Readers, today I regretfully inform you that recently, I have been outraged. And not just outraged in your typical seething blogger sense, which by now has become trite. No–recently, I have been outraged even slightly more than that. The cause of the outrage, again regretfully, were my fellow Americans. While they surely have the best of intentions, in this case they’re being whiny baby-heads. Wait! Allow me to interrupt your inner monologue (Great, he’s going political… I wonder if I have more Facebook notifications yet?) with a humble plea:
Have you ever heard this before? “Football is a sport which glorifies violence.” Well I haven’t, but if you have, then that’s proof enough for me that this nation is facing an epidemic. And somehow, I’ve found, it always falls to me to sort out these kinds of national- crisis-type things. The truth, readers, is that there are too many out there in their Leave it to Beaver-style living rooms who suspect that football might be the contemporary version of the Roman gladiator games. Of course, most of these people are probably thinking less about history and more about Russell Crowe in The Gladiator when they suspect this, but that’s beside the point for now. In any case, football risks losing its place as the official pastime of sweet lady America. …Damn you, Russell Crowe. I trusted you.
Since we all know a foolproof way of getting people to come around is to simply present them with the facts in a calm and rational manner, readers, I present you with the cold and uncaring facts:
1. It’s worse to glorify drug-use than it is to glorify violence. Uh, not that sports are doing either, it’s just, you know, to make an academic theoretical point. Anyway, remember steroids, people? I already thought enough of you were worried about that. Why can’t you just stick to that? Haven’t you heard of Reefer Madness? We’ve got to think of the children! And so on. Just cut me some slack with the violence. We all know drug-use kills more people than violence1.
2. The closer thing to gladiator games would be actual gladiator games. After news of other people’s opinions outraged me while I was unawares, I quickly realized that these people were not only wrong, they were inverse-wrong. A person is inverse-wrong when, in the process of being wrong, he or she simultaneously comes up with a really good idea that they hate. While I was approaching the headshot achievement in Call of Duty and arguing under a YouTube video that I was going to strangle this loser who’d said I’d been desensitized to violence, I had a epiphany: we should have gladiator games. I mean, America’s prison systems are over-crowded, right? I think some people have talked about that before, or something. But prisoners could totally volunteer to win their freedom. And if they put it on ESPN it would be awesome. Which means, uh, that it would stimulate the economy. Etcetera, etcetera.
3. Compared to my previous idea, football seems super fine now. When you compare modern football to death-row inmate arena matches, it suddenly doesn’t seem so bad anymore. Remember that feeling. Hold on to it. Let it guide you the next time you start to think football glorifies violence again.
The bottom-line is, readers, that the game of football is just that–a game. A wondrous, exalted, bone-crunching game of glory, yes, but not a system designed to maintain the Imperial slave quota. So let them eat cake. Meaning dirt, because they’ll be playing football. Critics should wait until we get real gladiator matches before they start complaining (even though they’ll still be wrong when they do).
- unless you live somewhere where violence kills more people than drug-use. ↩