Football fever is a national waste of time

Not to be a blasphemer, but what’s with the football hysteria? It’s a silly little game, and yet people get all hyper about whether “their team” is going to win or not. I put “their team” in quotes: How can one claim alliance with a football team? It boggles me that some fat slouch, guzzling beer and pork rinds, can sit on his couch yelling for his team.
People watching the game cheer and high-five each other whenever “their team” makes some good play. What’s with that? It’s not like you did anything — except maybe drink your weight in beer. How exactly are you associated with “your team?” Do you practice with them? Do you have any relatives on the team? It’s not even like the players represent our state; they probably don’t give a crap what city they’re playing for as long as they get paid and get that coveted Fruit-of-the-Loom commercial spot.
It’s amazing that people base their egos on this silliness. If “their team” wins; they’re elated; if they lose, they’re despondent. Does it really matter if “your team” gets the oblong ball past the little white line? Of course, every day I hear people yapping about it fervently.
“My team is gonna kick your team’s ass!” It’s like people arguing, “My father can beat up your father.” Of course, in this case, you’re a bastard child.
And where does this hoopla get us? For the players, after nine months of bruising and head-bashing, they get their names on a little bronze plaque. Maybe, if they’re lucky, they’ll increase their “stats.” But what do you, the spectator, get? Zip. No, wait, maybe one of those big foam-hands if they go to a game on “free foam hand day.”
Couldn’t you be doing something more productive with the hours it takes to watch the games, memorize trivial stats and fun facts, and all the other assorted obsessions? I don’t know: read, garden, pick your nose. Come to think of it, the last option is more time-efficient, and you could even use that big foam hand.
Football is just anthropological masturbation. Since our society has become “civilized,” and there isn’t any tribal warfare to get out our visceral human aggressions, we watch overpadded, overpaid, undereducated men banging their heads to oblivion on a nicely mowed green. It isn’t good to indulge these base, grunting dispositions.
Police department statistics show domestic violence reports are at an all-time high during football games. I guess if “your team” doesn’t win, and you run out of beer, you get pissy. You don’t see televised figure-skating inciting anyone to a violent rage — unless you’re forced to watch it in the first place. By indulging in football, we’re just dragging ourselves down on the evolutionary chain. Before Homo erectus, there was the football player on 1st and 10.
Speaking of Homo erectus, isn’t it striking to anybody that this “manly” sport is so latently homoerotic? Just think about the whole hiking position: men bent over, another man delicately placing his hands between the other’s legs. Then, after gang-tackling the other team, piled on top of one another, they get off and smack each other’s butts in congratulations. Then they all go shower together. And I think the terms “tight end” and “wide receiver” speak for themselves.
I think that if you are contemplating getting involved in any activity, you should keep in mind certain warning signs. For instance, if any of the following are in any way involved in the activity in question, make sure you abstain from getting involved:
ù The activity involves a human being dancing around dressed up in an animal outfit.
ù You find yourself shouting at the television as it is an interactive medium.
ù Fat guys paint their bellies for any reason.
ù During a hiatus in the activity, there is any musical montage that involves Diana Ross and/or the Olsen twins.
ù There are commercials surrounding the activity that cleverly feature animatronic reptiles selling beer, or beer bottles playing sports.
ù Any activity that makes John Madden famous.
ù Any activity that is televised via ____-cam (e.g. blimp-can, belt-cam, athletic-cup cam)
ù Barely articulate men get TV air-time to grunt about the finer points.
ù Transition between camera shots features explosions, lasers or the collision of big metal objects.
ù Fanaticism of activity often leads to fraud (e.g. doctoring grades).
Let’s face it: Football is a silly little game. Nonetheless, here we shovel tons of money into this fruitless activity. People paint their cars, their lawns, get tattoos. We make all sorts of sound and fury, which is all much ado about nothing. It’s pitiful, really.
When can humanity rise above football? When can a person be judged on the content of their character and not the color of their jersey? Only when we come to realize the oppression of Monday Night Football and the brainwashing of Budweiser can we truly realize our human potential.
So turn off the tube. Do something better with your time: Tell your children you love them, spend some quality time with that special someone, build a fort out of couch cushions. Anything is better than football.

Matthew E. Brophy is a University graduate student. He welcomes comments at [email protected]