Televised football is the fascist pageant

Offensive projectileI’ll tell you, this is the heart of the beast. Colorado Springs may be the apex of US religio-military nonsense, but the American beast is television, the rotten core of which is Fox TV, and its absolute poisoned heart is televised football.

Football is crass, violent, anonymous, uniformed, incorporated and a perfectly trivial distraction from all else. Nothing new, but I’d like to offer this impression.

For starters, have you noticed, the camera coverage of the cheerleaders is from exactly the angle a pervert would ask? In uncouth parlance it’s called “upskirt.” How do you suppose the camera bearers excuse themselves panning across the cheerleaders at bare thigh level? It’s neither a spectator POV, nor that of any athlete, unless he’s Chucky, strolling well wide to receive the cheerleaders. When the girls leap on and off the shoulders of their male counterparts, the cameras explicably-enough climb to male shoulder level.

Of course it’s not a matter of impolite cameramen getting up from their knees. The cameras today float on wires like surveillance robots to produce tailor-made angles. Being my point I suppose.

Thanks to these robots, the audience is afforded action shots without precedence. As a result, we can follow the action practically outside the context of what’s taking place. It’s great isn’t it? Who cares what bones are getting crunched outside the frame, follow the ball. The action is violent but without consequence. Athletes are expected to defy physics for cameras themselves liberated from constraint. Catch without thought to how you’ll land. The players are so jacked up on painkillers and adrenaline that the impacts will register only later. Off camera.

That’s how we fight wars, isn’t it? Eye on the bouncing ball, all damage is collateral, the players expendable.

Players jump all over themselves enthusiastically after successful plays, but lo, have been forbidden to posture victoriously in the end zone. The unsportsmanlike penalty is unpopular and proving difficult for the athletes to avoid. I can tell you what that’s about. The rich white man doesn’t mind his gladiators amping themselves for a challenge, but he’ll be damned if he has to witness what will almost always be a black man crowing about his superiority. Rich white men can propagate rap music to the masses like crack cocaine, but they’re not about to abide the braggadocio themselves. When did acting too-big-for-your-britches become unsportsmanlike behavior? When it proved to make heroes of the likes of Muhammed Ali. Who went to jail sooner than go to Vietnam.

The media coverage is equally restrictive about which athletes it acquaints with viewers. Do you think Peyton Manning is the only charismatic quarterback, or rather the only safe spokesman? The videotaped segments of players introducing themselves have become completely stilted in formality. Post-game interviews mandate that athletes wear some official headgear which casts their features in shadow, preserving their anonymity. They remain monosyllabic gladiator brutes who otherwise wear helmets, increasingly now with visors like so many Power Ranger Storm Troopers.

The talking heads attendant to the bowl games, whether ex-athletes or sportscasters, were all wearing the Neocon uniform, the black suit, and new for 2008, a four button jacket buttoned to the top like a veritable military uniform. Only Brent Musburger had enough clout to decline the odd conformity. Black used to denote caretakers. Fully buttoned suits were for tailors and soldiers. History has never looked fondly on soldiers who wore black.

5 thoughts on “Televised football is the fascist pageant

  1. Another parallel would be the heroic coaches who wirelessly broadcast commands while safely bunkered on the sidelines. No painkillers needed there except to keep the price of the team and players inflated.

    Headsets and radar. Operation Playbook flys stealth jets above team colors. Look out wide receivers, the bomb is over the blimp and the goal posts keep moving too. Hoorah!

    I guess that’s one poetic lesson of the game – when you throw a ball in the air it’s just begging for interception.

    Football hates diplomacy.

    Referees be damned. They are U.N.-American, …and who needs the U.N. when the pix are so exciting?!

    Dare I note Colorado’s favorite qtrback is now selling cars?
    No, Eric is right. It’s best to keep the oil well off the fields, and out of sight. I don’t have the spare cash to grease the hands of street dealers, nor want to insult anyone’s religious motor idles.

    Big Mac truck anyone? Just throw another ball and it’s all paid for!

    We now return you to our game.

  2. When I was a kid, I loved to play football. But I was not a behemoth in stature, and it is exactly that aspect of American football that is most ‘fascistic’ about it. It is a sport that is almost getting to be like Japanese sumo wrestling, where only physically humongous types can participate in it This is not the case with world soccer, and is what makes American football such a sick spectacle. in comparison.

    Games that become deformed like this (American basketball and American football) need to have divisions based on weight, like boxing does. Doing that would take much of the current ‘fascistic’ element out of the games. It would return the 2 games to the common players, who now days get driven out of playing the games in their adolescence unless they are abnormal giants of some kind.

    What strikes me about the shots to cheerleaders and back to the players is just the size differences between the two groups of people. It almost looks like watching a group of male and female sea lions! It is quite abnormal. And a sick spectacle it truly does make.

  3. Well, as my mother always said, “if it upsets you so much, don’t play with the boys,” and so in your case, I say “don’t watch it.”

  4. Regarding LuAnn’s comment – just turn it off! – my guess is Eric and Tony only watch enough to support their comparrison of foorball to fascism and the military which only takes one game.
    Question is what are the vast football audiences missing during their time spent as spectators? Could it be good books, local educational and cultural events, or maybe even world events and opinion via the internet?

  5. kv, I would craft a clever retort if only I weren’t busy watching Ball State play Rutgers in the International Bowl!

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