However, I have always been a fan in spite of the disturbingly right-wing way in which it is presented to the public. Everything from the almost-mandatory requirement of athletes and owners to support US foreign policy, to stars thanking God for the big touchdown, is drenched in a sort of nationalist wash that can be more than a bit disturbing. I really, really could do without, for example, the tendency of players and coaches to refer to playing their games as "going to battle" as if what they do has any similarity to the heroic actions of our sailors and soldiers. Wars kill. Sports (usually) don't. However, when the game starts I can only rejoice in the wonder that is the human body even though many of my fellow liberals consider me somewhat shallow for doing so.
Yah know, it is too bad that more people don't enjoy a good game. Many, many people of all political stripes and walks of life do. Athletics (yes professional as well as amateur) is, in fact, a part of of the human experience. When played at its highest level it can be a beautiful thing. Every once in a while I will hear someone say "I only watch college football." This strikes me as being rather like only watching beginner ballet. Sure, Randy Moss is difficult. Guess what, so was Picasso. I guess we shouldn't look at his paintings?
I bring this up today primarily because the NFL Playoffs are about to start (with much, much hype). And because I found a great regular column that is worth a look, not just for those of you who, like me, are liberals who still enjoy a good game on the TV or in person, but for anyone who might like a critique of sports from someone who still values it. Not since the sports page of the Daily Worker have I had so much fun...