Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Super Bowl for Gals, and Guys of Impeachable Masculinity


Robert Kraft, the non-cheese billionaire owner of the New England Patriot Acts, described himself as “disappointed” when The Stable Genius earlier this season castigated players who didn’t stand during the anthem, which The Stable Genius fervently reveres, and even knows a few of the words to. Robert Kraft has not denounced The Stable Genius’s being a belligerent, stupid, incompetent, delusional, indecent, inhumane monster, and has been romantically linked to a half-his-age purported actress who I think we’re meant to assume loves him because he makes her laugh. 

The Patriot Acts’ head coach, Bill Bellichickenlittle, which I might be misspelling, is a surly asshole who sent The Stable Genius a congratulatory message when TSG, to the abject mortification of any American with the most rudimentary sense of decency and propriety, was elected president. The team’s quarterback, Tom Brady Bunch, appears to be an idiot savant — brilliant on the field of play, and a dimwit’s dimwit off it. Much like his employer, Mr. Kraft, he has spoken out against TSG’s immoderate comments on players protesting police brutality against communities of colour during the National Anthem, but not against Mr. Trump’s being a belligerent, stupid, incompetent, delusional, indecent, inhumane monster. He gets an iota of credit for not having accepted an invitation last April to get slimed with the rest of the team by TSG at the White House. 

Those of his teammates who explained why they wouldn’t attend get a great deal more credit. I don’t think being a professional athlete confers moral immunity. I think it’s every American’s moral duty to speak out against the present horror. Speaking out only against the tiny part that affects one personally, as Brady has done, is cowardly and self-serving. 

If I didn’t think identifying with a professional sports team is pure madness — akin to hoping that Loew’s sells more rakes during a given fiscal quarter than Home Depot — I’d root for the Eagles solely because of Kraft, Bellichick, and Brady, though I have no doubt that the Eagles have their fair share of assholes.

Many purport to watch the Super Bowl not because of the actual game, which is interrupted approximately every 35 milliseconds for commercials, but for said commercials. Advertising agencies try to demonstrate themselves more brilliant than one another with their Super Bowl ads, and there can be no disputing that many are very wry. But let’s remain mindful that in the vast majority of cases, these advertisements are created to induce people to buy products or pay for services they don’t really want or need by “creatives” who don’t themselves like the products they’re in the business of making the rest of us crave. Anheuser-Busch, always one of the game’s key sponsors, commonly has the best commercials, advertising one of the worst products. Budweiser is beer-flavoured soda pop. 

A large percentage of the male residents of whichever city’s team prevails will feel somehow more manly as a result of the victory. The vast majority of the mercenaries who play for the two teams have neither affection for nor even much knowledge of the communities for whose men they are proxies. It makes no sense whatever for a middle-aged beer-bellied bozo from a blue-collar Philly suburb to run through the streets bellowing, “We did it!” as a result of a 22-year-old safety from Alabama he's never met and never will meet having run an interception back for the winning touchdown. 

There is nothing more ludicrous — and more patently bogus an excuse for more ad sales — than pre-game analysis. Just once in my life I would love for some player in response to the question, “What do the [your team’s name here] have to do to win today?” say, “Have more points than the other guys at game's end.” Which isn’t to suggest that I don’t feel for the former players customarily charged with posing this provocative query. Once colossuses, once the men all other men yearned in vain to be, they are now reduced to trying to get active athletes in many cases too young to remember their past glories to mumble the same tedious cliches they themselves mumbled ‘way back when. 

Mumbling clichés is seen as very manly. Saying something interesting or thoughtful would make one…suspect. Behold: football!



I’d love to see both teams kneel during the National Anthem. If that’s asking too much, maybe all the players could hold up seven fingers in tribute to Colin Kaepernick, who wore No. 7 while with the San Francisco 49ers, or middle fingers as a salute to The Stable Genius. My guess is they will not.



2 comments:

  1. Well written and hilarious as usual.

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