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Monday, February 05, 2007

Football - Stupidest Sport Ever!

Okay - technically they're all equally stupid. But the ways in which football is stupid are much more different than other sports.

80% of plays, nothing happens.

Okay, everyone lines up. Some shouting takes place. Someone shifts around. Still nothing happening. More shouts. Little more shuffling. Ball moves, players push each other a lot, and either the guy holding it runs a little bit and then gets pushed down or he throws it to someone who misses it or catches it and then gets pushed down less than 20 feet from where the ball started from at the beginning of this rigamarole.

15% of the plays, something MIGHT happen, but then there was a penalty and nothing happens.

Okay, everyone lines up. Some shouting takes place. Someone shifts around. Shill nothing happening. More shouts. Little more shuffling. A whistle blows, and all hell breaks loose because someone shuffled wrong. A "false start" or an "offsides" or one of those things. And then everyone has to break for a few seconds while the referrees look at the videotape of the shuffling that may or may not have taken place inappropriately - at which point a decision is made and the nothingness can begin anew.

4% of the plays, something finally happens, but in such a way that some minutia took place which means yet another flag and possible penalty.

Okay, fast-forward to the ball moving, and the guy with the ball actually throws it to someone who somehow manages to catch it, maybe run with it for a few yards, and then gets thrown to the ground or runs out-of-bounds into a cameraman - possibly as an NFL-sponsored program designed to give a cameraman a look into the life of an NFL player, generally by knocking him to the ground in a painful manner. Oh, but wait! A flag has been thrown on the field because in the split second between the guy catching the ball and getting a beat-down, the referees need to verify whether or not his feet were on the ground, or both feet were in-bounds, or whether his shoelaces were untied or something. Three minutes later, the decision is made and the nothingness begins anew.

1% of the plays, something actually happens. Which causes five minutes of detailed review as to WHY it happened or how the other team mistakenly LET it happen.

This is just like the above, but since three minutes didn't get wasted on referees reviewing three different videotaped angles - they decide to waste three minutes with announcers drawing arrows on video screens to show you how the ball was caught because "the player moved his left hand inward at the same time that he moved his right hand inward, and they came together at a central point where the football happened to be, and then he moved his right foot forward as to avoid getting tackled by a large man and then he moved his left foot forward to gain more momentum in an effort to drive the mass of his body closer towards a zone at the end of the football field commonly referred to as an "end zone" so that his team will be rewarded with a certain number of points determined by the... HEY WAKE UP! I'M EXPLAINING SOMETHING EVERYONE IS AWARE OF AND I USED TO PLAY FOOTBALL SO LISTEN TO MY VOICE NOW!"

Seriously, what crappy lottery gets played to drag out these four yokels behind one giant desk and banter with each other about this game? The black guy second from the right reminded me a LOT of Ali Williams from Family Guy. I think I caught him say ONE thing during the entire halftime bullshit report - which he said twice, possibly because it was in his contract - and that was "KEEP YO EYE ON YO LUGGAGE!" as he gripped a football, expertly pointing out the foibles of the Super Bowl players who seemed unable to do just that. Possibly due to it being RAINY and the ball being WET. Maybe if football were played in suits behind a giant desk, they'd have a much easier time of keeping their eyes on their "luggage". Thanks, Ali!

Pressing on...

Football penalties can be moronic.

Okay, in the game of basketball - someone shoves someone to the ground and a whistle is blown and a foul or technical foul gets issued and if you screw up enough times, they throw you out of the game. Now, in football, one of the ASPECTS of the game is shoving someone to the ground. So why are there penalties regarding HOW this is done? "Ref! Ref! He touched my mask! My MASK!!" Whistle. Foul. Penalty. WTF??? "Ref! Ref! He touched my shirt! MY SHIRT!!!" Whistle. Foul. Penalty. WTF???

This is utter nonsense. If you're going to base a major part of the game on brutally knocking down a player, then you have to let someone brutally knock that player down. Know the best way to knock them to the ground? Grab onto them and knock them down. Now, in hockey - I can understand that while beating the shit out of the opponent is a major part of the game (at least it seems that way), the usage of your stick in the process is a no-no. Weapons just hinder the brutality of the beating. But whether you just sock him in whatever teeth he has left, or pull his shirt over his head and work the torso - it's all good.

And then in football, you can't hurt CERTAIN people? There was a play involving a penalty because someone tackled the kicker. The guy came out to kick the field goal, and he kicked the ball and a guy slammed into his leg and knocked him down. BOO-HOO! There should be no penalty for that, EVER! If you're dumb enough to put on the outfit and get your ass onto a football field where you're AWARE that tackling is a major part of the game - you bet your ass tackling is going to be on the menu. If the head coach decided to wander onto the field in the middle of a play and got sacked in the process - I'd expect no penalty for that, either. Coaches know to stay on the sidelines and not ON the field. That's where the tackling generally happens.

It happens off the field just as much. Get a 250-pound man barreling out of bounds, and realize there's people there - someone's gonna get tackled. Usually a cameraman - because there seem to be SO many of them out there. How come there's no penalty for roughing up an innocent bystander? I bet if Dennis Rodman just whucked a basketball out-of-bounds and into the smug begging-for-it face of Vince Vaughn or Ben Affleck, HE'D get a technical foul or something. Football needs a serious reworking in the tackling penalty department.

Halftime Shows. 'Nuff Said.

Lewis Black has a lot of material on the horrid nature of SuperBowl halftime shows. I'd love to just copy it and adapt it all to this particular one. But I have to admit that part of the suckiness was due to the fact that it was fucking RAINING. I suspect that had it not been raining, there would have been more lucrative dancing or worth paying attention to. Instead, we were left with the crooning of PRINCE.

"Because when I think of football - OH YEA - I think of PRINCE!"

While Dave Chappelle alludes to Prince's basketball abilities, I don't think there's anything connecting him to football in general. I don't think there's much linking him to ANYTHING MANLY in general. Let's face it, people - football is considered a "manly sport". This isn't to be sexist - I do a lot of perusing of personal ads and all the women link an interest in football to "being one of the guys" and "their masculine side". All of the shots of his fans screaming madly while rushing the stage were all lanky-looking women who I doubt had any real interest in football in general. At least they didn't do their usual joining of two/three musical "talents" who are a bit mismatched and god-awful. We just got one. And it was Prince.

Purple Rage.

I zoned out through the last two quarters, mostly listening while I was on the computer. I didn't need to SEE the Bears sucking out loud - it was so loud I could hear it from the other room. Which leads me to the endgame. Confetti is streaming down, getting stuck to bald players' heads which are wet with rain or sweat or something else that would make confetti stick to skin - and they announce the trophy being brought in by "the Winningest Coach in the NFL".


Yea, they just made up a word. And not in a cool way like Colbert made up "truthiness" or "wikiality" - this is just a stupid word. I'm sure I could get a linguistics expert to verify the sheer stupidity of it. And to make matters worse, this then leads to the most devious of titles in the NFL itself - "MVP". The "Most Valuable Player", huh? Something tells me that this "value" they refer to is backed up by NOTHING factual. I mean, when it comes to a player's value in the NFL - wouldn't you look at the price on his contract? I mean, a yearly salary plus percentage of the initial signing bonus would be the natural way to determine the "most-valued" of players, right? And let's face it - after this last game, all of the players are useless, aren't they? I mean there's always that commercial at the last major sporting event that says that "after tomorrow - we're all undefeated again" or something. I guess it can refer to the value of the player DURING the season, like "without you, we never woulda made it" kind of thing, but that's a bit rude to the other players, isn't it? I mean, it's a TEAM sport, right?

Oh, and the prize for winning MVP? A car.

Hell, even on Oprah there's enough sense to give EVERYONE a car... If I were the losing team, I'd think it'd be pretty easy to just go over to that brand new fancy car and just tip it over. Seriously, these guys are huge and strong. I bet you'd only need like four of them. Just tip it over and say "Who's the most valuable NOW, BITCH?" and walk away. With the Bears, I'm surprised they didn't. Trust me, nobody in Chicago would think they were "poor sports" for doing it. They'd chip into a fundraiser for bail money afterwards as a "thank you". They'd even grunt while they placed money into the fundraising boxes with "Daaaaaa Bail!"

Oh yes, the Lombardi trophy handed to the coach and the team, but mostly the coach was announced as being the "most prestigious award in team sports". REALLY? You're really not only going to freely award this trophy that particular form of superlative, but use the word "prestige" to do so? At least in baseball or basketball, you're not allowed to push people! If football exudes "prestige" - then the most prestigious award in team sports should be the Stanley Cup. After all, it IS a lot BIGGER. And if it's a different kind of prestige, that title really belongs with the Olympic Gold Medal awarded to a team sport. Olympics exude a lot more prestige - and they have a lot more right to use the word "world" in their titles than the National Football League does. I don't want to hear that the Colts are "world champions". That's as dumb as the word "world" in baseball's "World Series".

Before I go, I just want to compare two or three SuperBowl commercials, illustrating the differences between price and elaboration and effectiveness.

Commercial #1: Kentucky Fried Chicken

They scrolled a message saying how they were going to give you a break from all of the overpriced elaborate nonsense commercials. Then it showed a bucket of fried chicken, and said it was like a 10-piece bucket of chicken for $7.99, I think. That's it.

Very effective, in my opinion. It poked fun at the hype of SuperBowl commercials, got its message across, and featured the brilliant return of the FULL TITLE of the company, Kentucky Fried Chicken. They recently decided to shy away from the KFC logo they'd been hiding behind for a long time, and re-emerge with their full title once more.

Commercial #2: GoDaddy.com

A guy in a suit is talking about the company and what they do, selling cheap domain names and whatnot, and then he gets to the marketing department door, and there's a huge party with fun and music and boobs a-plenty and he closes the door after a few seconds and says "Everybody wants to be in Marketing."

Yes, sir, and I'd like to be in Marketing, too! Very effective commercial, in my opinion, because sex sells - even more so when you're pointing out that sex sells. It's all the craftiness of honesty and humor with the added bonus of SEX that SELLS! It not only made me want to find out more about GoDaddy, but also apply for their Marketing department. Until I remembered it was just a commercial. But still... Seriously...

Commerical #3: GM Motors

An elaborate commercial with a lot of CG or machinery as a factory robot gets fired from the shop, and has to live on the streets. He winds up in the crappy position of waving around one of those big arrow signs, and finally commits suicide by jumping off a bridge. He then wakes up back in the factory, and is happy to keep working.

Why the hell would you advertise firing an employee and driving them to suicide?? I mean, it's a robot, but they personified it with human emotions and actions so we could "relate to it" and then it jumps off a bridge because it wants to die?? Why would I want your products after you reminded me of being miserable enough to the point of suicide??? Hell, if the company wanted to really SEAL the deal, after the robot wakes up from this horrible dream - the manager should have fired him for SLEEPING ON THE JOB! This was an awful commercial, and I'm willing to bet there's a lot of online blather about GM's hiring/firing practices from people who bothered to do more research than I felt like as this late hour.

I have work tomorrow and have to get up at 6am to do so.

Failure to do so might result in them firing me and me wanting to jump off a bridge. Thanks, GM! Read more!