, here goes.
Obviously the number one reason. Those Production Truck pussies never show cheerleaders enough, but the presence of scantily clad women shaking what God gave them makes ANYTHING better. Your Uncle’s funeral would rock if a Seattle Sea Gal or two were standing near the casket waving their pom poms around. Note to Fox Network: Less Pam Oliver sideline reporting, more Tiffany with the cut off shirt that’s three sizes too small jumping around. These are highly skilled dancer-athletes who deserve the recognition of being on TV 50 to 60% of the broadcast. These women sacrifice greatly, taking time off from their real jobs at Scores or The Flaming Cheetah, to cheer their boobies off for a team they don’t really know, playing a game they don’t really understand. SOME AIRTIME IS IN ORDER, ESPN!!!
Here’s a surprising fact. Men like to watch women jiggle around in public. Not their wives mind you, that’s fucked up. Your wife should jiggle in private just for you. I have met women who actually believe that ogling cheerleaders (or strippers) is tantamount to cheating. This is patently absurd. Just because we look at what is freely being offered, doesn’t mean that we want to cheat on you. No one is “demeaning” anyone; these girls KNEW what they looked like before they ventured out. They weren’t suddenly surprised by the fact that they were wearing a thong and a tank top just because some Man noticed her and stared. They counted on it. And if that is your choice, by all means, dress how you want. And I will continue to stare distractedly and almost cause car accidents. It’s nature.
We will not cheat on you with these women for one very important reason. THEY WOULDN’T GIVE US THE FUCKING TIME OF DAY. We are thankful that you love us, because no one else will. You have become immune to our quirks and character flaws, yet you stay with us anyway. You bitch about us all the time, but get paranoid that we will leave you. In retrospect, wouldn’t that be a good thing? So we look at other women, and then come home to you for some bada boom. Like I said, nature. Don’t question God baby, He is wise in ways we do not understand.
HIGHLY FOCUSED VIOLENCE
Or senseless violence for that matter. There is something highly entertaining about a cheap shot that sends some prissy Wide Receiver spinning through the air like a helicopter crashing into the jungle. Or an illegal cut block that turns a 275-pound lineman ass over teakettle before crumpling in to the turf. It’s just that there is not enough senseless violence in your average football game, so we take what we can get. To be truthful, the “clean” hits are just as fucking brutal sometimes. You can never get enough of watching a slot receiver on a crossing pattern getting his head sheared from his body by the linebacker. And if you’ve never seen the footage of Joe Theismann getting his leg snapped in half by Lawrence Taylor, do yourself a favor and Google it. It was a completely clean play, but ended with Theismann’s broken tibia sticking through his skin on Monday Night Football.
Football is not for pussies.
The fact that someone can get hurt at any moment is a big reason football is so popular. Yes, that potential exists in other sports. Take NASCAR for example. The potential for injury is high when you are slinging a piece of metal around a track at 200mph for hours at a time. But the drivers are actively trying to AVOID hitting each other. Football is three hours of 22 guys trying to beat the shit out of each other over an oblong ball. EVERY PLAY ends in a violent physical collision. It’s no coincidence that the average player plays from 3 to 5 years before having to retire. This is why it is so fascinating to watch and play. There is a Russian Roulette aspect to every play that Men are drawn to.
It’s not as sick and twisted as it sounds. Football is the civilian equivalent of war. For centuries Men have been bred to fight in defense of what they hold in esteem. It was a Man’s duty to protect his village, people, family, or “team”. When Men were not at war, they competed against each other in sport to remain physically and mentally prepared for the rigors of battle. Football is no different. Man needs a way to channel his aggressive impulses in a relatively safe manner and the violence of the game meets this need without exposing society as a whole to danger. It is this danger and our ability to place it in its proper perspective that makes football as popular as it is today.
Society’s preference is to rid Man of these aggressive impulses altogether. I submit that by doing so, the Man ceases to exist. The essence of being a Man is the ability to CONTROL and channel our aggressive nature. The douchebag who runs around full of rage, randomly striking out at anything and everything is not a Man; he is an assclown. Lack of self-control makes us no different from animals. At the same time, someone who voluntarily gives up his aggressive nature and meekly submits to anyone and anything that threatens them or those they love is not a Man either; he is a sheep. Sheep need others to protect and herd them. Those who end up doing so are most often Men.
GOOD VS. EVIL
Football is a morality play and who you choose to side with says a lot about you as a human being. For instance, if you cheer for the Philadelphia Eagles, you are a douche. If your team happens to be the Minnesota Vikings (like me), you are a cynical asshole who has been tempered by the fires of loser hell that has been your team’s existence for the past decade. Even when we get close to another Superbowl, fate snatches that hope away like a fat chick grabbing the last Little Debbie snack cake, as that fuck Favre throws another interception in the NFC Championship Game. If you cheer for the Buffalo Bills, just fucking shoot yourself. You’ll be better off.
Next time: Men like to watch football despite these things…