Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | October 12, 2010

The NFL and the End of Western Civilization


It just seems like a lot to absorb in less than a week.  I remember back in the day, when football players used to signal their disdain for societal norms by getting nailed on narcotics violations.  (I also remember the day before the day, when it was actually considered inappropriate to get nailed for violations of any sort, and pro football teams cultivated an image of wholesome athleticism and all-American manliness.  That was before the Oakland Raiders of the 1970s, back when Joe Namath actually seemed racy.)

There was a time, after the big football colleges all went through their NCAA hazing ritual of Recruiting Violation Roulette, when pro football players seemed to always be arguing with coaches, leaving teams in a snit-fit, and getting suspended for dumb stuff that wasn’t related to controlled substances.  Yeah, they were kind of divas, some of them.  Annoying prima donnas who looked, no matter what their teammates said, like the guys everyone wanted to pants and no one wanted to room with.

But they were still, well, guys.  Maybe there were some of them who acted up, an awful lot like they had never been required to exercise any, you know, personal discipline; but their social vibe was still guy-dom – and not just guy-dom, but regular guy-dom.

Somewhere in there they started shooting their feet in nightclubs and being accused, over and over again, of rape.  No guy-ness there.  Something hollow and wrong.  Wheels getting a little wobbly on the bus.  If you remember the low-res black-and-white days of misogynistic patriarchy, when Donna Reed was hog-tied and forced to cook in high heels on the set of a TV show, you remember that back then, that kind of outlaw stuff got you kicked out on your can.  No tolerance.  No therapy.  No understanding.  Had to think of the Image of the Game.  The Game was very felony-phobic.

No more.  Today the NFL has evolved.  I thought Rush Limbaugh was going a little over the top last week, with his latest “chickification” monologue about the NFL (it had something to do with pink breast cancer ribbons, although I wasn’t paying a lot of attention, and I confess I don’t slurp up social outreach by the NFL anyway, before, during, or after the actual games.  I watch Curt, Terry, Howie, Michael, and Jimmy, and then I watch the games – for the football, believe it or not).  But Rush, as he so often is, was right.  Hilariously, he uttered his word, “chickification” – establishing the theme for the 2010 season – and the NFL promptly requited him by becoming a Lifetime Original Movie.

Fiction could never have dreamed it up.  In one week, we learn that poor Brett Favre made, shall we say, inappropriate advances to an employee of the Jets organization a couple of years ago, when he was making the “Jets stop” in his quest to serve with every team in the League before retirement.  The sadness of watching a great quarterback implode in slow motion, out in the middle of the street in rush-hour traffic, ought to be enough for this one week; but no.  Not only must we be told about the tension and angst in the Vikings locker room, but we also have to hear that Randy Moss and Tom Brady got into some kind of altercation, back before Moss was traded, over Moss’ beard and Brady’s hair.

Apparently, Brady told Moss to cut his beard and Moss told Brady he looked like a girl because of his hair.  Incredibly, they weren’t joking around.  Granted, Brady has been looking like David Cassidy with a chin implant, but when he and Moss start throwing punches over something like that, you know the ghost of George Halas has left the building, and the only ones hanging around now are the wraith of Lizzie Borden and a few of Cinderella’s housecleaning mice.

There are some real stories in the football being played this year.  Some hardworking players and brilliant coaches out there working magic and winning ugly.  Boys who’ve become men and realized their dream.  Guys who love the game and are grateful to get to play it for another season.  Ridiculous, unbelievable catches, perfect blocks, off-the-charts-executed open-field tackles.  Great football, highly critiquable football – it’s all going on out there on what we used to call the gridiron.  But the media spotlight is on the center ring, where the fourth-grade girls in shoulder pads are pulling each other’s hair, tattling on each other, and squealing in agony over how their notes to the dreamy cute kid, which no one was ever, ever supposed to see, were found by the teacher and shown to their parents.

Wish I had something more insightful or conclusive to say about all this.  I suppose if anyone needs a timeout, it’s the sports media, who wouldn’t know “seemliness” if they found it dead in their lunchbox.  And if anyone cares, the Jets are leading the Vikings 15-13 in the fourth quarter of a rather ragged Monday Night Football match.  Favre making with the fumbles.  AD and LaDainian even with about 75 yards each.  Nick Folk out of his deep funk from the Cowboys, 5 for 5 and nailing them through the uprights to contribute all 15 of the Jets’ points.  (Update:  Jets just bagged a TD with 4:30 left.)  No word on Tom Brady’s hair.

Just to be clear:  I’m sure the NFL will come about.  The game has heated up; it’s now 22-20 Jets, with 2 minutes left, and life is good.  You can’t keep good football down.  But the dark side of the Force is trying awful hard to.

Cross-posted at Hot Air.



  1. That was good. You should do more football commentary.

    The main point may apply to many of the activities that the public considers newsworthy, but the example is made best by football.

  2. FWIW,

    The “confrontation” between Brady and Moss never happened. Both have denied it, Coach Belichick denied it happened, and other players also deny it happened.

    Charlie Casserly, who reported the alleged confrontation, has an agenda against all things New England, and especially their coach, since Belichick called him out for saying Brady was playing with broken ribs, again, another made up story.

    However, the rest of your article is VERY well written, and I admit to being aghast at seeing NFL players and staff wearing pink anything. Rather than spend all that money on sneakers, cleats, caps, wrist bands, and such, wouldn’t it have been better to just give the money to the researchers?

    I’ll also note that Favre lived down to expectations by once more throwing one of his patented game-ending coach-killing interceptions. It’s almost like he can’t help himself, like he’s fighting some sort of Mesmerizing influence to throw the ball to the nearest line backer or corner.


  3. This was written awhile back but it’s still pretty much the truth:

  4. I think the NFL started going bonkers when Jimmy The Greek had his drunken and politically incorrect rant about the athelticism of the black players. I remember hearing what he said and being shocked. But after truly assessing his words, they weren’t that egregious and might actually have some basis in fact (kind of like the Larry Summers dust up at Harvard). No one tried to refute what he said with a reasonable and logical argument. People just screamed that he had to be fired from CBS.

    The NFL then adopted the rule that a black person must be interviewed for every head coaching job that becomes available. What a horrible pathetic disgraceful rule. That a professional sports league actually differentiates people by the color of their skin is appalling. That rule needs to go.

    And let’s not forget Rush getting fired from the MNFootball booth for saying that people wanted Donovan McNabb to succeed *because* he was black. Apparently this was an unforgivable offense. He never said anything about the inferiority of black athletes or anything of that nature. And, like with Jimmy The Greek, there was little discussion of the meaning of his words. There was simply an outcry to can him. (I’m a Redskins fan. I’ve never much liked McNabb off the field, but on the field he’s quite accomplished. Best of all, he’s not Jason Campbell.)

    Remember the lament that there weren’t enough black QBs in the league? That they were “under represented?” No one seemed to care or even brought up that white defensive backs were “under represented.”

    I blame political correctness and the spirit of multiculturalism for some of the worst aspects of the NFL and it surrounding entities (the networks that televise the games). When it comes to race (especially in sports), I have two words. WHO. CARES.

    This all being said, I love NFL football. I have the NFL package and often spend marathon Sundays in front of the TV. Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue was at my mom’s memorial service 10+ yrs ago. At the time the XFL had been conceived and was soon to begin. I asked him if the NFL was at all nervous about the XFL taking any of the NFL’s market share and prestige. He kind of chuckled and was as concerned about that as Jim DeMint is to losing to Alvin Greene on 11/2. I’m glad the XFL didn’t diminish the NFL, but I do wish the NFL would drop their focus on race. It diminishes an otherwise great league.

  5. More dumb shift about the dumb shift part of professional sports.

    Since when does worrying about the niceties of conduct enter into anything? I thought that we’ve moved away from that and can clean everything up with a proper interrogation program.

    Some woman wants to accuse an NFL player of rape, they should just take her outside the 20-mile limit and give her an enhanced deposing or two.

    Some fat, overpaid player don’t wanna play nose tackle? Takes his enlistment money and tries to have some agent or liberal lawyer talk the team into making a trade rather than hold the lazy, subversive player to the strict letter of the contract?

    Get the geek onto a plane, slap a hood over his head and a syringe into his thigh, and give him a little extraordinary rendition. See if he likes a small cell somewhere in Syria better.

  6. Yet another unmistakable signal of the end of Western Civilization. Seriously. We were actually at the premiere of Boris Godunov at the Met and were debating whether to go home during the second intermission because of the prospective thunderstorms (we’re going again in a couple of weeks, the performance was being livestreamed and I wanted to watch the Jets/Vikings – we had a subscription and went in the first instance the inconvenience notwithstanding). We decided to go home and as soon as we got in the cab I checked the score on my phone and was shocked to learn of the RAIN DELAY?!?!? In FOOTBALL?!?!? AGAIN?!? (Earlier this year there was a delay during a Tennessee game (against Oregon, I think) and they have popped up sporadically over the last few years. “Chikification” indeed.)

    The other points OC makes respecting this phenomenon are of course on target – somewhat unlike Brett Favre in the 1st half – and really kinda in the 2nd as well.

    On a related note, Sam Bradford is doing quite well for a rookie, especially so in the absence of an A list target (perhaps A.J. Green, Julio Jones or Ryan Broyles next year). There is certainly a premium on experience but then again he lit it up pretty much from his first game in Norman.

    • The delay at the Jets game was not for the rain. Lightning was striking all around and the fans were made to go inside and get lit up in their usual manner instead of being flash-fried.

      This was an insurance-related deal.

      • Lightning is a novel phenomenon which was entirely non-existent in the 80s and 90s (and surely prior to that time as well) when football games were not delayed during rain storms and attendant circumstances.

        Of course insurance considerations and fear of litigation are rather prevalent. The gaping hole at Ground Zero 9+ years on is only one of many many manifestations of such considerations and fear. Complete paralysis, “chikification” and indeed, as OC says, the end of Western Civilization.

  7. Good heavens, cavalier, it’s obvious that the lightning epidemic is a result of Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption.

    One of the results of AGW/CC/CD will apparently be driving everyone inside to where they’re having the operas. If everyone is then driven back outside by the fetid atmosphere created when all the humans stuffed together in unmitigated heat, I suppose the lightning will do the work of the Pushbutton Pulverizer in the now-viral climate kook video.

    To AW1 Tim — welcome! I’ve seen you around at other blogs (I assume you’re the same person). Did you do your AW time in P-3s? S-3s? Noble profession, although all the ASW rates were being mashed together in my last few years on active duty. The old days, when you knew what you were getting as between an AW, ST, or OTA, were some darn fine days.

    RE — I’ll happily join you in an NFL rant any time. The only thing better than ranting about football is watching it. I see chuck martel has another perspective, and as it happens, I heart baseball too. My Reds made it to the playoffs this year, which was tres cool. Now that they’ve bowed out (pretty much as I and most Red fans expected), I’m following the Phillies. Incidentally, I have a theory that AGW/CC/CD is ressonsible for the latter-day epidemic of no-hitters.

    Cousin Vinnie — hey, maybe I will write on football more. It would make fuster happy.

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