America, we need to talk. I’m talking to you. The red meat eating, back to back world war winning, rock ‘n’ roll inventing, caution to the wind throwing, badass m****r f*****s. What has become of our beloved sport, football?! The NFL has become a den of social engineers. A veritable pencil-necked Politburo of safe spacers and products of participation trophy culture. The league makes the players speak to the media at a prescribed amount, making them have to entertain the media in what amounts to public theater, per contractual obligation. Now the dramatards have found something to argue about, inviting a whole deluge of punditry that can only be described as “The View” for men, on a daily basis. Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe, I’m talking to you.
I miss Marshawn Lynch. I loved that guy. Once, post playoff win, he couldn’t take the media BS session in the locker room, so he just answered every question with “I’m thankful.” Dozens and dozens of times. Now that was a football player. He did his thing on the field, which was thoroughly impressive, then retired to be a private citizen. Let me be very frank, this isn’t going to wade into the usual Colin Kaepernick bashing. No, if anything, I reject the culture that wants to keep black men in sports and entertainment relegated to minstrel show level of respect. If anything, I respect the physical and mental prowess of these athletes. I want them to compete and excel at the game and god forbid, can we cool it with the penalty flags and constant whistles?
Which brings me to the ageless wonder, linebacker James Harrison. The consummate Pittsburgh Steeler. The one who for a few years back was cast as the “Antichrist” for hitting too hard. The most fined player in the league for a stretch. He was an all around athlete too. Let us not forget the 100 yard “Immaculate Interception” return for a touchdown in the Superbowl against the Arizona Cardinals. Harrison hails from the linebacking corps that wrote the book on smashmouth football. In fact, I highly recommend the book “The Ones Who Hit the Hardest: The Steelers, The Cowboys, and The Fight for America’s Soul” by Chad Millman.
The book takes it’s title from a quote by Jack Lambert: “Football is a game designed to reward the ones who hit the hardest.” Lambert, a cornerstone of the Steelers’ Steel Curtain defense of the 1970’s, had four Superbowl rings. That was his reward for hitting the hardest. He knew that taking his opponent down to stop their forward progress was only a fraction of his job as a linebacker. The psychological edge of hitting them really hard gave the opponent more to think about. “Should we go that way knowing what we will have to deal with if we go up against Lambert?” That was the goal of hitting really hard. Eliminating their options. So, if Mean Joe Greene and Mel Blount are doing their job too, then they’ve really done a great job of narrowing down their opponents list of desirable options. They’ve gotten into their heads. The physical game is only a conduit for winning the mental game.
This ethic is not encouraged in today’s NFL. And, if I may be so bold, it is not encouraged in today’s society. We have a new cultural Marxism that hates excellence, because excellence is viewed as something that has to be done at someone else’s unfair expense! Enter the flag throwing. The rule making. The deferential treatment of the precious offense and their quarterback’s pretty throws. “Don’t hit the guy too hard, that’s ableism! He can’t take it!” Folks, I’m not a blood thirsty guy, but let’s not lie to ourselves here. Football is a facsimile of tribal warfare. If we understand that, and even celebrate it to some degree, we instill the values of self preservation, hard work, team work and careful strategy. The X’s and O’s. The details vs the Big Picture. Finding a balance. This can be a very culturally uplifting exercise.
We’re losing football and our culture, to these forces that swear they are coming from a good place, but hurt the “game” in the long run because people will just tune out when every single move they make, or word they say, could result in a “flag.” Any football player or fan will tell you that there is holding on every play, but the referees call holding “selectively.” Ok! So, then the refs can determine who will excel or even win, simply by the arbitrary nature of when they feel it’s best to throw the flag (or enforce the law). Wow! Kind of reminds me of the SEC, the IRS, the Justice Dept, the Federal Reserve Board, or anyone that can, with the click of a mouse, affect the outcomes of millions of livelihoods’.
If I know these 21st century social engineers like I think I know them, football exec’s, government and corporate colluders alike, they can’t help but fix the “game” (or the economy) for the benefit of themselves and their most favorite colleagues, family members, fraternity brothers and lets say, social clubs. Ya, social clubs, like the Bohemian Club, the Skull and Bones, the Bilderberg Group. You know, harmless social clubs. With these types of folks running the show, no wonder there’s cameras everywhere on the field.
So, if you need another instant replay, challenge flag, timeout or commercial break to powder your nose, just go ahead and find another sport. Make football great again! And, there’s always hockey, thank God for hockey. Of course the media suppresses hockey. It still rewards those who hit the hardest.
<Story by Bjorn Vader>
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