Sunday, June 19, 2005

Football...Hey Guys, Seriously, Football!

Football. I think everyone on this blog loves football. I like baseball a little more; it�s the sport I got into first and I like it because I find there�s more inherent drama. I think we all agree that just because I like baseball more, that doesn�t mean that I�m knocking football.

Lately, for the last couple of years, I�ve been hearing radio sports talk guys state, �Football is the national pastime. It�s not baseball anymore.� I am not here to argue against that. Who could argue against that? Football is a much higher rated and successful sport nowadays than baseball, and that�s been for years. But I believe the statement has become a method of dick-swinging in sports.

I think the use of football has become a means by which sports guys assert how masculine they are. �Football, man�football is king.� That statement, said as if that person is going out on some sort of limb, is like stating, �McDonald�s man�McDonald�s is the number one fast food joint in the nation. No, I�m serious. Dude, it�s not Wendy�s.�

The ultimate example is how many times you hear the word �football� when someone, like an expert, especially Sean Salisbury of ESPN, is talking about football! OK, you�re a listener, you�re hearing stuff about football, but the experts and analysts talk like you have to be reminded of that in every sentence: �That Terrell Owens�he�s a good football player. He plays for a good football team. He plays football like no one else.� You hear it most of the time when experts are praising some team that no one is heaping praise on. �Those Jacksonville Jaguars are putting themselves in position to be a good football team. They�ve played a number of football games in the past few weeks, and they�ve gotten better every time.� I mean, once you say Jacksonville Jaguars, I don�t think I�m in danger of confusing the franchise with hockey. The word �football� is rung out like we�re playing a drinking game. Believe me, we�d be drunk after two sentences.

That method of talking, throwing the word �football� to describe everything, has some sort of resonance to it�it�s dick-swinging. It�s showing passion for a sport that is related to bruising, manly competition. I have yet to hear a baseball analyst say �baseball� in this way, unless it is absolutely necessary to say the word.

I know�Chris, why do you care about this so much? Well, I feel like I need to be the voice of dissent here, because it�s bad journalism, and arguments are made about football that no one is challenging. We all know football is popular and most people who enjoy sports love it. So why all the emphasis?


At 6/19/2005 07:41:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

I'm about to cry I'm laughing so hard. I have thought the same thing about a million times while listening to commentators. The best is when they overuse the word on television during a game. We're watching a game for christ sakes. We know what the hell we're watching. It's like when Frank Caliendo does his impression of Madden saying things like "Good football is when football is played well. That's good football."

I, too, am more of a baseball fan. That's what I played when I was younger, and that's what I grew up loving. I'm a nostalgic person at heart I guess. However, football is a close second, and I don't need to be told everyday how it clobbers baseball in bringing in the dough. Hell, NASCAR does as well. And if wrestling was considered a sport, it would be clobbering football in the money department. I don't like wrestling and NASCAR, but facts are facts.

However, what does football being the leading sport financially, have anything to do with the game itself? Does that mean that we should never dare mention that we enjoy baseball or hockey or whatever you love better? "Porky's" made over $200 million dollars. Does that mean that I should like "Porkys" better than "Pulp Fiction," "Jackie Brown," "The Godfather," "Chasing Amy," "The Usual Suspects," and so on, and so on? Give me a break.


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