Monday, January 20, 2014

The Anti-Fan: An Inchoate Football Rant

So, the Denver Broncos are headed to the Super Bowl. No surprise there. They'll take on the Seattle Seahawks, and easily defeat them, on February 2.

I live in the Greater Denver area, but I'm not a Broncos fan. I like them more than I used to, because I've always liked Peyton Manning; he's an amazing quarterback. Yet I can't fully come around.

It isn't just the Broncos. I enjoy football and watch it all the time; it's a good distraction. But I'm completely turned off by the culture of professional sports, and the enormous amount of money driving it.

A repulsive sector within this culture is the sycophantic media that brings us games each weekend. Those nitwit sportscasters and bigmouth ex-jocks – self-important, under-educated, proud of it – are offensive, as are the toadies who write local sports columns.

Primarily, the job of these people is to elevate pro sports to a level far beyond its true worth. I often watch games with the sound turned down.

Most of these media lickspittle have been seduced by the extravagant rewards that come with their jobs. They are without shame. Before Manning came along, the local media here, print and electronic, shredded every Bronco quarterback since John Elway. Even Tim Tebow, after a brief honeymoon, felt their wrath. Their sole offense? They weren't John Elway!

Show me the money. A major part of football revenue, of course, is in the advertising. When you watch a game on TV, commercials give three main messages: drink beer, buy a car, and join the army. There's an additional message for men of a certain age: pop a pill to cure that erectile dysfunction (temporarily), but call your doctor if it lasts more than four hours.

Anyway ... in spite of everything, I enjoy football. I'll watch the Super Bowl; I may even be invited to a Super Bowl party. How 'bout those Broncos?

I grew up a Lions fan. Poor me! Most years the Lions are anywhere from abysmal to middling good. Never a serious contender. But I am nothing if not loyal; another reason I don't like the Broncos. I do not easily switch allegiance. But the Lions are a long way from the Super Bowl.

There's an air of inevitability about the Broncos this year. I'm hardly alone in predicting they'll win on February 2. In baseball it is axiomatic that good pitching will beat good hitting. Is there a similar axiom in football? The Seahawks are supposed to be a very good defensive team. But Peyton Manning is an amazing quarterback. He's going to pick their defense apart.

No comments:

Post a Comment