Well, there you have it, another Superbowl down. Personally, I didn’t know whom to root for between the Cheaters and the Sea Chickens. Apparently the New England Patriots let some air out of their balls when it’s cold outside so that they can catch them, hence their new nickname. As my husband likes to say, “Cheaters never prosper, but they sure do win a lot.” And lest you think I’m a poor sport, I called Seattle’s team the Sea Chickens long before they beat the Broncos last year. They were my brother-in-law’s team and now that I think about it, way back before they switched to the NFC West, I think Seattleites may have been the ones to give their team the nickname.
Anyway, did you know that the NFL is a non-profit? Yep, the professional sports league that currently brings in about 10 billion dollars a year enjoys tax exempt status. When I think of a non-profit I picture tired people with frizzy hair feeding hay to stray animals or a place for under-privileged youth to experiment with music and art instead of drugs and alcohol. I do not picture large men with painted faces running around in tight pants and neon shoes.
What is the deal with the outfits in football? They don’t even wear pants that tight in fencing, and those guys have swords. In other sports loose-fitting knickers are the norm: basketball, baseball, rugby… Ah, rugby. Now there’s a sport I can cheer for. No pads or helmets (except for those little rubber caps they wear to protect their ears from being torn off.) Professional rugby is just a skin on skin game, with the biggest danger in the scrum being unsolicited orifice penetration. (And what about the language in professional sports?! Rim this and rim that, deep penetration, tight end. My goodness.)
Rugby is a faster game, which makes it more exciting to watch. The stop and go of football lends more to napping on the couch, not that there’s anything wrong with that. After a certain age most of us would give anything for a good football nap. But if I’m in the mood to scream and holler I’d rather watch a rugby match or a hockey game; “Skate—fight. Skate—fight. Score!” –DM. And to be fair, football’s delay in action has more to do with the passionate relationships between the refs and coaches than the players themselves. Like when they bring out the big Queen of Hearts stick with the attached chain to measure down to the centimeter where the ball landed, when the referee arbitrarily eyed it there in the first place. I love how it always takes two guys to carry that thing out onto the field; if you ask me, those guys should have special outfits too.
My main issue with American football, though, is that the players are under extreme pressure to be perfect during the games, but then not held accountable for any of their actions off the field. I have no idea what it feels like to be treated like a modern day gladiator, but I do know what it feels like to idolize a hero. And that’s what those guys are to millions of kids. What are our children learning when we let star players off without so much as a slap on the wrist (although they do get slapped on the ass quite a bit, but it’s not the same thing.) I think all professional sports players should be above reproach, or be fired. Especially since there are so many able bodied back-ups sitting on the bench.
As a country we like to gather at the water cooler and bemoan the violence that takes place daily, then go home and pay-per-view professional athletes who bring guns to work and beat their wives. At some point we may want to look at what it means to win at any cost, and then just play for the love of the game. (Also, let’s readjust the NFL’s tax standing to reflect their ‘for profit’ status.) I can’t wait til next year! It’s not every Sunday I get to take an afternoon nap after gorging myself on cows-in-a-poncho.*
*local vernacular for the Superbowl snack food also known as pigs-in-a-blanket.