As a kid, I loved autumn. New teachers and classrooms in place of boring summer, maples turning red, the prospect of snow.
Now, the season palls. It’s not because the excitement of school is long past or because Colorado’s golden aspens don’t quite match the fire of New York’s maples. And it’s not because the prospect of winter doesn’t still have its allure. It’s football.
I hate football.
I’m indifferent to players who resemble boxcars: How can I, who couldn’t add to my 150 lbs even with a lifetime McDonalds gift-certificate, identify with alien body-types?
I’m impatient with the ratio of inaction to action: A long wait at a broken traffic light. A reluctant pupil trudging to school. A milk-train. An old man trying to pee.
I’m outraged at clear violations of the common-sense Bill of Rights: Freedom of speech? The coach charts the routes and assignments, and calls every play. Cruel and unusual punishment? Ask the retired NFL players who just collected $700+ million. The only freedom not violated is the right to bare arms (sic).
Indifference, impatience, outrage distill to pure loathing of football’s stranglehold on public discourse and the media.
You can’t escape. August through February, football rules the water-cooler and the airwaves. Tuesday or Wednesday, you may find the occasional football-free zone, but, Thursday through Monday, it’s a wasteland. Serena Williams, the greatest woman tennis player ever, an American playing on home turf, had to wait on an NFL game before proceeding to her fifth U.S. Open title.
Try to find intelligent press coverage of other sports, let alone world events, especially if you live in a football-mad city like Denver, as I do. Were they real, or did I imagine recent Denver Post headlines? BRONCOS’ ORANGE JUICES RAVENS! MANNING CUTS NEW RECORD! (tsunami wipes out japan); (russia purchases angola); (kardashian sisters enter convent); NON-BRONCO FAN DISCOVERED LIVING IN CAVE!
Autocracies maintain their rule by controlling the media. If there is a real political difference between Pravda and a free-press, where is the practical difference for the non-fan, buried under the propaganda of football, yearning to breathe free?
I suppose I should take consolation in the long-ago demise of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Otherwise, tomorrow’s headlines might read: ANTI-BRONCO CAVE DWELLER PLEADS 5TH! (world war 3 breaks out); MANNING PARDONS “MISGUIDED” TROUBLEMAKER!!!!