Out of Sync

Annually I experience the same odd weekend in late January or early February void of understanding the fascination of watching steroidal, beast-like millionaires engage in gladiator activities on a Sunday evening. I think my concern would wash away if the obsessed fans were willing to move from the couch and do more than head to Wal-Mart to purchase corn-syrup enriched foods to add to their excessively high caloric intake. For days beforehand morning and evening news programs beam critical messages to the masses about the must-watch game, the cannot wait to be seen commercials, and the over-hyped halftime show. Unable to afford it, but still willing, consumers will purchase new televisions to achieve bragging rights among their friends. Grocery stores peddle mountains of soda and chips at the gateways to their stores and decorate like another holiday has come. On game day over zealous fans will don tribal colors to cheer for their millionaires and some will paint their skin or even forever mark themselves with tattoos. Hilariously, the word “we” will be used more than ever to claim membership on a team although no fan would be allowed near the celebrity players.

With 45.8 million Americans on food stamps it is likely the SNAP card will purchase soda and chips to celebrate the day. For an afternoon the unemployed, those facing foreclosure, and many worried about job security will disregard the true American concerns instead asserting this ritual game as more important. Sadly, these same hurting neighbors will know more about the players, their names, hometowns, and meaningless statistics than they do members of congress, their state legislature, or local elected officials. Ironically, many support the “occupy” movements and fall victim to the populist arguments of today, but fail to realize their own celebration of the ultra-rich further distances the classes. While players unionize to find fairness in the absurd revenue generation, the owners are elevated from the lifestyle of their fans by wealth beyond most imaginations. I wonder how many fans realize a player earns more in one season than most fans will earn in a lifetime?

So, another meaningless game has come and gone and an afternoon of life was given to further reward those our president is suggesting we despise. Of course, many men will take their sons to football practice to teach them the gladiator like throws, and tackles to hopefully make superstars of them, or more importantly demonstrate their masculinity to their tribal friends. The reward of the annual ritual of millionaire game playing is the small boost to the economy and distraction from woe, but the tragedy is the blind following of the masses being entertained like the citizens of Rome as the empire faces collapse.