Saturday, September 06, 2008

What's this noise I hear about some kind of "foot" ... "ball"? Is that some kind of Republican stunt?

Fall is a mixed bag for me. For the most part, I love it. But it has a couple of drawbacks. For one thing, the leaves fall off the trees (coincidence? I think not!), which is a drag. For another thing -- the one-two punch of college and professional football seasons starting.

My one-word assessment of football: Ecch.

OK, that's only recognized as a word by Mad magazine's editorial style manual. And I watch more than my share of football every fall and winter. Actually, one game -- one play, even -- is too much, but I watch a lot more than that. I get bored after baseball season ends, and Sunday afternoons in the winters here are very conducive to ingesting a few alcohols and being bored to death by a game that should be called "Pause Ball." People say baseball is slow and dull -- people who are WRONG, that is -- but watching football is like watching C-SPAN. Minus the action.

The average football play consists of 11 gigantic armored freaks of nature running about one-and-a-half feet into 11 other gigantic armored freaks and then falling down. Then they all get up and gather together in New Agey discussion circles and talk about it for approximately two days. Then they line up and collide into each other again. Sometimes the ball gets thrown, and once in a while, somebody catches it. But then some guy dressed like a convict sticks his head in a contraption that looks like one of Matthew Brady's original Civil War cameras and they have a Constitutional Convention to decide whether the receiver's foot touched a line or didn't touch a line, or whether his socks match, or don't match, or whether the marching band's drummer was off-beat, or just too hip for the room ... etc.

And every year they change the fucking rules. Although the rules that get changed usually are rules I didn't know existed anyway -- because there appear to be about 700 million rules in football, especially pro football. The NFL rule book must be thicker than the Internal Revenue Code and all the tax regulations put together. So when they enact a new one that says something like,

"A tackler who tackles the quarterback on his mother's birthday must send the quarterback's mother a nice birthday card -- and not one of those 'funny' ones. It must be one of those mushy ones that will make the quarterback's mother cry with happiness, so as to forget the fact that her Number One Son has just been pummeled into the turf with the force of the Tunguska Explosion,"

you can't hardly notice the difference, I guess.

So ... anyway ... I'm told that we have our own professional football team in Chicago. OK, I guess I knew that, since my hometown was (and is) totally riddled with players from that team, temporarily living there, for some damn reason. Pro football players can't afford to live in Lake Forest? Or Highland Park? Or even Libertyville, or some other decent Lake County village? Maybe some of them do, but Tank Johnson used to live in my old neighborhood, and Fridge Perry used to live in a crummy aluminum-sided cookie-cutter box in a very mundane subdivision in Mundelein, so ...

But I digress. The fact is that I'm not much of a Bears fan. When I used to like football -- in the late '70s -- I was a Steelers fan. The Bears were bad. I'd watch them because they were local, but they sucked. Then they were good for a short while, but managed to be completely irritating the whole time -- what with the Super Bowl Shuffle, that imbecile Coach Ditka, etc. -- and then they sucked again. Somehow they ended up in the Super Bowl a few seasons ago, but that was just the kind of fluke that makes me hate football even more.

So I'm no Bears fan. But if you're interested in the semi-comedic rantings of someone who kind of is a Bears fan -- check out this new tour de farce by puppet-master Des and his cast of incomprehensible characters -- Captain Silas Redbeard's Bears Preview. You won't get it, per se, but it might weird out your brain in a manner that you can do something positive with, karmically. That's up to you.

And, in the general jugular vein of football comedy, here's a timeless classic that everyone knows, but that is worth a re-listen:

Andy Griffith - What It Was, Was Football

1 comment:

Silas Redbeard said...

I think the Andy Griffith excerpt was a fore-runner to Bob Dylan's "Talking Nuclear War Blues", or some such. Anywoo, thanks for the timesly endorsement of Captain Redbeard's Shindig of Football-ness. "Immanentize the Eschcaton!", or whatever it was Sarah Palin said the Republican convention. Maybe it was simply "Excelsior!" Oh, wait. I forgot to stay in character again. ARRRRH!!!! Mateys...