I would like to discuss the football game that happened yesterday… to a point.
You see, when Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem at the start of the season, it was a rebuke of the greed, cronyism, and general lawful evil the National Football League stands for… you know, with the way they help put dead bodies in the streets, somehow. How can one possibly enjoy the Big Game after being subjected to a season of that which also included a harrowing election that only supported the NFL’s prejudices?
I am honored to be in the presence of the worst sports fandom in America… that of the New England Patriots. With their selfishness, their brash sense of entitlement, their ability to run an argument into the ground upon sight of the word “deflated”, and perhaps most importantly, their desire to see more even though getting five Super Bowl championships in fifteen years should have bored them by now… they really are the worst. Look, I don’t think the team cheated that way back in 2015, but can we please just let that shit go? Ideal Gas Laws, the commissioner’s sense of “parity”, and the general fact that Roger Goodell is a charlatan who emphasizes the worst aspects of the sport he leads for more of that sweet wampum, this argument was never going to go anywhere good. This case of deflated footballs almost made it to the Supreme Court, mind you. This game… of football… has more relevance than we all want it to. I believe that, if the case had been presented to the Supreme Court, and they took it, Antonin Scalia would have resurrected himself and gone on a one-man war to smack some fucking sense in this country. Like… fuck this. This is not the law you should be practicing, dunderheads! Let’s go back to making fun of the gays (not in that way, of course) and making sure the government was based on the principles of an effective rule. So please… if you ever see a Pats fan in the wild and they start going on about how Mr. Goodell wronged them and that “they hate us ’cause they ain’t us!”, please punch them in the face. Not because they’re cheaters, but because… they don’t know when to shut up.
Now, back to the main point: Football represents America’s dark side. It gives us a convenient distraction from multinational corporations eroding our rights and the government droning random people in the Middle East with a good ‘ole spectacle of violence. The Super Bowl is the culmination of all of this, when we all eat extremely caloric foods like hot dogs, nachos, and the like (my family opted for baby-back ribs) while celebrating capitalism in its purest state. Nobody thinks that these ridiculously expensive ad rates are worth it; they just buy their own stakes as a way to get in on… euphoria. Whatever trips your dopamine switches, boy. America… fuck no.
And yet… yesterday’s game… it was awesome. Seriously. Me and my younger sister watched a historic game. The Patriots came back from a twenty-five point deficit, the largest in Super Bowl history. It was also the first Super Bowl in the event’s fifty-one year tenure to go into overtime. The halftime show was cool even though I won’t discuss it anywhere else in this post. Julian Edelman had a memorable circus catch reminiscent of Tyree and Manningham, only this time it was for their own team. And Tom Brady won his fifth Super Bowl ring, the most by a single QB. Look… politics be damned, I do believe that Mr. Brady is the greatest American football player of all time. He can get results with virtually any player Bill Belichick manages to scrounge up. He passes with such grace, runs with intense stamina, and can dial up the QB sneak like a pro. He is a living legend… who admires a very questionable orange-colo(u)red individual, but I’ll take what I can get.
The general game experience was great; probably the single best Super Bowl experience I’ve ever had. The commercials weren’t too memorable, though… there were a lot of politically-charged ads, whether it be as subtle as Google’s turn (featuring an LGBT flag and a raccoon mascot… I’d yiff all day to that), or the pro-immigration ads of Budweiser and an obscure lumber company. Then there were some stupid ones, mostly for candy like Skittles and Snickers (that commercial wasn’t live, was it? I’m sure that was the entire joke). My favorite ad was, believe it or not, the one for Wix, the website-building service. You know when a company normally does laid-back ads but goes all-in on a big set piece for the Super Bowl? I love that trope. This one also had celebrity power, with a Jason Statham-led action movie sequence happening while the poor chef named Pierre is building a website for the restaurant. At least he gets to take advantage of it for… his new food truck business. I liked that one, really. Also notable was a commercial for King’s Hawaiian bread that echoed a much-loved SB ad from my youth. It was a beer ad, I think it aired around 2005, and it involved a “magic fridge” shared between residents of a duplex. And this ad for the bread innovated on the premise with a bonus punchline (the hand reaching out of the wall). A good show, all things considered.
While football is evil, and not my favorite sport (of the four major leagues, it’s easily my least liked), I can totally see the appeal of it, and said appeal does not come from rationality. We love the bloodlust of the sport, its alleged complexity (really, you’ve got a playbook, but how much of it are you using?), and because it is a distinctly American creation, unlike anything else devised by man. In this world where our apparent evils can prosper and procreate beyond our will, there’s really nothing else we can do but embrace the reality given to us. Football is the sport America needs and deserves, because it is a game that fully embraces its values, good and bad. And as a nihilist, I must say that there is not much in the world that we can infer from the fabric of existence… but there is one central truth I’m sure we can all agree with:
Don’t be like a Patriots fan.
This has been Blatch, over and out. My new feature “Have You Considered…?” debuts tomorrow on this blog. Until then, have a good one.