FeaturesNews/Other Stuff Fuuuuhhhhhhhtttball: The Modern Two Minutes’ Hate By eric - November 9, 2012 251 16616 FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsApp xxxxx Related posts: Clover hate mail… A Modern Take on ‘Planned Obsolescence’ Fixing Modern Cars The Worst Thing You Can Say in Modern America… The Modern American Police Officer
So, Ravens or 49ers?
Got the new muffler and tailpipe installed on the 4Runner today. Charged up all the batteries on all vehicles. Starting working on a drop down list (Years/Makes) for a search feature for this site. Haven’t turned the TV on once. Even if I did all we have is Netflix because I purposely have not connected the cable tv cord. Ah shucks, the kid just caught me.. Time to order a Lalaloopsy doll for her birthday.
Wow! I’m at the parenting point where I had to look up Lalaloopsy. 5 years ago I would have immediately known what you were talking about. Dang, they grow up fast.
Google “football jocks get away with murder in Amarillo Texas”. Football is considered next to God and Country in most Texas towns and cities. In fact, many high school athletic facilities rival that of collegiate and professional football organizations.
A number of years ago, football “jocks” from an Amarillo Texas high school harassed, tortured and eventually murdered a “goth” teenager for merely being different. When brought to trial, the “jury” refused to convict despite overwhelming evidence, these “jocks” were acquitted. You see, the big football championship was coming up; these “football heroes” could not be convicted as the “championship” was at stake. The school’s “reputation” as being a football “powerhouse” was in jeopardy if these (murderers) jocks would have been convicted.
I guess that’s “Texas justice” . . .
A number of years ago, football “jocks” from an Amarillo Texas high school harassed, tortured and eventually murdered a “goth” teenager for merely being different.
I’ve long been intrigued by how high school is actually a microcosm of the “adult world.”
Given the prevalence of clovers and sheeple of course, I use the term “adult” advisedly.
But think about it. What was this, but an analogue of US foreign aggression, with “our boys in uniform” standing in for the jocks, and “gooks” and “ragheads” standing in for the Goths?
As one of my screenwriting teachers once quipped, “It’s all high school.”
Here Ye all present, The King has decreed Sir Hal Steinbrenner of Yankees & Fred Wilpon of Mets as the Dukes of New York Baseball. Let no others dare make any claim to the privileges of this title, upon pain of the full force and retinue of the King of New York. God & Tax Payers Save the King.
Two examples of professional sports that are not a problem? UFC and NASCAR. Neither of these sports are jurisdictional. They don’t have exclusive rights to a certain territory enforced by legal documents executed with the government. No one is forced to associate with them due to being of the same municipal or state authority.
If it was Steve Bisciotti’s Raven Football Club instead of “Baltimore’s” Ravens, it would be no problem. People are not free to be a part or not a part of “Baltimore.” You could just as easily call their citizens “Slaves of the Baltimore Plantation under the noble whip of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake”, a right honourable slavemaster of the great state of Maryland.
Slavery has loosened up and changed over the years, but it is still the case that American’s are “tax slaves” of some jurisdiction or another.
I think you know, we’re objecting to the concept of enjoying your servitude in forced participation of crony professional sports who are a kind of “Made Men” of sports, not the type of sports you can take or leave through prices and voluntary market participation.
That was for Don & anyone who claims using words is equivalent to the use of state force by owners of professional sport “Franchises” that our granted a noble title of regional exclusivity and plunder sharing arrangement.
Yep. And through that perception the voters, the mass, exercise tyranny of the majority to keep ‘their’ team around.
The way to get ahead is to socially manipulate people. Forget about that better mouse trap stuff.
“type of sports you can take or leave through prices and voluntary market participation.”
Reminds me of the way American Revolutionary soldiers could vote on who their immediate leader was and vote him away too, and they could even simply get up and leave. Or so I recall reading.
I think I’ve mentioned this before but I’ll do it again.
I played team sports my whole life till my body said: “enough!”. 🙂
And there are benefits from doing so. I learned team work, cooperation for mutual benefit, hard work, comittment, how to fail and learn from it, pushing myself to my limits to learn what I am capable of and therefore, who I am. Some of the same virtues that we will need as a community if we were to ever live in an anarchal society.
So there are benefits if kept in context. I played baseball and basketball. Only one year of freshman football, but I do know that a lot, A LOT of guys play football as a means of hitting people “legally” and that hitting someone hard is more important than winning the game.
So in that context I agree with you, but there are others who enjoy sports – even football – for the challenge and if we don’t challenge ourselves then we can never truly know who we are and I think this describes about 95% of the people who have ever existed.
I played sports too (baseball, hockey; some track). I see playing as distinctly different from passively watching – and imagining you’re part of the event somehow.
Don, playing sports and watching sports are two different things.
There are many arguments to be made for playing sports, I can’t think of any for watching them.
Come on you guys. If it wasn’t for fans there’d be no teams.
Sandlot baseball is nothing compared to being part of an organized team/league with proper instruction, management and facilities. And the only way to have that, even for little league, or high school, is to have fans that are willing to pay to fund those things.
So if you believe there is benefit to playing team sports then you have to thank those that like watching team sports.
And if you like playing a specific sport then don’t tell me you don’t like watching it. How did you ever get interested in it in the first place?
“imagining you’re part of the event somehow” – Ok, I get that. 😉
There’s a funny Bill Maher bit about guys watching basketball and saying pretty much what you said Eric: “we” won blah, blah, blah. And Maher is like: “no, no, no, 5 black guys won who would hate you if they knew you.”
“Sandlot baseball is nothing compared to being part of an organized team/league with proper instruction, management and facilities.”
Ya got that right, sandlot baseball is not training for warfare under centralized command with conditioning to obey and submit to the rulers without thinking.
I suppose some People argued with their coaches, but I’m betting it’s quite rare.
All the benefits from playing team sports can be gained from a voluntary setup, fans (paying or otherwise) not required, imho.
It’s just not easy.
Also, I never watched football as a child, yet we played it.
As a teen and a bit older, watching sports (for me anyway) was about the People around me and had little to do with what was on the TV.
Yeesh, how many times can a Person be amazed at a ‘spectacular’ play or find it ‘unbelievable’ or ‘incredible’?
So a cat can jump six feet in the air a catch a bird, so what.
That said, The best games ever were when no one was watching us play. Always.
Man, I have to ask you and Eric and the others who are so opposed to sports: who is it that did a number on you? You guys are so jaded.
Did you get cut from your high school team? Did your girlfriend sleep with the star quarterback?
“All the benefits from playing team sports can be gained from a voluntary setup”
Are you under the impression that athletes are forced to play? :))
I mean I get the worship crap. I’m not into that either and the ones I’ve known who are, were “jock wannabes” but were just the worst athletes ever so they wanted to feel like they were a part of it all. I see most of the non-athlete anchors on ESPN as these people. They were nerds in school but now can hang with Latrell Sprewell and get pussy.
I’m not opposed to sports! I played several; I’m still very active (in my mid-40s, I run 5-7 miles several times a week; hit the gym 4-5 days a week… can still bench close to 300 …)
What I just don’t get is the all-encompassing and totally disproportionate worship of athletes. The demented obsession with “my” team and its fortunes.
It’s childish – infantilizing. It is a symptom of arrested development and enstupidation.
I’m not opposed to sports. I am opposed to having one of the axis of the culture to be professional sports.
I can see the difference from the 1970s and 80s. Something is very wrong culturally. When following a particular sports team has become a requirement for dating, something is very wrong culturally. It’s that bad.
I really liked the way this was put:
“Today, sports watchership at all levels has become a 24/7, 365 day a year deal; the main “activity” and “interest” of millions of people. Some guys have virtually nothing to say beyond “did you see the game?” or “‘we’ sure showed them last night, huh?” They analyze and sweat the most abstruse stats and minutia – yet have virtually no knowledge of history, art or even current events.”
It is because I can see this so very clearly and have experienced them that I come across as jaded, perhaps?
Can’t write for shit doesn’t hwlp either, I’m sure.
In my area in the late 1970’s a guy used to allow many People to race various machines on a track on his land. There was a crowd and everyone had fun, or so I’ve been told a number of times. Then the goberment regulators shut it all down.
I saw the same thing attempt to bloom in the 1990’s with the same ending.
Point being, the fans were not required, and those who were ‘fans’ didn’t have to pay. Any sport could be built up the same, imho.
Also, for the internet record:
No, I did not get cut from my high school team and my girlfriend didn’t sleep with the star quarterback.
… And coaches are still stand ins for drill sargents, the players and fans conditioned for the next step, combine that with the quote above and you have an ugly soup. How can Anyone like that?
Also, am I under the impression that athletes are forced to play? Hell yeah they are. Not all of them, but on Every level there are those who are ‘forced’, not at the point of a gun, but in other various ways just as powerful.
For example, a common story: parents Love sports, child is player, child wants to quit, parents don’t. The social pressure is on. Next step is the parade down the church isle celebrating deployment, the crowd is pleased, as they have been conditioned to be.
Professional athletes don’t sometimes feel ‘forced’ to play to pay for their debts?
One other thing, this thread does not seem to be about football or sports, it seems to be more about the sports that are military training and some kind of brain-trance deal, I mean, I haven’t seen any mention of fishing or 4×4 mudding, or cliff diving.
“…parade down the church isle celebrating deployment, the crowd is pleased, as they have been conditioned to be.”
You are dead on……….Wish there was a way to up vote you.
No professional teams? Hurrah, sez me!
Kids – or adults – getting together to play an informal game? Great.
The idolatry of professional athletes and the obsession with “the game” is demented and sad.
Not professional. Even Babe Ruth or Legion Ball level. If you want to learn to play the game correctly, sportsmanship, have proper facilities and equipment, learn the strategies of the game, teamwork then you have to have someone to fund all that stuff and that means fans. Fans pay direct fees for these things, they make donatons, or volunteer their time. All people who like watching the sport or else they wouldn’t do it.
What about all the jobs professional sports creates? Forget the primadonna’s. I mean all the little people.
Being a former college and semi-professional athlete I enjoyed watching Michael Jordan take off from the foul line and slam. That’s extraordinary. I enjoy watching a slick double play being turned to perfection and a diving catch on the warning track. I enjoy the skill – and it is skill – of a running back with agility and speed cut a defense to pieces or a quarterback throw it on a frozen rope 30 yards down field between two defenders.
And there is leadership required in team sports. Champions have it. Winner have it. I’ve seen it. Felt it. Experienced it. And when the SHTF leaders are going to be needed. Where are they going to come from? The workplace? The military? The military couldn’t lead its way out of a paper bag. A lot of them will be athletes.
Your tax dollars (and mine) will be at work at the Stupid Bowl:
Only a very small minority play with ‘fans’ watching. Also for decades sports were at moderate level in the society. But as the decay increases so does watching the games. It’s a cultural sickness.
Because I don’t watch sports I am often doing mundane tasks when ‘the game’ is on. It’s so nice. The traffic is minimal, the stores are practically empty of people… it’s nice. But it’s also evidence that there is something very wrong with the society.
Learning to play? How do children learn other games? From people they know. We don’t need a professional dodgeball league so children play the game. I started playing floor hockey without ever seeing a hockey game. If we didn’t have professional sports children might learn not by watching TV but watching their fathers or mothers doing… they could then do instead of watch.
I am not saying ban professional sports, just that it isn’t needed. If some people were into it, ok fine. but there’s something wrong with how many people are into it. Where it has become a social and cultural necessity to be. Something got warped.
“I am not saying ban professional sports, just that it isn’t needed”
Did you really just say that? Kind of like: “civilians don’t need AR’s”.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Keep your arguments morally consistent.
C’mon, Don – you know Brent well enough to know he didn’t mean what the anti-gun people say when they use “need.”
He simply meant (and he can correct me here if I am in error) that it’s superfluous and silly and in a sane society would be what it was 40 or 50 years ago: An occasional diversion for some. I can remember that world. And in that world, the fanatic fan was the exception – not the rule – and looked upon as something of a buffoon.
Today, sports watchership at all levels has become a 24/7, 365 day a year deal; the main “activity” and “interest” of millions of people. Some guys have virtually nothing to say beyond “did you see the game?” or “‘we’ sure showed them last night, huh?” They analyze and sweat the most abstruse stats and minutia – yet have virtually no knowledge of history, art or even current events.
I agree with Brent – it’s a symptom of a sick society.
Don, you asked how kids would learn the games without professional sports. I answered that professional sports isn’t needed to get the benefits of sports. That isn’t a sentence that was meant to stand alone, it needs the prior paragraph and what follows after it to work. I realize I’ve let my guard down some here, but I am well experienced with writing to defend against such chopping if I need to be.
Anyway, to repeat the part you chopped out, kids can learn from word of mouth just as they learn games that have no professional leagues or TV coverage. People can be into professional sports as a harmless hobby, like reading books on cats, but that’s not the present condition. Something is wrong when human activity in a geographical area drops dramatically because the game is on tv. Something is wrong when so much of the population stops their lives to watch a game. At least video game addicts are playing their games. Nobody has any problem indicating the problems of people who become absorbed into these virtual worlds but suggest that watching other people play a game might not be healthy and damn…
Again, chopping an then inserting new context can bring out worst in me in these written debates. It’s a character flaw, I mirror how I am treated, often with amplification.
Proposal for 28th Amendment – National Freedom League
What if instead of forcibly submitting to your local state’s jurisdiction you had an additional option available?
If you were unhappy being a part of the state of Michigan, you would be able to opt out and become a subject of the Variable State of Detroit Lions’ fans(see map for your additional choice)
Football Season would also be Political Season, where sponsors, organizations, and fans would all come together. Laws and systems could be changed by Detroit Lion’s citizens without interference from the 31 other Variable states or the 49 original states. You could salute your state flag or cheer your state team, the choice would be yours.
Citizens of the new variable state would use the same roads and libraries as Michiganders, but would only be subject to the laws of the Detroit Lion’s State and it’s bylaws within the National Freedom League.
This additional choice ensures there is always some measure of competition. The states would be made to surrender sole sovereignty just like the break up of AT&T ceded much of its central authority to the baby bells and newly emerging phone services.
Though imperfect, citizens having two choices would finally have some say over the system of government they lived under.
The better Sports & Political Teams would see gains in their fanbase and number of counties they ruled over, while the bad teams would lose fans & counties.
Much of the same infrastructure would shared by competing political systems, there would be some real incentive to build systems with popular support, instead of merely transferring money from citizens to the various power groups. If Detroit Lion Sovereigns want to allow children to opt out of public school and stay home when they want, that would be their right.
The 50 stars and 32 team logos of the New United States & Teams Flags & Jerseys might be a step towards America once again being a force for positive change and new ideas in the world.
As funny as that is, it’s exactly what Neal Stephenson suggested in both his uber-excellent novels–Snow Crash and The Diamond Age.
He called them “‘phyles“; mutually cooperative groups of people who identified themselves with various political/philosophical schools…like the “Vickies”, who followed a Victorian-era ethos.
Each was sovereign within their own realm, but when passing through or interacting with others trod carefully to avoid violating their rules.
It’s totally possible. Look at us here; I feel much more comfortable around you guys than I do around 95% of the rest of the population. Form a ‘phyle around our virtual world, invite the other ten million or so who believe as we do, and voila–a virtual country.
Just beginning to read that story now, looks amazing MaEmTiHnYeL.
Our cybergeist emerges as a spectre relentlessly haunting the meatspace of America!
Give us liberty, or endure the growing wrath of those we awaken and agitate for your failure to do so!
cSrNaOsWh Fu11 Story
There is nothing less manly than sitting on your ass watching other men play games. NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, etc are male(not manly or masculine, just male) versions of soap operas. Who did what, who should have done what, what they are going to do next and what they really should do.
What should a manly male do during his leisure time?
tgsam (1936 –)
He should do something. As opposed to watching other men do things.
Watching a game as casual entertainment isn’t a vice, of course. But getting mad when “we” lose (or happy when “we” win) is both infantile and absurd.
Use leisure time for almost anything other than watching TV. TV is one of the most powerful ways TPTB control our minds.
Even listening to the radio is better. The best idea for “idle” time is to read something.
The Sinister Truth about Sports Arenas and Multinational Corporations paying grown men Millions of Dollars to play silly Tribal Games.
Alan Watts – Making Men Into Boys Thru Sport
As you know, I hate fuuuhhhhhhhhttttttball (and organized mass spectacle sports generally). Not so much the game as such – but the worship of it (and the players) by passive spectators. I seethe at the genius of it – the way it distracts and infantilizes men. Turning them into – as a rule – sedentary but belligerent ignoramuses who do nothing but can spout off, in excruciating detail, the stats of their favorite team or player.
Dear Tor, Eric,
Ball games are something I’ve never understood the appeal of, from any number of levels.
I’ve always wondered, what’s the friggin’ point? Is it useful? Does it have survival value?
No? Then why bother?
So you can throw a basketball into a hoop from the three point line. So you can hit a golf ball into a hole with fewer strokes. So you can hit a baseball out of the ball park.
So what? What good does it do you?
Sure, I know you can get paid millions of dollars by “sports fans.” But objectively speaking, what functional purpose does it serve?
If the SHTF, what good are these “skills?”
Some sports I can see the value of. For example, the Olympic sport known as the Biathalon.
The Scandinavian countries and Russia are big on it. You cross country ski, then shoot a rifle, alternately.
It’s really a form of militia or guerrilla warfare training in arctic conditions.
What should a manly male do during his leisure time?
I’m glad you asked.
As a manly man myself, I drive to the target range with my rifles, shotguns, and pistols, and blast away all day.
Be sure to take along food and drink for break time.
For extra manly man points, take along the largest caliber, heaviest recoiling firearms you have.
A .375 Holland and Holland Magnum or a .458 Winchester Magnum will definitely establish your street cred as a manly man.
But remember, bore diameter counts for more than barrel length.
That’s hilarious, Bevin.
I bristle at Tinsley’s masonic statist words even.
Should? There is no universal should. Merely be aware that national sports are a deceptive con.
Manly? Be assured, whatever They call by that name will be anything but.
Leisure? An insidious idea. When you perfect the process of doing things of no value whatsoever, well then you have become a man of leisure.
Actually I wasn’t aware that Tinsley was arguing in any particular way.
I merely used his remark as sort of a “straight man” set up to inject a little humor.
I really do like target shooting. The gun grabbers like to psychologize about and mock gun owners’ supposed machismo.
I was merely sending the whole issue up. Nothing more.
But remember, bore diameter counts for more than barrel length.
Bevin is that a cunning repackaging of the old “women prefer girth over length”?
I’ve been dying to buy a .50 BMG rifle myself…
Yes it was!
But to be perfectly honest, it was merely opportunistic humor. I don’t really have any strong views on such matters.
I merely took the recent discussions we’ve been having about guns and sports and combined them in order to crack wise.
There comes a point in every reasonable man’s life when he must fully admit that watching sports, at large, is a waste of time. The only thing gained is the rare sense of unearned pride that comes from knowing that the team, that happens to play where you happened to be born, won; and, the frequent unearned despair that comes from knowing that your team are almost as big of losers as the person who wasted their time watching them.
I simply enjoy occasionally watching physically extraordinary individuals doing extraordinary things. Watching Csonka, even with an injured leg, drag three defenders the last few feet to cross the goal line was certainly exciting. Was it a waste of time? Probably no more so than fly fishing when one can purchase good fish more cheaply.
Not every Individual who plays or watches others play is obsessed by the game. At least Mankind seems to have outgrown the horrors that took place in Rome’s Coliseum. Unfortunately, Mankind has not yet outgrown war.
that covers “obsession”. but it doesn’t touch bread & circuses, the draining of productivity from the provinces to the “center”, followed by some of the loot being doled back out again…an “investment” in duracells to keep the matrix going.
forced subsidy begets forced subsidy, all the way to the bottom. entertainment value – to include the nfl, national flyfishers league, if it ever comes to that – does not prioritize ahead of axiom. viewers, obsessed or not, subsidize.
I try to keep my input brief. I’m convinced that long posts are generally a waste of time and often not read.
tgsam (1936 –)
Understand that perspective. My emphasis is elsewhere. Reading, thinking, writing is done for my own edification &/or entertainment. So, posts that elicit my responses are more like blackboards that I write upon.
After that, I like Blake’s quote, “When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.” and Nock’s “remnant”. You never know who’s listening.
I do think it’s obvious that trespass (under-girding these “games”) prioritizes ahead of people choosing to accept conditioning to lead vicarious, diverted, lives; that’s none of my business, unless/until I’m forced to subsidize it.
As much as I love auto-racing, I will never patronize a Formula One event…even though the newest venue is less than three hours’ drive for me, in Austin.
It’s classical fascism; the people in and surrounding Austin paid for the entire billion-dollar track with “bonds”–i.e. irredeemable debt certificates forcibly raised by taxes.
Meanwhile this weekend (according to friends) the skies were blackened by the so-called Elite shuttling to the track in their helicopters; all so “Hunger Games”-ish.
THEY didn’t pay for the track, but they enjoy it…while the serfs labor at WalMart to pay their property taxes.
Yes. But not just the heli(lion)-commuters.
Atlas shrugs, & splits. Serf shrugs, & goes (to the coliseum, or the tv).
Generally I’m always doing something and have a game on in the background. Yesterday, after busting ass last weekend cleaning the yard, then putting in a very full week of work, and a Friday night date with Bushmills :), I decided to lay around and watch football. Today, however, I’m cleaning gutters while stopping every now and again to check out some soccer, or the Autumn Internationals rugby league final and later some NFL.
This one is not as funny but it actually says how when men put on a jersey that it makes them feel like a man.
This video is hilarious.
I always get a kick out of that. People ask me who I like better, School A, or School B. I reply that I don’t really give a flip about either, since I went to neither.
Here’s how I watch football. On Monday morning, while on the elliptical cross-trainer at the gym, I watch the football highlights on ESPN. I am treated to some spectacular feats of athleticism by superbly fit young men. I don’t have to sit through a game and watch the dropped passes, runs for no gain, and beer commercial after commercial. I neither know nor care which teams won. I couldn’t name half a dozen NFL players. Watching all the best plays from all of the games while actually accomplishing something positive for my own life is the way to do it, methinks.
A good plan, but I haven’t even wasted that much of my energy on sports. I’ve been to three baseball games, one hockey game (couldn’t even see the puck, and that was before the beer), and zero football and basketball games. I think I’ve seen a total of twenty minutes of football in my entire life. Half of that was watching Jim McMahon’s triumphant return following an injury (my Dad is an unabashed Bears fan) and the ensuing “contract” carried out on him as the opposing team continually attacked his recently healed shoulder. The other half was the inaugural game of the XFL, hoping to see some wrestling-style playing. Scripted heat, run-ins, bravado, and over the top antics. (no, I’m not a wrestling acolyte either, but I did enjoy the manufactured show there. At least those guys admit they’re actors)
When it turned out to be “real” football, albeit with weird camerawork, we all wandered away from the TV.
I actually know nothing of the rules, how plays work, or any of the other sacraments. Recently one of my co-workers, in discussing some kind of ridiculous contest we were having at work, said that one guy moving up the ladder “basically gets a bye”. I had to ask him what he meant when he said, “bye”. Rather than immediately explain it, I was treated to a real show as he spent a couple of minutes making sure I wasn’t pulling his leg, then another 5 or so minutes as he grabbed every co-worker that walked by, asked them if they knew what a bye was, and then pointing to me and insisting to them that he never met anyone who didn’t know and could they believe that standing right here in the 21st century was someone who didn’t know what that meant?
And this guy was a non-denominational Christian, intelligent, home-schooled his kids, and knew his way around the political minefield like most of us here. You should see the treatment I get from the statist sports junkies.
Well said, Eric.
I’ve enjoyed decades of non-interest in football, and organized sports in general. Over the years I’ve developed quite a stern reaction to people who constantly push me towards that nonsense. The never-ending question of “did you watch the game last night?” now gets the answer of “one of the two teams, but check back next year because they’ll play it over again”.
For the longest time I’ve known that the big contests are fixed, and I’ve known people involved in it. If you want to piss off those acolytes of this modern religion (and religion it is; insult it and you imperil your life), then inform them of how shallow and engineered it is. I get responses ranging from looks of incredulity to arguments to outright hostility. In the end, I get the Grassy Hill logic: if its so rigged, why hasn’t someone come forward and talked about it? How about they get nothing from honesty and millions of dollars for perpetuating the lie. Why give up hundreds of millions of dollars in return for hundreds of thousands of dollars in book sales? Or worse, risk their lives or the lives of their families just to do a tell all book?
“if its so rigged, why hasn’t someone come forward and talked about it?”
Ask General Petraeus. My guess is he got let off lightly.
What some might call “a little love tap” to wake him up…
Sports, betting, and conspiracy are a microcosm of the US, Wall Street, and it’s activities worldwide. Should we be surprised?
I lived in San Francisco during the Joe Montana era, and got caught up in the hype. I still feel an emotional connection to San Francisco teams (not enough to actually buy merchandise, or waste 3 hours watching a game during the regular season). So when the Giants made the playoffs this year, I started watching. I learned that 5 the 29 San Francisco Giants are from Venezuela. How ironic. They escaped a communist dictatorship to become rich capitalists in a country which is rapidly becoming another communist dictatorship.
My aging and my inherent racial preference diminished my interest in the games until it was gone. The only thing that I will watch today are the clips of the more spectacular physical accomplishments.
It seems the White guys have given up playing the game in increasing numbers and there is certainly no shortage of superb physical ability among the Black players.
Eric, there certainly is one point that you make that I have noticed. I live in Green Bay Packer country (Wisconsin). I have also noticed the use of the pronoun “we” by the Packers fans. The first question which crosses my mind is – “were you on the field playing with the rest of the Packers?”. We? Do you have a mouse in your pocket? Rabid fans most certainly identify with “their” team. I have also noticed middle aged men who spend a majority of their Saturdays watching college football. You could probably get about 12 hours worth of it. Like you, I prefer to accomplish something in my time off from my wage earning job. I have hobbies and interests which engage the use of mind and body. It actually energizes me with a sense of satisfaction. I must admit that I like Major League Baseball. Ultimately, I am shown that all humans have have limitations and weaknesses, even the alleged super athletes. Perhaps this is a bit harsh, but many sports fans seem to live their lives vicariously through their team. The TV gives many of them a short attention span. They often are difficult to have intelligent conversations with.
Especially: “…many sports fans seem to live their lives vicariously through their team. The TV gives many of them a short attention span. They often are difficult to have intelligent conversations with.”
Another posted mentioned how rare it is – or at least, seems to be – to find guys in the post-college to 40s demographic who get together to actually play a game of pick-up football. Most would rather just stare at other men playing football. (Yet, they denounce guys who don’t watch other men play games as “fags” and “homos.” Because it’s so macho to watch TeeVee and cheer when “we” win….)
And when your mind is cluttered with (and obsesses over) useless statistics – how many sacks did so and so make? – it often doesn’t leave much space for useful information, much less introspection and critical thinking.
In general, the fuuuhhhhttttttball fans I have dealt with are boring people who don’t have much to say about anything (other than sports and other banalities). Many seem to me to be petty Babbitt types who are very group (and close) minded – fervently (but mean-mindedly) religious. They hate them some gays…and anyone else who doesn’t adhere to their (usually) mainline Republican orthodoxies…. wrapped in the flag, supporting the troops…
I don’t know about football but I know a few who do play baseball or played up until other things got in the way. Chicago of course has its softball leagues as well. That said those who play are the minority.
My “sport” is bicycling and it has always been me against the course. I started when I was 11 years old. I just don’t have the interest in organized sports and even less in organized team sports.
For a defective patholgy of “football” and other sports, google “amarillo jocks murder goth student”. You see, in Texas, hig-school football is revered like no other activity. Texas high schools have football facilites that rival many college programs. A number of years ago, some Amarillo high school jocks tormented and eventually murdered a “goth” kid (because he was different) by chasing him and running him over with a car. The jocks were prosecuted; the jury acquitted them because “the big football championship” was the following week and the school could not afford to have their “star players” locked up. In essence, they got away with murder. This is not inly an indictment of “sports” but also of Texans.
As an aside, I experienced bullying from jocks in my high-school days; the teachers were very “protective” of the jocks and could not be bothered with helpig solve the “problem” of bullying. . .
Over a 15 year period, we sent four of our children to a private parochial high school. In the mid nineties, when our oldest son began going there, it was a quaint little religious school with a very limited extra curricular athletic program. Ten years later, they were really pushing the sports. Our youngest daughter graduated last year, just in time. But, our middle daughter dressed in Goth, even though it was quite conservatively. The cheerleaders got to stretch the dress code a bit more, with clothing that was more revealing. Even in Wisconsin, I used to work with some guys who talked about high school football like it was the NFL. Last year, the staff at our daughter’s parochial high school had to address the bad behavior exhibited by some parents at the sporting events. One would think that adults could set a better example.
Yup – they’re starting earlier all the time.
I used to run around this open field in our old neighborhood (this is late ’90s). By the time we moved (’04) the field was the scene of serious, even epic battles involving elementary-age kids and their parents. Soccer. Kids don;t seem to just spontaneously play anymore. It has to be organized team sports – with parents bellowing like the aforesaid cape buffaloes on the sidelines.
I find the the poorer the neighborhood the more kids play on their own. The richer it is the more confined and organized it becomes.
We live not far from Va Tech. The players – including the loathsome Vick brothers – are treated as minor deities, untouchable – to be worshipped.
I know a guy – a grossly overweight couch potato guy – who is a rabid Tech fan. He and I once got to talking about Vick. I got mad and told him – correctly, I believe – that he’d be extremely upset if a low-IQ ghetto thug moved in next door. But I pointed out that if said low IQ ghetto thug is wearing a Va Tech jersey and is star player, he’d forget all about the low IQ ghetto thug part. Even to the extent of the low IQ ghetto thug committing horrible acts (as both Vicks did) … so long as they catch that pass or make that down..
Eric, this is spot on! I live in collegiate football crazy State College, PA – home of the Penn State University Nittany Lions. I have been trying unsuccessfully to explain what you write about here to the football-addled do-dos I meet in the area almost daily. They just think I’m crazy – but thank God I’m awake, informed, and aware – and have been for years.
So thanks for writing this one Eric. Now instead of my trying to explain how they are football addled, I can just send them to this essay – which they probably won’t read anyway.
You bet, Fred – and, thanks for the kind words!
I’m not so sure about this one, Eric.
I play football, and follow it closely. I immensely enjoy the competitive nature of the game. As a person who played Tight End (insert jokes here) in high school and college, I often was responsible for blocking a fast, agile defensive end. It was his strength, skill, and agility versus mine. It was his dedication to practice and hours spent in the gym, versus mine. It was his situational awareness and ability to think quickly on his feet, versus mine. A good football player has masterful athleticism and drive, but a great football player can THINK.
Perhaps there is a difference between a participant and an observer. Football, to me, is a release as your describe, but it keeps me from acting irrationally when dealing with the difficult society we live in. I become angry and upset at the injustices emanating from Washington on a daily basis, but after a game with my friends I can confront the issues logically, calmy, and with purpose.
You played – so you did something. As opposed to some dude gawping at the TeeVee and pumping his fist because “we” just scored a touchdown….
You are a competitive athlete. Perhaps I am imagining things, but it seems at one time, people watched sports to see feats of greatness that others accomplished. To admire them for all the things you stated. It didn’t really matter what team they were on or who won. The accomplishments and sportsmanship were what mattered. You won because you were better. You played a better game, were more prepared, skilled, dedicated. You deserved it. I think this is absolutely fine. No problem.
The gist of what Eric is getting at is the pathological fan. They do not play the game. They are not an athlete. They don’t watch to see others performing amazing acts of athleticism. They simply live vicariously through the “team” as if they are a part of it. In reality they are not. They are fanatics. They HATE it when “their” team is bested. They don’t say…Damn…that guy is good. They hate them…for making “their” team look bad.They like it when the offender gets hurt.
I guess there are worse things they could be doing…they could be burning people at the stake in the name of something. The mentality is the same.
Thumbs up for another great column, Eric! I’ve been saying the same thing for years now, about all the “sports Vikings” who will piss themselves if you ever get in their face anywhere outside of a stadium, but God help you if you wear the wrong color jersey to a bullshit football game. Overpriced beer, security (probably soon to be TSA) grabbing your balls, standing in line to take a leak, crawling over people to get to your seat…even worshiping at the sport/state temple is a miserable experience, much less being surrounded by the bleating men-sheep. I used to watch football, but gave up when it started turning into an excuse to parade some heavily armed tax feeders around with a gaudy banner (probably made in China).
Go Hunting. Kill something. Eat it. Repeat.
Great thought Harry. For a moment there, I thought I was on Mark’s Daily Apple. lol
Great article. I have been following you for a few months now and love your blog. I’m an auto mechanic by trade and an ex Republican turned libertarian so your posts are typically right up my alley.
You could extend the analogy to political party activism as well. Being an ex-Republican party activist I know all to well the team sports parallel. We’re up when we win, down when we lose. Those who don’t like sports must be political party activists.
The idea that society and churches have been attempting to emasculate men was reinforced when I read “Wild At Heart” by John Eldridge. Society (women in particular) wants to tame men to make them manageable, but it’s impossible, at least for manly men.
When they do succeed in taming them, then they wonder where all the men are.
I usually really like your articles, but I’m not sure I can agree with this one. Football is a personal choice of entertainment. It drives me nuts when libertarians say that others aren’t liberty-minded when they do things like watch football or watch American Idol or have some particular hobby. What does it have to do with liberty? Aren’t people exercising their liberty when enjoying the entertainment that they personally like? Being a libertarian means that you believe people should be able to live their life how they want to live it, as long as they aren’t aggressing against others. I’m sure you probably like to watch certain shows or movies that have to do with cars. Some people like to watch sports. So what? I have enough space in brain to watch football and still know what it going on the world.
I didn’t say it ought to be forbidden. I said it’s vacuous and distracting.
Eric, this post took me back a ways. Back c. 1970, Nebraska played in my hometown’s bowl game. I went to that game and was impressed by the fans’ school spirit.
Fast forward to 1982-84, when I was stationed at Offutt AFB near Omaha. That’s when I realized the truth. Nebraskans don’t cheer wildly for their Cornhuskers because of pride or school spirit — they do it because they have absolutely nothing else to live for. From August to December, football is their alpha and omega. Instead of “Amen,” they probably end their prayers with “Go Big Red!” The clincher came at the grocery store when I saw boxes of trash can liners with the “Go Big Red!” label. The liners were red, and profits from their sale went to the NU athletic department. That’s when I knew I was in a bizarre parallel universe.
Perhaps it’s the climate in such places — once the harvest is finished, there’s little to do. And staying outdoors for very long is dangerous when it’s bitterly cold, so people are cooped up inside. Regardless, now my favorite college team is whoever is playing against Nebraska any given week..
I can’t understand the obsession with sports. My retired step father sits at home and watches football from 7-11pm everyday. If one of the local teams is playing, I can tell if it’s a good or bad play just by the way he is screaming. This is o the opposite side our 5 bedroom house with my door closed.
When I was younger I got dragged along to these local sports spectacles on a weekly basis. I witnessed some truly amazing moments but those were very few and far between. The rest of the time was filled witnessing drunken brawls and boredom. Time would always CRAWL by.
If I compare that the times I’ve spent working on my car, I’m amazed at how quickly time flies by and the feeling of accomplishment I get after I do a repair or solve a complex problem. It makes me want to fix something bigger and do it better. After watching a football game I just want to go to sleep.
well Pedro, you do better than I do. I can’t make it through the first half without falling asleep. A productive hobby is far more satisfying to me as well. I’ve tried to play golf…but chasing a ball with a stick…I mean seriously, who pays money to do that?
I see many here seem to enjoy PRODUCTIVE effort over mindless activity.
Well….Time to go wrench on my 84 CJ7 frame off resto-project.
(University of West Virginia Mountaineers if you must know).
There is a silver lining of sorts to the whole spectacle, of course, and that is marketing opportunities.
One of the best days I ever had driving taxi was during an ASU Sundevils v. University of Arizona Wildcats game. I bought one of those white markers to write on my windows, and on the rear window put in huge letters “I brake for all animals except WILDCATS!” You would not believe the tips I was getting from the drunk Sundevils fans. I had an absolute blast.
VERY nicely done Eric – one of your best!
Yep. The clover conditioning starts early. Pep rallies, our team vs your team. All part of the system. Transitions very nicely to the two party political system. I revile it as well: totally, completely-meaningless-drivel. I used to play sports and enjoyed the competition and team work, though I favored solitary sports like martial arts and track and field, I also enjoyed team sports. I enjoyed playing: ME personally. However, I’d rather take a beating than attend a sporting event as a fan.
Nothing sadder than a fat out of shape drunk moron strapping on a vicarious pair-Soap opera for men.
You hit a nerve. Most of the aggressive clover-esque behavior is simply displaced anger from personal emasculation. They must “prove” to themselves they are not emasculated. Especially when confronting somebody who does not share the emasculation behavior patterns….I mean….who do you think you are anyway?
Twitching little dysfunctional green clover child brains in big fat financial slave “man” bodies dressed in “their” team colors waving their stupid flags.
you’re with us or against us you know.
At some point sports changed from being about watching INDIVIDUAL athletes and teams achieving personal greatness, and thus being deserving of admiration. Instead it is now about vicarious validation of self worth.
sickening….I’m glad you wrote this…but be prepared for the red hot clover hate. This dysfunction runs deep in our society.
Thanks for the kind words (and excellent analysis).
As far as Clovers: Let ’em come. I’ve decided to take my stand, come what may. I’m under no illusion that the odds are stacked against me – against all liberty-minded people who are still individuals. And I don’t pretend to be a tough guy.
But I am a guy who will say what’s on his mind – and stand up for the things I consider non-negotiable.
Real toughness is 100% mental.
Why do big “tough” guys always work for smarmy little politicians?
Because they are well fed. They do not possess enough “toughness” to go it alone.
The difference between the smarmy politician and guys like us is.. we are not sociopaths.
I understand clovers well enough I could manipulate them if I chose, but like you: I find that to be unseemly and unenlightened behavior. I just want to be left alone to follow my path and simply wish to extend the favor to others.
Clovers:Tough Guys:Sociopaths-The perfect co-dependent menage a trois. IE:modern society.
I have noticed the common frustration in this thread with people wishing to have substantive conversations with others. I share this as well, It is quite frustrating, when all people want to talk about is Survivor, the Kardashians, Lady Gaga, or what such and such team did this weekend. If you do broach a challenging subject all you get is a dumbfounded stare or worse yet-seething hate.
I stopped watching “TV” in college and haven’t looked back, I’m going on 2 decades without the plug in drug..WOW!
Best thing for a TV- “THROW IT IN THE WOODS!!”
But what about spending the time instead on the intertubes reading, posting, writing and discussing instead? 🙂 (which I do far too much of I think)
oh of course. During the 90’s just prior to the interwebs, there was an explosion of TV for smart people…remember “The Operation”? Or Beyond 2000 etc. TLC, Discovery and THC. All were GREAT when they started. Now…Ugh. Every so often I get caught somewhere and try to watch some TV. Having been away from it for so long, its like watch “OW! my Balls!” and the ministry of truth..plus various soft porn channels…good grief.
Interwebs are worthwhile in the right enclaves, but lately I’ve been doing less, just because of the throwing pearls before online phenomena.
When the internet first started out and wasn’t such a mass phenomena it was truly great.
Thanks for forming one of my enclaves Eric!!
I’ve been around since before the web. I remember when when usenet groups like alt.sex where actual real discussion groups. People could discuss topics of any sort without spammers or people demanding it be made safe for children.
As to cable TV I remember the higher quality programming. I remember TLC before it became a freak show channel. I particularly liked the furniture guys. I’ve refinished a number of pieces of I scavenged from the trash. Old solid wood stuff. Quality.
I’ve always wondered how you manage that Eric. The “I am a guy who will say what’s on his mind – and stand up for the things I consider non-negotiable” part. From the outside it would seem you work for a living, mostly employed by car manufacturers who I assume more or less represent entrenched social interests. How can you be so vocal without suffering shunning by the people who pay you?
I have my own methods but they wouldn’t work for you. What’s your secret? Inquiring minds and all that …
I don’t work for the car companies! I just review their cars. The cars are sent to me (and other car journalists) by press fleet management companies that work for the car companies. You get “on the list” of people who get cars to test drive if you have a large enough audience to justify it. I’ve been reviewing cars for about 20 years now and over that period have been a contributor to most of the “biggies” – and still write for some magazines and papers that have a decent circulation. Plus here, of course.
What we have here, in my estimation, is a huge case of arrested development. Could we blame it on plastics exposure; the feminization of American public education; the rampant incidence of one-parent homes, that parent being most frequently the mother with the male parental unit either completely absent or only present on a highly restricted basis; heavily propaganda-laced media piped into ears and eyes attached to young minds filled with mush; or, perhaps, a toxic cocktail of all-of-the-above, promoted by the military-industrial complex, i.e. the greedy, self-promoting, narcissistic, degenerates at the levers of the corporatist state?
We know the effect, and emasculation is the word, I’m afraid.
Thank God I’m married to a real man. There was a game on the TV in the place where I met my spouse, and if he had said even one word about that game, or diverted his eyes from my face to watch it, once, after we had been introduced, I would not have found him attractive.
I cannot enjoy lunch in the company break room now unless the room is stuffed with people who speak nothing but Mandarin, or unless I wear stereo headphones, that will drown out the idiot savants who cannot think of or speak of anything outside of their jobs, other than their fantasy football teams or the latest game. When they are not monotoning (yes, that’s a word) about them, they are interacting with their PRECIOUS –their so-called “smart” phones about them.
Now, I like sports: Sports that have a point. Like those involving skis, sleds, horses, hiking boots, fishing rods, canoe paddles, and firearms.
Could one of these so-called sports fanatics pitch a tent in the dark? Could he steer a canoe, or would he be one of the goofs sitting sideways of the stream on a rock bar during a simple “float” trip in the Ozarks?
Could one of them catch a fish if he was hungry? If he did catch a fish, would he know what kind it is and whether or not it is good to eat, or how to clean and cook it with a minimum of tools? If he found himself in competition for a fishing spot with a grizzly bear (and all bears are fishing enthusiasts), could he defend himself in the attack and possibly prevail, or has he remained intentionally ignorant of guns, even basic gun safety, because “guns are too dangerous”?
What if the predator were two-legged and standing at the bottom of his hallway stairs at 2:00 AM?
I am a female, and I suspect that a lot of these guys are bigger pu**!@s than I am.
Excellent, Kate – and, amen.
I think my wife would have run as fast as her legs could carry her had I mentioned “the game” when we were dating….
HA! good one. The only thing worse than a sports fan is a FANTASY sports fan for cripes sakes!
You are right Sports: Hunting, Fishing, Martial arts etc even to include some motorsports as they are pushing technical boundaries and are thus of material use.
most of what are considered sports would more properly be defined as GAMES.
Good for you, and well-said. Skin a buck, catch a fish (and eat it too)…use a weapon competently. I’d consider myself a failure as a father if I don’t pass this on to my son–and my daughter. Not to mention: change a tire, change the oil and, if they’re interested enough, rebuild an engine.
I’m considering making at least a basic rebuild a condition of their car ownership. I suspect that having some “skin in the game” with a car they’ve personally fixed makes them a bit more cautious driving it.
The NWO technocratic control-freaks HATE self-sufficient, independent people. We’re their worst nightmare!
Suck it, you freaks. We’re coming for you!
Hey CitznKate, great post. “What we have here, in my estimation, is a huge case of arrested development.”
Yes, 100%. The best way of domesticating an animal is to train or breed it so that it never grows up. A dog is nothing more than a wolf who never grows up. An adult wolf has its own interests, its own purpose and its own desires — but an adult dog is simply a puppy; its emotions, its desires are bound up with its parents, its caretakers, in short, with you, its Master.
How do you domesticate a human? You prevent that person from ever developing an independent sense of self, of its own desires and its own needs. Like a child, you make that person dependent on its Masters — dependent the same way a child is on the support and opinions of someone bigger and more powerful.
I was picking up some lunch one day and had a shirt of the local team on. The shirt was a gift and was one that was clean and ready to wear that day. This local homer comes up and is all animated yeaa how about that Johnny Jockstrap did you see that run the other day. I just ignored him and went about my business. He commented what can’t I get any love for the home team. I said I don’t care about that crap it is just a shirt. He walked away dejected. I laughed.
I wonder if anyone has ever asked professional athletes, in mock seriousness, why they wear their IQs on their jerseys.
Could not have said it better myself (and I have been trying!)
I like to tweak sports fans (the “fanatic” ones anyway) when “their” team wins some big deal, resulting in a big payoff for the players of that particular child’s game.
“So, when do you get your check?” I ask in all innocence.
“The one where ‘your’ team shares their huge winnings with you, their loyal fan. Couldn’t you use a few extra bucks? Since your enthusiasm helped make it possible for them to get this big payday, isn’t it only right that they share the wealth? They DO care about YOU, their loyal supporter, don’t they?”
I’ve gotten various responses to this over the years — but no one has yet told me about receiving any checks in the mail. How about that?
Marc, that’s a great one!
I hope you don’t mind if I borrow the tactic!
Great article – exactly how I feel about most “men” today.
I would just add that Sunday is a Holy Day, and as you allude to in your article, football detracts from that, too.
Actually, Sunday is “Holy Day” for football fans precisely because of the game’s ubiquity on that day. It cannot possibly be an accident that all of the NFL games are broadcast on Sunday. The message there is just too obvious.
At the end of the day affletes are just entertainers. All this talk of redistribution and tax increases from the economically illiterate marxist rockstar messiah, are the affletes and court jester entertainers going to pay their fair share. When its worse under comrade dear leader I bet the serfs will clamor for them to pay their fair share. After all were in this together in this golden collective rock star utopia.
I should have said this earlier but that first picture is just flat out gross! Blech!
This article was forwarded to me in an email from an acquaintance. It is getting around. It is well written and poignant.
I would like to add that if you discuss, or worse engage in, any serious issue, you are going to pay a high price. I have attempted many things (http://Kozlowski.org) and found that the wrath you receive mixed with your own error is devastating.
The photo you include of Jesus playing football is exactly the prevailing attitude. We celebrate Jesus going to the cross for us on Sunday morning and have “fellowship” with football in the afternoon with other believers satisfied that we are doing the right thing. Monday morning we are back in submission to the culture instead of the Lord. Let us not dwell on the fact that Jesus was rejected by the culture of His day and we are not. Are we in the church at Sardis?
My efforts today at privacy (http://ShofarPortfolio.com) or autonomy on the web (http://ShofarDomain.com) are typically met with “that is good, but…”, rather than “that is good, how can I help”. People don’t want to get their hands dirty, or worse put themselves at risk. The greatest risk we may be willing to take is to root for the other side.
Samuel Adams quote is appropriate here: “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude, than the animating contest of freedom—go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
So true, John, so very true. And so very, very sad. The whole what-we-are-and-what-we-do-on-Sunday-morning-versus-the-other-six-and-half-days-of-the-week issue is especially painful and lies at the heart of the problem.
Professional “sports” is merely part of the “bread and circuses” that the “powers that be” use to placate (and subjugate) the population.
Oh give it up Eric. We know you’re a Mountaineer fan.
I don’t even know who that is!
Seriously… I deliberately avoid “knowledge” of sports. Just as I consider it a point of honor that I have never – not even once – watched the Kardashians.
I attempted to watch an episode while parked in a Hotel for a week. Lawd have mercy on me! It was so painful to watch that I turned the boob tube off. So THIS is what numbskulls were jacked up about in TeeVee land? If that shit, and similar crap, is what people get off on then a full out Zombie Apocalypse is welcome by me just to thin out the herd.
I know. It’s incomprehensible to me how anyone with a functioning cerebral cortex, however underdeveloped and underpowerd, can stand to watch even sixty seconds of such crap. The fact that people actually LOOK FORWARD to watching HOURS of it tells me that our society is already too far gone to be redeemed.
“underpowered” – sorry.
I follow all the football codes: rugby (league and union), association, aussie rules, Gaelic, and gridiron. I like the history of each, and the comradery it can foster. I have fond memories of holidays, and gatherings with family and friends. I’m sure many folks around the world can claim similar experiences.
But, still, I never let that get in the way of my desire for absolute freedom and liberty. I fully understand that organized sports has become a pacifying tool of the state in recent years more than ever before.
I used to tell people “I’m not into sports”. Then Ron Paul didn’t get the nomination I took a fantasy team. My mind is now sufficiently numbed. Please pass the opium.
Great article, Eric! I agree 100%.
I read a wonderful paperback book quite a few years ago that opened my eyes and explained a lot of what I was seeing in my family and friends… they can no longer carry on a conversation about anything, INCLUDING their favorite TV shows and sports teams.
When asked about real life topics (law, economics, family education, family economy, books they’ve read, the original American Dream = an Independent Livelihood), their faces just go blank and their mouths hang partially open. I’m not exaggerating! It is so sad.
The Plug-In Drug
Television, Computers, and Family Life
Marie Winn – Author
Check out the Table of Contents … it hints at the eye-opening content of this book.
Keep your wonderful articles coming. You are adding value to the world.
But remember: all value is subjective.
Most of the commenters seem to share your views … as do I.
When I was invited to a co-workers home I recall that all the guests would get very animated over a purely fictitious television show but in no way could carry a conversation on anything substantive or truly meaningful. That proved to me that I was moving amongst cultural zombies.
I know exactly what you mean, Eric. In my context it is rugby, or “Rakbû”; but the phenomenon is precisely the same. One thing you left out was the role of sports fanaticism in establishing school pecking orders, and watch out if you really couldn’t give a shit.
I retain a (largely dormant) tolerance for association football, because it had been the game of those who got the short end of the Apartheid deal back in the day. Now, however, there is a tendency on high to favour – and hence to breed – that constituency and attitude for which politics is much the same sort of thing as soccer, i.e. a matter of team loyalties. Many ANC supporters are “ANC fans” as they might be Pirates or Chiefs fans; and while Mr Mandela might have done much to bring these to better insights, Mr Zuma is positively encouraging them. It is in his interest that there is a disconnect between political support as an element of self-identity and government performance: people complain that he is doing nothing for them, but continue to vote for him because “ANC fans” is what they are.
But be that as it may. I’m seeing more and more evidence that that is changing.
With the recent soccer world cup there was a small rage for car door mirror “socks” in all the national flags. I didn’t get ones because my car’s door mirrors are already black.
Eric – Since we’re discussing team sports and all… what are the chances of getting a local sign shop to print up a shitload of the Anti-Clover design stickers (i.e. your avatar pic) in say, 3″x3″ and 6″x6″? I have a general rule about having stickers on the Mustang, but I’d make an exception in this case! Sell ’em on the site here and maybe find an appropriate cause to donate excess proceeds or something…
We’ve been trying to work that out!
Bumper sticker – even T-shirts… something. I wish I knew more about the nuts and bolts of that stuff. Also, there’s the time issue… it’s another thing to do… and I probably don’t need to tell you how much I’ve got to do!
Shoot me an email and I might be able to assist with sorting that out.
First you’ll need to explain exactly what a “Clover” is. Most folks assume it’s just a type of plant.
no-it’s a signaling device. Noboby knows except the people who you wish to signal.
Who is John Galt.
The Church of the SubGenius.
Guy Fawkes Mask
Look at tabs at top of clovercam
The name is from a local gadfly with the moniker “clover”.
Cafe Press makes it pretty simple:
One of the sites I go to similar to this one uses zazzle for our coffee cups and t-shirts, etc. I’ll check out Cafe Press.
BTW Eric this one clover “RG” is just trolling you. He is some rabid socialist who thinks he is cleverly mocking you. Technically he is mocking you with comment like “your worst post” your lowest moment etc.
I wish you would just delete posts like that without comment, this guy is a retard and does not deserve any space in your blog, let him fill up reddit with that statist stupidity, or CNN.com comments section
I hear you, CC –
But I let a few of these get by for purposes of intellectual vivisection. I don’t fear the low-rent attempts at derision these Clovers proffer. Not tooting my own horn, here. It’s just not much of a fair fight when dealing with the typical Clover.
Allowing their verbal vomitus to remain posted here is the most effective way to prove your point by letting them prove it for you. You’re definitely doing the right thing.
Every Sunday, I watch football with my wife, sister, and mom (occasionally other relatives). We enjoy the games, but most of the discussion is political. This football season much of the discussion in between plays involed me and my wife trying to convince my family not to vote as there was no difference between Romney and Obama. My relatives were in the “anybody but Obama” camp. Anyway, the point is, through these gatherings I have actually convinced my mom that the military is just another extension of the govt. and not made up of valorous, heroic, civil servants; the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” is evil, and worshipping the flag is idolatry (being a thinking Catholic, she can not deny this), among other non-conventionl but Librtarian positions. She thinks being “conservative” means loving the armed forces, but I slowly see a change in her opinions – she just admitted that we should not have entered Viet-Nam. This is just a sample of my Sunday football conversation. Yes, I get wound up during games, and I realize it has no impact on my life at all. I think the point I am making is what someone above tried to make – there is a middle ground. I can know the standings, feel attached to a team, etc., while still discussing why Lincoln was a fascist, how Keynes theories destroyed Western economies, how the public schools are the most destructive force in the United States, why Reagan wasn’t really a conservatie hero, how the government has manipulated the populace into unnecessary wars,etc.
By the way, the Eagles are 3 and 5 and will probably lose to the Cowboys on Sunday, and this will kill their (our!)playoff chances. My week will be ruined!
Good stuff, Steve – agreed.
I’ve got no issue with watching sports as occasional entertainment. My issue is with the fanatic obsession that’s characteristic of all-too-many people. People who have no real hobbies or interests – other than “the game.” Who seem unable to discuss anything other than “the game.” Who subsume their identities with “their” team. Who believe “we” won … and so on.
Thanks Eric. I roll my eyes every Monday when I hear grown men complain about their fantasy teams. We definitely view things the same way.
This is the first time I ever commented, but I always read your articles through LRC. Keep up the great writing!
Real fans get their team logo tattooed on their calf and then watch the team leave town for greener sucker pastures. Brilliant!
Or, worse yet in more extreme cases, people who get their favorite player’s number and name tattooed on a prominent part of their anatomy only to see that player get traded or become a free agent and go play somewhere else. I’ve actually known a couple of people to whom that’s happened. Needless to say, I enjoy rubbing their stupidity in their faces every time I run into them.
Great article Eric.
People like Chomsky have said the same kind of thing – and with good reason. The folks who run the show don’t want the guy who pumps gas to start thinking about anything important, so they distract him with pro sport.
It’s just the same here in the UK, with wall to wall football and events like the Olympics blown out of all proportion so as to crowd any important thoughts.
You’ve obviously touched a few raw nerves, but don’t let that put you off.
(missing word now inserted!)
Thanks, Peter –
And, agreed. Ditto “addled-by-celebrity” (the royals, in your case; the Kardashians over here).
Welcome to the site, by the way!
I agree that many get emotionally involved in sports for the reasons you cite; i.e., the vicarious thrill of defeating another “tribe” through identifying with a winning team. Just as ancient man must have felt safe and secure due to the victory of his fellow tribesmen over an enemy, I believe that many feel “safe and secure” when an NFL or college team with which they identify appears strong and capable. A winning season is satisfying while a losing one is unsettling. But part of the appeal of sports is simply that it is a diversion from the constant barrage of the State. More relaxing to watch Sports Center than CNBC news, or to listen to a few morons ranting about some football game on the radio than to listen to politically partisan talk shows or newscasts in which every lead story begins with “President Obama said today that the White House will clamp down on…” I listen to audio books or other self-selected fare while commuting, but I am sure that for many, sports is just a less unsettling alternative to the State-influenced media. It’s hard to escape the 24/7 propaganda mill.
I use to like football but now it is just statist sissified crap…Goodell’s father was a political terrorist so it is just normal that the NFL is state worshiping stupidity.
And what do these idiot “Fans” do whilst watching their bread and circus? guzzle alcohol and eat pizza which makes them even more stupid and weak…Wussified violent monkeys.
Good article. I see this all the time.
Nothing wrong with watching a game or two, but I really can’t see the chest thumping as anything more than what you said. MY TEAM WON, THEREFORE I AM A MAN!!!!
Many people who root for the US while they bomb the snot out of some helpless country are the same way. “WE are so going kick their ass.”
It used to piss me off when I was overseas that there were armchair warriors puffing up their chests. That really is the definition of a chicken hawk in my mind. It’s not enough to have never been to war, It’s not enough to support the war, it’s puffing out your chest like you are a big bad mother because you supported the war.
You don’t support the war then you are a pussy. You support the war then you’re a big man. Really? Well I didn’t support the war and I fought in it, so what does that make me? I know their answer, a traitor and a pussy. Ironic isn’t it, the armchair warriors telling people who served that they are pussies because they no longer support wars?
Support the war if you must, don’t serve if you don’t want to, but don’t act like a warrior because your team won.
We are two time world war champions. I predict a 3peat.
Jesus and his Honda
Thank you Tor for that image. 🙂 I will have to mention it to my priest. That is a good use of photoshop and a play on words.
I’m still looking for Jesus and His AR-15/M-16. I remember seeing it once not long ago, but haven’t been able to find it on Google Images.
That can’t be Jesus’ Honda. Hondas were much bigger in his day. In fact, 10 days after his ascension into heaven, there were 120 of his followers “together in one accord.”
I don’t get it, either – this business that you’re “tough” and “manly” if you “support the troops” but a puss if you don’t cheer wars you don’t fight in, in which random strangers you never met who never did a thing to you are to be horribly killed – usually at a distance, so that they don’t even have the opportunity to fight back.
I see this as a legacy of the War of Federal Aggression – which spread the bacillus of Yankee/northern bloodlust across the land.
Whenever I stop to think about it, it just blows my mind that the residents of the Southern states today, people who’ve hailed from that part of the country for generations and who almost certainly have ancestors who were victims of the War of Federal Aggression, are some of the loudest cheerleaders today for the Federal Warfare State. It certainly didn’t take long for “Yankee” indoctrination to take its course. One wonders how many of today’s residents of, say, the lower Shenandoah Valley have any historical recollection of what “the troops,” creatures like the war criminal Philip Sheridan, did during the waning days of that criminal war to their home turf and their ancestors who lived on it. Any thinking, self-respecting human being would not only want NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with anything emanating out of that satanic burg on the Potomac, but would actively campaign to keep the memory of the past alive and prevent it from happening again on a greater scale in the future.
The flag waving “support the troops by sending them off to die a horrible death in some typhoid infested waste land fighting a miserable pointless guerrilla war against a stone age people for profit and political gain, or worse yet be maimed horribly to live a life of pain and suffering or be mentally scarred for life because I had to watch a kid die that I shot because he was defending his parents”
But look I have a yellow ribbon on my car!
Freedom has a price!
not I personally.
Just want to make that crystal clear…metaphorically speaking. This is what they are saying with all that support the troops crap. I blessedly have not had to participate, thanks to a family history of military service that passed on wisdom in this area to me.
And I DO support the troops, I want to bring them home and allow them to live a normal life with their families and friends.
Monty, the biggest cheerleaders for unprovoked invasion are commonly known as CHICKENHAWKS on LRC’s website! They never saw active duty, but they wanna see our “team” on the ground in Iran ASAP.
I am surprised we do not see even more combat video games for the dopes. A “game” to experience operating an unmanned drones while splattering a family in their village.
Chickenhawks never visit a VA hospital or a rescue mission to see the gut-wrenching misery of returning vets: disfigurement, neurological injuries, missing limbs, blindness, paralysis, hearing loss, divorce, and horrific depression and suicide.
Howdy Eric, Yah even if you don’t cheer the drone wars you’re a pussy.
It’s certainly twisted.
Organized sports competitions have probably been held since the earliest of civilizations. Players and spectators alike seem to admire great feats of skill and strength. When you are watching any professional sport you are seeing players that are the best in that particular sport. You are watching the best of the best compete.
Yet I can see it totally consumes people. i don’t totally understand it. Hell, I don’t get my fat friend who could not take his eyes off the TV during the Tour de France but probably hasn’t ridden a bike in 25 years.
Years ago in the UK a movement sprang up, fighting against the ludicrously unfair (and secretive gag orders) of the UK’s “family” courts (read ‘ass-raping of men courts’)
I was a fairly major figure in that movement – and few things disgusted me more than seeing men getting so het up and emotional about football, but just shrugging at the destruction of the UK’s families and culture.
I left that country about 8 years ago and from what I hear it’s just dived ever deeper down into destruction. Friends in the UK tell me “You wouldn’t recognize the place”.
Yeah I would. That’s why I left.
Please tell me you didn’t come here to escape totalitarianism?
And now it’s followed you here!
Seriously. America is descending so rapidly into Euro-style authoritarianism it’s startling.
Sadly, the UK is usually always a bellwether for what happens on this side of the pond. I’m afraid that what you ran away from “over there” has just followed you “over here.”
The only sport-ish event I watch and loosely follow is Formula 1, even there I don’t have any particular loyalty to any team or driver in particular. This season, I’ve been rooting for Felipe Massa not to get fired from Ferrari just because he got a little gun shy after being hit in the face by a coil spring at 180+mph at Spa. Some of the smaller teams have put on good shows at various tracks and there have been a few hilarious unscripted moments in the assorted interviews. I don’t care who wins the championship and I have no idea whatsoever who I’ll follow next season – or even if I’ll watch it next season, since Speed lost the teevee rights to NBC. If NBC fucks up F1 as bad as Fox fucked up NASCAR (don’t put someone on teevee in front of hundreds of millions of people if they can’t speak English worth a shit), or if NBC turns it into a three hour commercial ala Fox’s M.O., I’ll go back to not watching anything.
I never gave a shit about football, never will. I learn just enough to be able to get through workplace discussions without coming off as an elitist prick… other than that, fuck it.
“I never gave a shit about football, never will. I learn just enough to be able to get through workplace discussions without coming off as an elitist prick… other than that, fuck it.”
One doesn’t have to be condescending. Just say: I don’t follow football. If that makes them think you’re an elitist prick, then they’re the pricks – and not worth bothering about.
I tend to agree. However, in my (now previous) profession, any character trait that allows the collective to alienate the individual is politically very dangerous. People are disposable liabilities in the workplace. It sucks, and it didn’t used to be this way, but it is what it is. The Owners want obedient, docile, productive “team members”. Step out of line and you get to go stand in another one – the unemployment line.
I doubt I could operate in today’s “work environment.” Thank god, I lit out fer the territories – and went freelance/self-employed – back in the late ’90s. I’d probably be on heavy drugs – or on the streets – if I had to try to deal with office bullshit as it exists now.
Of course his crime is “looking and talking Gangbangerish”. When the Bilderbergers meet or the world trade people or democrats or republicans or any of these sort of gangs none of their people get busted for carrying weapons.
Check this out:
When Should You Shoot a Cop
Wouldn’t it be better if legislators who provide government with unlawful power were rubbed out*?
*I used to read those Crime Does Not Pay comic books back in the late 1940s. I guess they would be be laughed at today since legal crime pays quite well.
Wouldn’t it be better if legislators who provide government with unlawful power were rubbed out*?
That would be a great start, but a much more effective move for the long term would be to rub out the VOTARDS who put these power-crazed creatures into office in the first place.
htttp://Larken Rose.com. Mr Rose did federal time for tax protesting. Now he lectures at schools and seminars. Maybe when Wesley. Snipes gets out this coming July, he’ll join the cause.
Why is it a guy who pays millions in taxes gets caged for not paying enough millions?
Also, would others consider Lil Wayne a 2A hero for doing time in New York because NKVD-NYPD found an assault weapon in his tour bus. Is his real crime looking and talking Gangbangerish. Am I supposed to believe a multimillionaire is realling driving around busting caps into people?
Larken Rose is a real hero. Unlike some padded-up ape on the gridiron who caught a ball.
Ditto on Lil Wayne. I hate cRap music and everything about that culture. But his right to possess a gun is no less than my right to possess a gun. I feel for the guy – because I feel for all of us.
Rose operates on a shoe string budget, yet manages to get around the country to spread his message. I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. I saw him at one of his two “Escaping the Myth” seminars. He does a great job of presenting his ideas in a clear way that makes it easy for even the most hardened statist could grasp. Go to his site at http://larkenrose.com for details on upcoming seminars. If you can’t make one, please buy his book “The Most Dangerous Superstition” available from his site or at Amazon – http://tinyurl.com/alg59gw
Here is an excerpt from the book (Pages 132-133):
Liberals and conservatives both insist that someone needs to be “in charge,” because that is the reality they were raised in: the only thing required of them was that they remain obedient to authority. From that training, they have little or no idea what to do if left to their own devices, if no one is telling them what to do. So they refuse to grow up and try to hallucinate into existence a superhuman “authority.” Paradoxically, even though there is no earthly species above human beings, they need to fabricate this super human entity out of nothing but human beings, and then try to bestow upon it superhuman qualities, rights and virtues.
The entire concept is delusional, but it is shared by the vast majority of people world over, who refuse to accept the fact that there is no shortcut to determining right and wrong, that there is no magic trick which will make truth and justice automatically prevail, that there is no “system” that can guarantee safety or fairness, and that everyday mortal human beings, with all of their deficiencies and shortcomings, are the best and only hope for civilization. There is no tooth fairy, or Santa Clause, or magical entity called “government,” which can make an immoral species behave morally, or make a group of imperfect people function perfectly. And the belief in such an entity, rather than being merely pointless and ineffective, drastically increases the overall stupidity, conflict, injustice, intolerance, violence, oppression and murder in human society. Nonetheless, most of those indoctrinated into the worship of “government” would rather cling to their familiar, horribly destructive, heinously evil, profoundly anti-human superstitions than grow up and accept the fact that there is no one above them, that there is no giant mommy or daddy to save the day, that they are at the top, and that each of them is personally responsible for deciding what he should do and then doing it. Sadly, they would rather suffer the hell of perpetual war and total enslavement than face the uncertainty and responsibility that comes with freedom.
The belief in “authority” negates and overrides nearly all of the positive effects of religious and moral beliefs. What most people call their “religion” is empty window dressing, and what most people tout as their moral virtue is irrelevant, as long as they believe in the myth of “authority.” Christians, for example, are taught things such as “If someone strikes you, turn the other cheek,” “Love your neighbor” (and even “Love your enemy”) and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto your.” Yet every so-called Christian who believes in “government” constantly forsakes these principles, advocating constant aggression against everyone – friend and enemy, neighbor and stranger – via the cult of “government.” To put on a show of being pious, religious, compassionate, loving and virtuous, while voting for a gang that promises to use violence to control the actions of everyone you know, is the height of hypocrisy. To refrain from personally robbing one’s neighbor, while pushing for someone else to do it, is both cowardly and hypocritical. Yet almost every Christian (and every member of every other religion) does such things on a regular basis by way of “political” advocacy.
As mentioned before, faith in “government” is a purely religious belief. As such, the vast majority of those who wear the label “atheist” are not actually atheists, because they believe in the god called “government.” They do not recognized it as a religious belief, of course, but their belief in that ethereal, superhuman savior of mankind (“authority”) is as deep and faith-based as any other religious belief. Ironically, atheists are often quick to point out the destruction that has been committed throughout history in the name of religion, but fail to notice the gruesome results of the god they bow to: “government.” The atheists are absolutely right to point out that when churches were the accepted “authority” – the organizations thought to have the right to forcibly control others – many of them committed large-scale, heinous acts of terrorism, torture, and murder. But what most modern atheists fail to realize, despite the clear evidence staring them in the face, is that they are members of the most destructive church in history, the church of “government,” which has managed to wreak havoc, death and destruction on a level far beyond what even the most vicious churches of the past did. For example, over the span of two hundred years, around one or two million people were killed in the religious wars known as “the Crusades.” In comparison, in half that amount of time in the twentieth century, over a hundred times as many people were killed by the “progressive policies” of collectivist “government.” Advances in technology no doubt played a large role in the increase in deaths, but the point is, whether the mask of “authority” is worn by a church or a state, the superstition is horribly dangerous, and the results horribly destructive. The fact that so many atheists eagerly condemn on form of the superstition, while vehemently advocating it in another form, shows an amazing degree of selective blindness. Often those most critical of oppression via “religion” are some of the most devout “true believers” in the god called “government.”
Very interesting. I have ignored Rose because all I knew about him was his “section 861” argument on income taxes. That argument is pure fantasy, so I figured he was just some kook. Thanks for showing me another side of him. “The Most Dangerous Superstition” is now on my wish list at amazon.
Incidentally, the section 861 argument is what landed him and Wesley Snipes in jail. Irwin Schiff has a much stronger argument against the income tax, based on what seem to be the inescapable implications of some Supreme Court decisions. That was unsuccessful too, though, and Schiff was still in jail the last I heard.
That was a hard lesson to learn for sure. He talked about it at the seminar. Now, like the rest of us, he pays his extortion fees (some battles just aren’t ready to be fought yet, IMHO). He is proving to be of much greater value outside. He’s very well spoken when it comes to shooting down statist arguments. Check out the comments in the vid for examples of how easily he pulls the rug out from under them.
Top-notch Eric! Some of your best and that’s a tough call.
A Will Griggian outpouring! A verbal samurai sword!
Spot-on analysis too. Truly, panem et circenses.
Thank you, sir!
Praise from you is always much appreciated – because I appreciate the quality of the source!
I absolutely hate football. Hate it when the season starts, can’t wait for the season to end. Hate all varieties as well – college, high school, professional. Dumbest sport in existence.
I have a passing interest in professional basketball, but it is a very mild interest.
My own thought is that sports represents the “bread and circuses” of modern life.
I never was interested during (relatively) normal times. Now, I actively revile it – the obsession; the hero worship – the way it trumps anything else, especially paying attention to things that matter – that may be life or death issues for us in the near-term future.
It’s stultifying and utterly counterproductive. What’s the upside to giving a damn about who wins the Super Bowl?
Touchdown Jesus!… Sweet lord. I’m cryin over that picture. In fact it’s even a microcosm of American foreign policy. God help us!
Also I’ve always thought there wasn’t much danger of the internet being turned off for the same reason.
NO TWIT OR FACEBORE?
VIVA LA REVOLUCION!!!
The caustic RG alluded to one point that I think should be clarified and amplified.
In terms of the “bread and circus” distraction/diversion for mass consciousness, NASCAR is almost as bad as the NFL.
Ditto fixation on (for instance) the Kardashians…
Almost? That’s a hard call. I simply don’t get it. Here we have people going quickly, and that admittedly takes skill, yet banking left for the duration. Where for the love of christ is the thrill in that? I used to work in an office where the water cooler talk was about NASCAR and I thought I was going to slip into a coma. Don’t get me wrong… I “enjoy” watching any endeavour done with great skill but I have no favorites. Never have. The kids know by now not to ask me.
NASCAR fans – hooboy! I worked in an office full of them, only one lady even knew anything about F1 (because her husband was a Porsch mechanic. No one had even heard of Kenny Roberts or Jay Springsteen (“Is he related to Bruce?Haha.” I’m not sure if any of these things are really “sports”, but the over the top vicarious fandom is truly mystifing; that they have hour-long shows discussing the game or the race is repulsive. Well, back to Halo 4…
I note the comments of “RG” in the vein of “the guilty dog always barks.” Of course, it’s fine to indulge in a bit of sport from time to time to amuse oneself and participate in collective behavior that’s “all in fun,” or, at least mostly so. The issue has to do with examining, as I posted, the effects of such societal promotion, as Eric has splendidly done in this, one of his best pieces here.
Those who don’t understand the effects, both obvious and LATENT, of what TPTB promote and put in front of their noses (pie holes, snouts) – those are the ones who are slated for “processing” down the road a bit, I suspect. Know thyself. Know thine enemy. Thine enemy is the state, in case you didn’t know, men who would be free.
The men who founded this country knew that. They tried to put in place something that might last, even against the scourge of human fallibility. Like all things made by men, it was corrupted over time by those (especially “voters”) who “didn’t examine their premises” well enough, as Ayn might say here. A long slippery slope.
Great column, Eric. My thoughts exactly.
Hilarious, Jesus running ‘interference’ for the runner, almost.
I used to enjoy parking myself on the couch on Saturday mornings to watch my college team play. Now, that I have awakened/grown up/think for myself, I have much better things to do: read, sail, etc.
There is hope; folks are slowly awakening to the inanity of the system, as evidenced by the fall in voter turnout.
Thanks, John –
And, me too. I get much more satisfaction out of actually doing something – be it reading a book, spending time with my wife, working on one of my bikes or cars… chopping wood – whatever.
It’s not just fuhhhhhhhhtttball, either. We got rid of TeeVee (except for Netflix DVDs). We immediately noticed the improvement in the quality of our lives (to say nothing of the $600 annually we save). Less “inert” time just staring at a TeeVee and being fed a steady diet of crap. More time to talk, to see, to listen… to do.
I recommend others try it, too. My best is most of them will like it!
Good article about the obsessive, misdirecting nature of football, and other pro sports. Taken in the right perspective, there is nothing wrong with watching or participating in sports. Used to watch too much of it myself. Know what cured me? The realization that the NFL is a bloated, extremely greedy entity that is definitely in bed with the fedgov. The IOC is even more (much more) evil than the NFL. So this year, I have watched about 20 minutes total of NFL games.
Watching on TV is bad enough. But if you attend a game in person, you will see just how Orwellian the experience can be. Mega overdoses of patriotic antics. If I ever see one more fighter jet overflight, it will NOT be because I’m at a game. Incessant cheerleader strip joint gyrations to fill the huge dead time blocks during commercials. Hawking of food, beer, souvenirs and parking at rates that are about 5 times higher that what could be considered a reasonable profit.
My thoughts, time and emotions are no longer consumed by the NFL. Although on a side note, I live in the Phoenix rein, and hate(d) the Cardinals. And I derived a lot of pleasure watching that pathetic team choke and gag their way to major “loser” status. But even that is behind me now. 🙂
In this respect, man has not evolved since ancient times. Case in point…the roman games which were held in massive coliseums where large numbers of citizens congregated to watch their gladiators fight to the death. I would have no doubts that back then the spectators acted in a similar manner as football fans today act. I’m sure there was plenty of drinking involved, people talking trash about their gladiator’s opponent, and I’m sure there were lots of drunken brawls after the events whether their gladiator won or lost. About the only discernible difference I can see is that players get injured now rather than killed…basically they’ve watered down the barbarism aspect, then added a bunch of extra padding and thrown an inflated ball into the mix.
One conclusion I can draw from all this is that being around large groups of drunken people are the last place I ever want to be. I’ve seen too many examples where pack mentality takes over large groups of drunken people and nothing good ever comes from it. I’ve found myself caught in the middle of it a few times when I was younger and I can’t imagine any sane person who would enjoy being caught up in a rioting crowd.
Personally I have no interest in spectator sports. It does absolutely nothing for me. I can think of a thousand more productive ways to spend my time than watching that kind of mindless crap. I have no control over the situation and I stand to gain nothing from the experience either in personal development or financial gain, so why would I bother with something so pointless? If I have frustrations I need to vent, I can go chop some wood or practice shooting targets…or try to get that one damn bolt loose that’s preventing me from pulling an engine. I can easily wear myself out in a couple of hours with that kind of activity and then my frustrations are gone and I’ve actually got something to show for my efforts other than a pile of empty beer cans and a headache.
Fuuuhhhtttball…throw it in the woods? More like throw it in the trash for me.
Its so anti-life and demasculatingin. Imagine a zoo where the fat weak caged tigers have to watch a fresh tiger get to make a kill and eat his prey from their spectator cage. Or a few tigers fight and compete for a mate conjugal-like while the housecats watch in melancholic confusion
Overly caged and sedentary tigers can’t breed and evolve in this kind of oppressive captivity. Soon you have a tiger-shaped blob where you once had a magnificent specimen of natural machinery. Extinct. No amount of cat-psychologists or tigerologists can stop the horrorshow frankenfeline devolution without restoring freedom.
Interesting thoughts, but way off base. You have no idea the demand for this form of entertainment in a market society. In fact, the demand could be greater as it will become increasingly important to be less violent toward your fellow man – you can’t show any signs of violence or else you could starve to death from a lack of trading partners.
I could make the same comparison about Dem Rednekked Motorheads that have to get their distracted aggression out by hearing that carburated engine roar with no catalytic converter – especially when said motor is rumbling on their testes and anuses.
Probably your worst piece ever. Very shallow.
The fact that there is such a demand proves my point. I suppose you love “the game.”
PS: I actually have (and work on) my “carburated” (sic) vehicles. It’s me actually doing something.
As distinct from imagining that “we” just scored…
Never played. Rarely watch.
Doesn’t seem you had much of a point other than you don’t like team based sporting events as entertainment. Although your car obsession is your own version of two minutes hate.
The fact remains that team based sporting events were extremely popular amongst the private societies of the American aboriginies and I have no doubt that they would still be popular – even more so – if our own society evolved without the state.
Trying to equate sporting enthusiasts to mindless state supporting drones is your lowest moment as a blogger.
The point was elaborated at length, RG –
Again: The obsession with sports that afflicts so many American men amounts to a diversion from reality – and a redirection of energy better spent on other things.
On my “car obsession”:
Key differences include that I actually do something myself. Not just watch others do something. I study mechanical engineering principles and then apply them – fixing and rebuilding engines, improving them to suit my needs. I just did a complete restoration of an old bike. I took a $50 hulk and returned it to as-new condition. With my hands. With my brain.
As distinct from gawping at the TeeVee and imaging “we” just scored a touchdown.
So analyzing individual/team performance and making predictions based on those analytics is “not doing something”?
Let me tell the entreprenuers they should stop what their dong. They’re not doing anything anyway.
Stop while you’re way behind.
Sure, it’s doing something… something pointless. Like debating whether The Brady Bunch was a better show than The Partridge Family. Developing “analytics” to show that Danny Bonaduce is more likely to get more air time than Eve Plumb… .
Fantasy Football means nothing – beyond the childish emotional investment in the doings of “your” team. It’s a game. Children play games. Only this game, you don’t even play. You just watch – and “fantasize.”
Get a life, RG.
Watching sports – worrying about sports – is an ersatz life. Someone else’s life.
Your hobby is enlightened while others are retarded? No, you’re not narcissistic.
Watching TeeVee isn’t a hobby.
Be fair, perhaps they do things differently down under. 😉
Watching TV is passive but actually doing/learning something is active.
Playing a sport, fixing your house/property, learning a skill are examples of active activities.
Watching TV can be a way to pass time, but it is, imo, a passive activity. Especially if it is an entertainment program.
The way sports in the USA are today is -way- beyond the healthy level you describe.
If people who were into football played the sport, made sporting equipment, did something related to it besides watch it and obsesses over ‘their team’ it would be something. It’s childish.
A car equal would be how high school kids argue (or at least did) one car company vs. another. Their favorite vs. another person’s favorite. Arguing stats back and forth. It’s stupid and childish.
Most people grow out of it. Or at least used to.
The NFL is a state monopoly where the two parties/leagues compete. Just like baseball, basketball, and hockey. Always a duopoly with limited random personnel variation. Teams are free to choose their logo, mascot, and colors. The spitting image of our political recess game. Back to the grindstone on Monday though. Compared to cricket, rugby, and soccer, it’s like the special olympics
Dumber than grasshut African diversions, it’s the world’s dumbest gathering, maybe of all time.
You can see a recreation of some early American sports in the movie Apocalypto. The events were held by the priest/rulers of the cities. The urban soldiers fought unarmed village hunter/farmers. Their version of football used a severed human head that 2 competing teams tried to get thru a ring similar to Austrailian rules football.
Mass blood sacrifices to the Gods just like Roman Coliseum where 5000 animals a day were killed and lots of mundanes died too. If we embrace our barbarianess and quit forcibly enslaving everyone into the head bashing, it wouldn’t be a problem.
The NFL is a state monopoly where the two parties/leagues compete.
Just like presidential (s)elections.
You would have served us readers much better had you tried to identify aspects of two minutes hate from a myriad of perspectives to help us identify when the state is trying to redirect our attention from attacking it.
This week was a presidential election, the quintessential two minutes hate redirection, and you instead focused on your loathe of football fans. Again, very shallow.
The vapidity and vacuity of sports worship – that it has become pervasive and all-consuming – is one of the major factors behind the dumbing-down of the population. Which in turns serves the interests of the state.
It is of a piece with celebrity bedazzlement – “Dancing With the Stars” and all the rest of it.
An idiot culture cannot expect to remain a culture that values liberty.
Sports worship is particularly loathsome because (as I explained in the article) it emasculates men, even as they imagine themselves to be “macho” because they can quote statistics and all the rest of it. Real men do things. They act. They do not watch. They get satisfaction – and a sense of self-worth – through achievement. Their achievement.
I can think of few things more pathetic than some guy prancing around happily because “we” just scored a touchdown.
Found your website through Lew Rockwell a few months ago and have been hooked ever since. Your analysis here is spot on. I played major college football many years ago and even then the fans obsession with the team seemed over the edge to me. It was as if nothing else mattered in their lives. Considering the state of the country, I know it is much worse now. I haven’t watched football or any sport for over a decade. Like you, I would rather work on or play with my Trans Ams(I have two, 86 and 97)or ride my motorcycles. Sitting in front of a TV and watching other men play a childs game is as boring as it gets for me. Keep up the good work.
Thanks, Tigg –
I might have been a bit harsh, in hindsight. By which I mean, going to a game is not evil (or anything like that). But the over-the-top, all-encompassing obsession so many people have is – to me – disturbing. Because of the emptiness it represents. The second-handedness. Like you, I’d rather play with my TA (or bikes) than watch other guys play a game.
Good to have you with us – and thanks again for the kind words!
What is politics in the USA today but sports? People cheering for teams. Football season, election season, baseball season, basketball season. People pick their team and cheer it on. The sports fan mindset is very important.
Hi Brent. You’re right: politics is viewed similarly to sports. And that gives the dem/repub duopoly one of their big lies that keep people from voting for third parties…don’t waste your vote on someone who has no chance of winning. wtf? Your vote is your voice in the political process, not a bet on who will win the Super Bowl. If you vote for one of the evil bastards put forward by the big parties, you are saying that you support them. That kind of vote is truly wasted, since it says something you don’t believe. At least when you vote for a third party candidate with whom you agree, you are speaking with your own voice.
Having said that, I just don’t vote. Mainly because I do not wish to participate in violence, and voting ends up being a matter of choosing who will commit violence against whom.
I just found out that all of 900-odd people supported Gary Johnson in my county… out of about 10,000 votes cast…
That gives one an approximate idea as to the percentage of awake/liberty-minded people out here. And “out here” is a pretty “conservative” area, too.
That percentage (just under 10%) is better than the national percentage (just under 10%) of people that voted.
Unfortunately over 90% of actual voters prefer a statist in power.
That should read:
… national percentage (just under 1%) of …
Eric, do you realize what that means? It’s exactly 9%!
It only takes 10% of a populous that holds an unshakeable belief, before the entire populous adopts it.
We’re getting there. It’s going to be ugly in the transition; but just like the American revolution, the ten percent will grow to thirty percent–and drag the other seventy percent along kicking and screaming.
What I despise upon going to Best Buy or other such establishments is the constant “pimping” for sports and big screens so that the couch-bound can feel like they’re “in the game”… Yeah, right! I’ve a buddy who knows just about everything when it comes to sports, stats, etc. Plays Madden on the Big Screen Plasma at home. Constantly angry and bigoted as hell. But this guy wails and moans about how lonely he is and why there are no decent women. Where is the surprise in this? But he sure as hell KNOWS sports!
There’s lots of women who ‘love sports’. Then again maybe it’s a fashion thing in my area… but it does make for something else to watch at Wrigley field besides the game. 🙂
I know what you’re saying, Brent, but still… There’s only so much bitchin’ someone wants to hear. Life is too short.
sports “fans” consume their entertainment vicariously.
Very few play themselves. It’s not inherently wrong, of course; but it becomes wrong when those passions are sublimated entirely from what they should be passionate about–namely, defending themselves and their family, watching out for their “tribe”.
Why do you think the Romans spent such fortunes entertaining the masses? For precisely the same reason–to present scapegoats, a bloodsport, and a distraction.
And also to feed them BREAD–starting the carbohydrate-based diet of prey animals, further dumbing them down.
Nice try, troll, but if you’d been even casually observing events surrounding this weeks (s)election, you would have discovered that it was one of the most poorly attended events in decades. Several independent post-election surveys noted that fewer people “voted” in this latest quadrennial political theatrical production than in any in the recent past, SO, one could hardly call it a form of national distraction on a grand scale. Sure, certain tiny segments of the population got a lot of disproportionate coverage of their enthusiasm for this farcical event, but the population as a whole clearly, really didn’t give a shit. Hardly a national “two minutes of hate” on the scale and level of popularity of fuhhhhhhtballllll and other state-subsidized sporting events.
I enjoy a good game from time to time. However, I appreciate what Eric has offered here and find it to be extremely accurate. It’s not about hating sports fans, it’s about what we are allowing to happen in our Nation, most of which I think that virtually all of us would agree that we do not support.
What Eric is identifying is the manner in which the energy that we, as men, really have an obligation to invest on behalf of those we love and to stand in the defense of their Rights and their Liberty, is being re-directed in a manner that serves primarily the continuing injustice of the state..
I don’t think you were harsh….I think some of these folks are creating straw man arguments because they are taking it personally as you are talking about them. Their argument is “I can’t believe you are saying sports as entertainment is evil.” But, of course, you never said that and that was never you point and it was quite clear to anyone with an open mind. It is over the top fanaticism, that is so common that is really, as you say, disturbing.
I’m 38 and live in So FL. I am very active and hope I have a few good years left to play baseball, tennis, etc on the weekends. Football season down here is a great time of year to be outside. But just try to get a group of guys in their 20’s-40’s together to actually play a sport! No..they’d rather sit around on their asses and watch other kids play instead while they get older and these opportunities slip by.
Thanks, Pat –
And: “But just try to get a group of guys in their 20′s-40′s together to actually play a sport! No..they’d rather sit around on their asses and watch other kids play instead while they get older and these opportunities slip by.”
Dead on. I, too, am an active guy. But I have to be active on my own – running, hiking, lifting weights… it’s been years since I could get any of my (now -ex) friends to do something together. They just want to sit there and watch… the game. Drink beer, get stupid and watch other men do things. Not just every now and then. All the time. I’d have sucked it up and watched the occasional game, just to be a good social integer. I have nothing against beer, either. But to do nothing else? No thanks.
I’ve noticed something else, related: All these guys (my ex friends) lost their sense of humor, got meaner and small-minded. They stopped being interested in ideas – much less in talking about ideas. They know what they know – and that’s all they want to know. Some got into virulent (and right wing) “Christianity” – in quotes for the obvious reasons.
It’s pretty bleak….
“market society”. subsidized (collusion) sports. the roman coliseum was a similar “market response”.
I personally enjoy watching fuuuuhtballll and enjoy fantasy football, my buddies and i aren’t fans of poker so insignificant gambling and competition is filled by that pointless endeavor. actually on sundays watching games and drinking homebrewed beer is when meaningful stuff like family, freedom etc are discussed.
the important thing is to take it for what it is, entertainment and not some part of your lifeblood which too many people do. if it all went “poof” tomorrow i wouldn’t lose a minute of sleep.
And Touchdown Jesus is friggin awesome!
TD Jesus is funny.
Notre Dame has its own “Touchdown Jesus” overlooking the football stadium. Here’s a photo.
Point on! (Pun intended!)
“The unexamined life is scarcely worth living,” or words to that effect, come to mind. If the majority of grass munchers on the planet actually are NOT truly men (or women), then one wonders at the logical extension of that old saw.
Methinks IT’S coming…
That’s why I watch hockey.
I also like hockey. No doubt because I also like soccer, and hockey is just soccer on ice. Unfortunately, it looks like there won’t be any hockey this season.
I was highly disappointed when the NFL lockout ended last year. I was hoping the sheeple would be forced to do without their Fuuuuhhhhhhhtttball fix and wake up to the hideous reality around them. Now I wonder if the federal govt. had something to do with ending the lockout.
Touchdown, Jesus! U S A ! U S A !
Touchdown Jesus is a friend of mine.
I like this one better:
here is another good one
You guys clearly aren’t from Ohio. http://watsonsworldnews.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/touchdownjesus.jpg
That is outstanding, Tim!
Hey, do you know Ernest? Ernest Angley? Grace Cathedral, Akron…?
Oh my lord! It’s Big Butter Jesus!
Right on, Eric. The more I become involved in “things that are honorable,” the less interested I am in all the junk.
Being casually interested in sports is harmless enough – but that’s not what we’re dealing with here. We’re dealing with all-encompassing obsession. That’s bad enough – in terms of rendering a sizable percentage of the population intellectually inert. Much worse, though, is the way this worship of “the game” diverts passions that would be more fruitfully directed elsewhere….
So true Eric so true! These “men” should be worrying about the real other team which is “them” taxing and controlling us into total bovine 1984 slavery, instead they are distracted with nonsense of men playing children’s games as you said.
Nothing against athletes making an honest dollar but the dumbness of the fans is distressing. 200 years ago men only concerned themselves with working for their living and fighting for their liberty not nonsense and games. (probably drinking and gambling too)
And, there is the issue of distorted priorities. At almost any college or university, what matters most? Fuuuhhhhhhhtttttttttball. Academic standards are flushed down the toilet in order to field the best team of low-IQ gorillas. The coach makes millions; a brilliant engineering or math teacher makes $45k.
The students are taught to venerate animalistic achievements: Jumping, running, throwing objects.
This is why we haven’t gone back to the Moon. And why we’re not on Mars.
I don’t disagree with most of what is written in this essay…however, the attempt to accurately describe the extremes of our society, and the implications of such extremes does not fully explore the cost/benefit of such “sporting” events?
For example, how many husbands do not neat their wives, simply because they can “vent” their marital or life frustrations by watching a football game? Or, the general sense of pride one receives from a “hometown” team”? Is it wrong to admire the St. Louis Cardinals because of the manner in which they conduct themselves and represent the St. Louis area? What is “wrong” with a society that teaches good communication skills vs. screaming and yelling? As a baby-boomer, I’ll bet we all grew up in homes that contained yelling, screaming and bitter fights…mostly because we had parents who were immature, angry and probably loaded half-the-time.
I agree that we have surrendered most of our liberty to the state, and that for those of us who have been screaming about that for thirty-five years, it is very frustrating. But it is also not so simple…I have lived all around the world, and America is the most competitive society that ever existed…bar none…even the Romans! If you pay attention to the emotional manner in which most Americans have been raised, you will hear their lack of maturity and open immaturity expressed through their choice of words, tone and delivery of hostile, competitive needs…that are hidden in sarcasm, bitter, hurtful humor and most often, in the verbiage of the “Parental Ego State”…(i.e., judgemental, disparaging, fault-finding, blame assessing, “what is your problem” type communicators)…or, often enough they spend their lives coming from a child-ego-state, in which everything is everyone else’s fault,(i.e. “joe did it too”) types of behavior that prevent them from ever really growing up, or acting like adults.
So I suppose my point is this, if the “manly-man” that you somewhat describe in your essay…if that is what we are shooting for, then I think we are mistaken. I see nothing wrong with society complimenting or rewarding a man for trying to be reasonable, considerate, patient and understanding. I also know that in life you have to have the ability to stand up and fight for yourself…so I tried to teach my kids a bit of both…so that when life throws them off-balance a little bit, they can straighten themselves out…without abusing themselves…or others.
Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family
…”beat their wives”…I meant to say beat their wives..not “neat”….ha!
Yep, it would be nice to be able to edit posts.
As a football loving fan who also follows info wars, anti war news dark politricks, and anonymous and who voted for Gary Johnson … I reject this. I just like football.
when you, & similar, pay for it yourselves, then you can reject it. until then, you’re on welfare, collecting football stamps….
Ozymandias – can you please offer a bit more explanation of your post?
along with the response to tgasm’s post, down near the bottom, i am referring to rome on the potomac’s bleeding of the peasantry, & then transfusing some back. bread & circuses. here are a couple links:
Yup. I enjoy college football more. Those kids still care about winning and losing. Not the money. College basketball too. Very exciting.
I agree with most of the comments related to “extreme” patrons of various professional sports…but…not all fans are idiots….even die hard fans…I really enjoyed growing up in St. Louis…a Cardinals and Blues fan!
We love being a part of the family of fans for the Cardinals…as they showed this week at Stan “The Man” Musial’s funeral…the Cardinal fans know what is important, and they honor class and dignity as much as possible….so I think there are good lessons to be learned from today’s sports entertainment environment …just as there are extreme examples of idiocy as well..
Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family
What an outstanding article. Right on the money.
I just wanted to add the only thing that is worse than a sports nut is one that works for the government. I work with these people all day. It is an absolute embarrassment. They are all dumb as hammers and expect everything.
Thanks, Ian –
I feel your pain. I think we all (those of us here) do… .
Sorry I didn’t respond when this article was fresher. But once again I have to agree. Its not that I’m against people who like or play football. But me personally, I find it absolutely uninteresting. I think its something barbaric or something, some people say its represents war. That seems about right to me. The thing that really repulses me about football besides the subsidies, is that it seems the coaches and players generally disrespect civil society. I’ve met plenty of ex fat jocks both in gyms and bars and they are usually just obnoxious. Someone was telling me a few years ago that a high school football website had a webpage suggesting who to hit (blow out their knees) on the opposing team so that they would have no opposition. Now I know that the players seem to voluntarily participate in this kind of behavior. But also seeing jock dads often abuse their kids into playing the sport for their own glory. I have to say that having one’s knees screwed up for life doesn’t seem like a good game to play. I know the spirit of boxing isn’t that great either, but at least I get the idea that two people want to fight it out as individuals instead of thug team.
I remember playing games of pick-up ball with friends and that was fun. We were doing something. For me, the disconnect happens when grown men obsess about watching paid entertainers play a game. When people ascribe importance to the outcome of a game.
I, too, thought there was something skewed about schools having huge trophy cases dedicated to showing off the “achievements” of various teams of athletes. It’s a school. I had this oddball notion – still do – that a school was where people came to acquire (and demonstrate) knowledge. Therefore, academic achievement ought to be touted. Athletics are fine as a pastime or hobby. But of zero importance in the scheme of things. A man was not put into orbit because “we” won the conference championship. It was done as a result of a tremendous amount of work in math and science and engineering.
That’s what matters. The game does not.
Right on Hot Rod. I used to be forced to watch the occasional game when we were visiting my ex-wife’s parents. I was struggling to stay awake through a Dallas game back in the mid 80’s that was so obviously rigged even her old man couldn’t deny it. I haven’t watched one since.
It’s none of my business if that’s the way folks want to spend their time, but I care to hear the rehash of the game, the player stats and all the other attendent “my team” chest thumping anymore than most folks want to deal with an obnoxious work site evangelist. When they start in on me, I point out that there’s so much money riding on these pro games there’s no way in hell the outcome is left to chance. I tell them that I’d just as soon watch pro wrestling, because at least there’s no real pretense about whether or not it’s staged and choreographed.
Then I explain that I actually participate in the “sports” that interest me. And invite them over to do a little knife and tomahawk throwing with me. Or some target shooting or archery (with a recurve bow and no sights) or maybe pump a little iron. Some guys will feign interest, but so far I’ve only had one of my coworkers show up to learn knife throwing and a couple that have gone fishing with me. None of them ever seem to call me a pussy, a f*g or a girlie man though. How odd…