Friday, February 03, 2006

Aus der Anti-Kriegsschule des Lebens: Contra-Stupor Bowl

There exist quite a few decent reasons to detest the Stupor Bowl. First off, football is not some real profound type of activity. Even baseball requires a certain finesse and skill which foot, er, porkball lacks. That's not to say pro baseball is that much superior: like pork ball and bassetball, it's another type of popular hysteria as well. But a Dennis Eckersley or Will Clark are sort of athletic engineers compared to porkball thugs. Ok, an Elway or Montana type of quarterback, and the receivers, perhaps have some real skills, but on the whole it's far less of a skill sport than baseball or hockey (bassetball another thug- sport as well). Chess of course puts ball sports to shame in terms of cognitive skills, but a Karpov vs. Kasparov match does not provide much for the average non-chess playing spectator; for some reason it's hard to conceive of say Marv Alpert shouting, "He fianchettoed! He fianchettoed!." Motor sports also have a certain technological and modern thrill that the ball games sorely lack. That's not to say NASCAR, Le Grand Prix, or street bike racing are so superior to the Stupor Bowl, but the gear is a plus. There's a certain beauty to velocity and to horse-power.

The corporate-consumer feeding frenzy also contributes to the nausea. Stupor Bowl is, apart form the game, like one endless beer advertisements. Bud Bowl is not far from the truth. There may be some few humans out in TV land not enjoying a brew (or multiple brews) while watching the teams march up and down the gridiron, but be assured they are a very small percentage of the pork-ball audience. Beer is sort of like a requirement for the frat-boy Bowl ritual, accompanied with all sorts of junk foods and snacks that the American schports consumer needs. The Bowl is, let's face it, not very conducive to mental or physical health. The half-time show can be entertaining sometimes, at least if you leave the sound off--even the Tommy Trojan theme if not John Phillip Sousa hisself preferable to U2 or whatever rock/rap/pop noise featured this year--tho' maybe there will be some more nipple shots this time 'round, or guest appearance by the Al Jazeera press corps.

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