I’m excited to report that the loosely categorized “Carapace Project” is back in production. Both Nick and Mike are hard at work writing their respective arteries and I have, once again, returned to mine. Stay tuned for updates and previews as they will be imperative to our continued motivation.
People of Calaan, your voices shall be heard…
Starting April 2nd, you can find me every Monday over at The Heavy Duty where I’ll be staving back the crippling, inevitable affects of fallangical atrophy.
The NFL was in late February form this past week when off-the-field stories dominated headlines, marginalizing sports that were actually underway. The greatest Colt to ever play the game was traded to the Broncos, the deconstruction of the Saints proceeded, and the Jesus Christ of quarterback controversies was sent to New York. Two of these stories are linked, for me, in a very real way (not the two that you think). One of these stories doesn’t belong in this group because it’s the only genuine story.
Peyton Manning to the Broncos was the headline, the product of a full term gestation. It was all anyone’s been waiting for since the end of the regular season, perhaps earlier if you were focusing closely on the wall on which everything was written. The story heralds the sunset of an era and the dusk of a career; a stillborn fetus birthed of an attention starved “mother-ship“. Yet, with so many dicks to suck, the Manning story was dismissed within a day for much more salacious affair. The upstanding underdog Tim Tebow was on the move as a result of Manning’s arrival – thus immediately providing another (more polarizing) pursuit – and the Saints were knee capped by a delusional commissioner’s ban hammer. These two stories are linked by more than just my ire. They automate forward by way of the same petrol, the fuel of the new NFL demographic.
Bounties have been present in the NFL longer than you think. Sorry, when I say “you” I mean the casual fans who only started watching each Super Bowl after Janet Jackson’s nip slip. When I say “you” I mean the soccer moms who like the event of it all and the commercials between bouts of hyper-tension, induced by the fear of the kids hearing an f-bomb picked up by the referee’s mic. When I say “you”, I mean the NFL’s new target demo. “You” can make a lot of money for the NFL and Roger Goodell knows it. This is why the subtle strategy of the running game has been executed from the sport in favor of the flashier passing game. This is why Breast Cancer Awareness is advertised with pink uniforms, as opposed to AIDS or cancer awareness. This is why the Saints will be punished for a practice as old as the game. Understand this: the sport, the business profits on violence. The conclusion of each play, game, and season is manufactured aggression. Peddling pain and doing all you can to instill as much of it as you can is what Defense is all about. So if your issue with “bounties” is the motivation behind them: pick a different sport to watch.
If you believe that the problem with bounties is that the likelihood of injuries is higher, consider this: football players, even at a professional level, are not ninjas. The field is not strewn with restrained assassins, just waiting for the kill command. Bounties are the smallest incentive (for a player already at the highest competitive level) to play harder, faster, and more aggressive. It’s not a license to kill, freeing the player to unleash a skill-set involving the intricate ways in which to break an arm. Ten thousand dollars to take out Brett Favre is the equivalent of a steak dinner and night on the town for most of us. They’re a “silly side bet” (thanks Matt) and, really, should be expected in a game where injury is just as prevalent as pass plays.
“You” are responsible for Tebow-mania, too. Tim Tebow is everything the NFL thinks you want: a polite demeanor, pretty face, and family friendly values. He’s a G-Rated star with no threat of animal abuse or cock shots on Twitter. Who cares if he can play the game, we’re celebrating parity now! He’s an underdog in a sport where anyone can win! Tebow is the embodiment of Goodell’s agenda: a safe, polite NFL. Major sports media outlets love Tebow too. For they know he can’t play his way off a pulpit but understand that it doesn’t matter. Sports are more entertainment than competition now and, just as the NFL is targeting TMZ tuners, so is EZPN.
Tebow to New York will result in even more coverage, for reasons valid or not. Every day from now until the end of the season will feature a “Tebow in New York” story in the rotation. What will be, what is, and most of all: what could be will be dissected by Sports Emmy nominated “talent” until the likely outcome is disappointing in comparison to the months worth of hype shoveled over its casket. The hypothetical in sports journalism is fetish akin to auto-erotic asphyxiation: sensationalism grows with severity until essence is severed and a husk remains, dick in hand. No tangible facts are in discussion, just wild speculation, which is evidently enough to entertain. Tebow is not a better quarterback than Mark Sanchez, which isn’t saying much but says everything. His hiring is a PR stunt that will result in a 6-10 record during which Rex Ryan juggled Sanchez and Tebow out of games at the manic whims of the Jet faithful. The team will be a god damned bloodbath, showering the entire sport.
Ratings will never be higher.
It is with that acknowledgment that I consider the betterment of the sport, not the coverage or fan fare surrounding it, and offer these bounties:
Bring me the still dripping bones of “Tim-sanity” and the uneducated fandom that breathes life into Tebow-mania with every ignorant breath. Stop praising him as a “winner”. The Denver defense kept that team in close situations. Without them, no miracles would’ve been possible. Is he a great football player? Sure, compared to me and my dad, yeah he’s great. There’s a lot of real estate between Thanksgiving Day backyard All Star and an NFL player. Allow Tim to build his house there, it’s still nicer than our neighborhood.
Let there be an end to the appeasement of parent-friendly sport. This is not Pop Warner, these are grown men making handsome salaries to throw themselves against on-coming trains. That’s always going to be dangerous. Stop pretending that it’s not. Goodell, stop pretending the sport is out of control and regulating it on behalf of the phantom offended. If anything, the NFL was neutered years ago and those who’ve been paying attention to the decline see right through your bullshit.
Let me stare into the deadened eyes of a hyperbolic and vapid media corpse. This, this most of all is what I desire. Sports are magnificent enough. No sensationalism is required. You can’t fabricate excitement, legends, or impactful moments. Your lives would be so much easier if you simply stopped trying so hard.
For these gifts, these crucial killings, I am willing to offer my undying gratitude…and a box of Cheez-Its.