I haven’t written much lately because I hurt my back and can’t stay in one position—except totally supine—for any length of time. I’ve been rendered idiotic by an unpleasant mélange of Flexiril and ibuprofen, and I curse a lot. This, health-wise, has been a pretty crappy year.
So I read, I putter when I can, I avoid driving if at all possible since it takes me a full minute to get out of a car—any car. Also, I watch football.
I pay little attention to NFL games; I used to be a Redskins fan since I live in the Washington area, but that team is so woeful, and the owner such a sorry individual, that I’ve lost all interest. I have, however, developed a fondness for college games, even as I know nothing about the teams, save that Penn State is involved in some sort of child sex scandal, which I am frankly not that curious about.
Here’s what I’ve discovered:
- There are actually three teams involved in any one game, the two playing and the referees. The latter have their own agenda and run up and down the field as much as any single player. They are basically spoilsports who insure that players show no joy in scoring; they make bad calls, at least two or three times a game and, I am absolutely positive, invent new rules as they go along.
- The rules themselves often make no sense. I understand that some are there to protect players from physical harm, but most simply hinder a game’s progress. That an hour-long game should take three hours to play is pretty silly on the face of it. And that the last two minutes take up 20 or more minutes of time is downright ludicrous.
- Is there any single person in the world of sports less needed than a punter? No.
- I can understand flogging truck and chips during games, but hair products?
- Without beer there would be no football. I see a time in the not too distant future when teams will not be associated with geographical areas. They’ll belong to breweries. It won’t be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’ll be the Budweiser Buddies or the Mighty Miller Lites or maybe even the Heineken Huns. Note to franchise owners: I could root for a team call the Huns
- Commentators are often players who have outlived their usefulness, or coaches no one want to hire. I like the way they critique the games’ participants and staff, as if they know each and every individual involved. Obviously, all these people live together and share a great deal of information that we, the spectators, are not privy to. I have no idea what commentators are talking about seven-eighth of the time; their language is English only in the most basic manner. I don’t know what a hook formation going through the line is.
- I really like it when refs get bowled over by a player. It makes them seem more part of the game.
- I can understand multi-million dollar contracts for players. Most of these guys are shortening their life-span by playing, and more than a few will suffer brain damage for our entertainment. I do not understand multi-million dollar contracts for coaches who mostly chew, spit, grab their crotches, or do all three in one smooth movement.
- And lastly, football is the quintessential American game. Violent, in your face, made for TV, and largely irresistible.