Posted on August 31, 2018
Guardians Of the Gridiron
Ways to un-ruin football
There’s no question that there are sinister – and primarily political – forces conspiring to destroy the game of football. It’s tempting to think that they’re all part of an intricate strategy, but it’s more likely a visceral reaction by liberals everywhere, to a game that violates many of their core beliefs.
For starters, football is a meritocracy, which makes it part of what liberals call the “you’re on your own” society, where people are forced to “fend for themselves.” If you’re good enough, you stick, and if you’re not, you don’t, and nobody’s going to care how unfair you feel it is. For the most part, football is colorblind. Outside of the media, people don’t tend to care if players at a certain position are predominantly of one race or another. Football is unabashedly masculine, to the point that it leaves no ambiguity about the fact that men and women are different critters. When football evolved from rugby, it became a uniquely American game. Unlike baseball or basketball, it continues to be dominated by Americans to this day. There could hardly be any more for liberals to hate about football, unless God bobbleheads were given away at every game.
So there is a War on Football underway, and it has been fierce and relentless, and partly an inside job. While rule changes unravel the game physically, an ever-increasing tolerance for unsportsmanlike conduct poisons it for the fans. Worst of all, an endless series of irrelevant, anti-American demonstrations dominate conversation about the sport, tinged with a vague racial divisiveness that has intimidated the protestors’ teammates and coaches into playing dumb about their intentions. The ringleader, Colin Kaepernick, is now running Communist indoctrination camps for children, while likeminded journalists cluck, “What could be more American than that?”
But what can we fans do? The answer is surprisingly simple. Anything we do to improve the football experience will counteract the sinister forces that are out to destroy the game. In Churchillian terms, our enemies can do their worst, and we’ll do our best. To that end, here are some simple, commonsense measures we can take to un-ruin the game of football.
* Avoid coercive group activities like “The Wave” – When you participate in such events, not only are you obstructing the view of the non-participating, un-dorky people behind you, but you’re giving some pinko the satisfaction of ordering you around. Have you ever bothered to notice the kind of person who typically tries to start a wave? It’s always some abrasive loser with delusions of grandeur, who thinks he’s finally fulfilling his lifelong dream of becoming Richard Trumka. Nearly as bad as the wave are any organized first down cheers, which are uniformly obnoxious and embarrassing (This means you, Baltimore Raven and West Virginia Mountaineer fans). If you’re a real football fan, you expect first downs. Going through such a production over every one is phony, and indicates that the participants are more interested in showing themselves off than rooting for their team.
* Stop blaming everything on beer – Most bad fan behavior is premeditated, and should not be permitted the weak excuse of drunkenness. When some boob runs onto the field, odds are he woke up that morning, dead sober, already planning to do it. If you’re offended by alcohol consumption, you don’t really want to know how much the other fans around you have been drinking, but it doesn’t cause them all to morph into horrible people. Those horrible drunken people you encounter at football games are already horrible before they consume a single drop. They’re already using the excuse of alcohol to relieve themselves of responsibility, and the rest of us should not help them do that.
* If you are accompanied by a baby, stay home – Haven’t people learned anything from The Flintstones? It wasn’t a good idea for Fred and Barney to take Pebbles to the fights, and it’s never, ever a good idea to take an infant or a toddler to a major sporting event. Your child does not want to be at the game, and the fact that you do is comparatively unimportant. Staying home, where you’ve undoubtedly got a fairly large TV screen in your living room, is not the end of the world.
* Keep your bets to yourself – Go ahead and gamble if you insist, but the rest of us don’t want to hear about it. The betting line is irrelevant to the game, whose outcome is decided by which team actually scores more points. If your team wins, and you throw a fit because they won by fewer than four and a half points, then you’re not a fan. Furthermore, all gamblers lose in the long run, which does not tend to make them pleasant people to be around.
* Don’t treat visitors like vermin – If fans for the visiting team aren’t looking for trouble, don’t give them any. Believe it or not, you should want people to come from out of town and feel welcome in your city. There’s nothing wrong with giving them the business in a good-natured way, but when you make it an unpleasant experience for opposing fans to come to your stadium, that’s bad for your hometown, and bad for the game.
* Let the game be about the players – Maybe your home team isn’t much of a team, but let the game be about the guys on the field anyway. Even if the scoreboard is posting the spectators’ tweets and selfies, do not send any tweets or selfies. There’s been an unfortunate trend across all sports in recent years to try to draw younger fans by making them the center of attention. If you’re of the right age to be considered a Millennial, and you can’t stand listening to people squawk about Millennials all day long, then shut them up by defying expectations, and taking a pass on the invitation to bask in yourself all game long. If you pay attention to what’s happening on the field, you’ll see lots of very talented players giving a great effort to produce results most people aren’t capable of producing. On the other hand, any buffoon can tweet.
* Please make no mention of you-know-who – This goes for both the pro-Trumpies and anti-Trumpies, but seriously, the overwhelming majority of offenders are pro-Trumpies. To be sure, the anti-Trumpies are far worse people on average, but they don’t tend to be the ones who lead all conversations back to the topic of Trump. Pro-Trumpies, conversely, behave as if they’ll explode if they go three and a half hours without expressing loyalty to their man. Hence, most of us have been exposed to abrupt transitions in conversation like, “You know what I hate even more than prevent defense? Fake news! I mean, the guy is just trying to make us win. Who could be opposed to that? You know, Trump has got better approval ratings than Reagan, Eisenhower and Lincoln, combined!” Enough already. Just because the person sitting next to you doesn’t want to leave the game does not mean that you may consider him a captive audience for a political harangue. As Jimmy Cagney said in One, Two, Three, all I want outta you is silence, and damn little of that!
* Stick to tailgating basics – Beer with fruit? Uncured meats? Brioche buns? Maybe those are the kind of tailgate refreshments they have at Cirque du Soleil, but serving them to football fans has got to be a violation of the Geneva Conventions. It’s a wonder that people who consume such substances would actually proceed into a football stadium, but when they do, they probably make sappy remarks like, “Why do they feel the need to hit each other to make a point?” Besides, we normal tailgaters don’t know exactly what our meat has been cured of, but we’re very happy that it has.
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