Tackling football

So there’s gonna be a football season after all. Well, let me be one of the few columnists in this country to say … too bad.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not some bookworm who’s always hated pro sports. In fact, it’s sobering to report I’ve been strung out on the Minnesota Vikings (“Hi, my name is Bruce and I’m a Vikings fan”) since I was 7 years old. Ever since I saw Fran Tarkenton running for his life all over the field in his dashing purple pants, I intuitively realized that I’d stumbled upon an apt metaphor for the way life would probably turn out.

So yeah, I’ve seen a few games in my time. But that still didn’t keep me from secretly hoping that somehow, the players and owners were gonna muck it all up, resulting in a complete meltdown and no ball.

For one thing, all the media reports started to get to me, the breathless reports from various pundits and analysts that implied or outright declared, “Oh my God, if there’s no football this year, what’ll we do? How will we live? How will we zzk zzeet zaap zorkk [circuit overload]?”

That prissy, hapless attitude in turn fueled the dark love of novelty and disruptive chaos that lurks within me. No football this year? Well. This will be interesting. Just how will us American Males react to this major cultural speed bump? How will we cope with this sudden black hole in our general routine? (Girls, while I know many of you are fans, as well, I also think you’re generally far less melodramatic when it comes to coping with a “crisis” like this. Let’s face it, it’s the men who were gonna be the drama queens in a football-free autumn.)

Would we just curl up in a fetal position in a corner of the TV room every Sunday, torso faithfully painted in team colors, quietly sucking our thumbs and peeing on the carpet? Or would we slowly but surely pull our heads out of our helmets, and (1) take the kids camping for the entire weekend, (2) learn how to play the xylophone, (3) cook a new soup every Sunday afternoon, (4) finally get the effing garage cleaned, or (5) whatever? There are 28,746 things you can do on Sunday besides spend nine hours in front of the idiot box watching behemothic no-necks exhibit their skills, courage and madness. Alas, we’ve now been spared this substantial and potentially life-changing challenge/opportunity.

In the luxury boxes of every stadium in the land, the plutocrats are pleased. Greatly so. The plebians will have their game. Their beers. Their chili cheese fries. Their fantasy teams. They will not ask questions. They will not think about the way things are or the way things could be. They will be happy plebes, numb and fat. Just the way we like ’em. Heh heh heh. Heh heh.