Matski is a football fan as much as the next guy. For those of you looking for tidbits for your unauthorized biogs of the Prof, here’s a gem: not only was I the captain of my high school team, I was also an all-state defensive lineman. So I speak with some authority on these issues.
Now, let me also say that, over the years, I’ve viewed the NFL with some distaste. There are great things about the league – the Lions’ Thanksgiving game being one of the best – and there are some not so great things … I’ll leave you to come up with your own examples of that.
But one thing that has consistently raised my hackles is the increasing militarization and shameless, pedantic moralizing of the NFL and its minions. A flyover for Derrick Thomas’ father – in the triumphalist wake of Gulf War I and given that DT’s dad was a pilot shot down and MIA (presumed dead) in ‘Nam – now that’s one thing. But since 9/11 it seems we’ve been treated to a weekly dose of the Lord Jesus Christ’s Army of One and Their Beloved Game Football. And let me just go on record and say that this Pat Tilman thing has gotten out of control. The guy made the decision that he had to make, and was killed in the line of duty by friendly fire that was exemplary more of the mess the U.S. Army is making in the nethers of Afghanistan than of any personal cojones.
It’s crap like this that’s led me to resurrect an old idea – a nonprofit, GGOOF (“Get God Out Of Football”) dedicated to getting the NFL to put down the standard of public morality and get back to playing a godd*mn game.
So you can guess my opinion of the Terrell Owens fiasco from last Monday’s game. Here’s the video if you haven’t seen it.
Now, these Monday Night intros (and intros for ESPNs Sunday Night Football) have been poorly written, obvious, terribly acted unsubtle – in a word, “bad.” Some of them have even been scary. The intro for the Tampa Bay at Oakland game earlier this year was downright frightening, depicting a stereotyped pack of crazed Raiders fans eeriely chanting for “Chucky,” and suggesting they would do him great violence once they found him. I mean, we’ve been subjected to Hank III’s howling missives for a decade now, and that’s enough to make me run for the fridge on its own (yes, Hank, I’m ready for some football, or, more specifically, I’m ready to make a football out of your a*s and feed it to you on a plate I make from the top of your skull unless you shut the f*ck up).
What’s more, any NFL game you see has approximately 55% of its ad time devoted to beer commercials featuring scantily clad women in suggestive situations, and the other 55% are “ED” ads featuring scantily clad women in suggestive situations (or washed out ex-coaches with prostate issues, take your pick).
So for the NFL and its fan to get their collective panties in a wad over the content of one bit of the ridiculousness that is the modern NFL is, frankly, ridiculous.
To the NFL, I say this: you are not the bringers of hope, the lighters of the dark, the keepers of the good and holy. You are not responsible for the education, the edification, not even the masturbation of America’s youth. It is not for you to decide right and wrong, good from bad, or stunt from malfunction. You have one responsibility, and one responsibility only – and that is to ensure that your teams have the opportunity to play the best possible football week in and week out.
Focus on your core compentency, eh?