On Sunday, the Prozac Nation's leading Corporate Media distraction, the National Football League, officially began its regular season. Now in sports---like everything else in Postmodern America---the personal is political. So naturally, the headlines today are filled with outrage and controversy.
With polls showing that high percentages of young Americans know nothing about the 9/11 Anniversary---which also incidentally happened on Sunday---one would think that Americans would be more concerned with our failing public educational system than about a few privileged millionaires who refuse to salute the flag. But such are Ameroboob priorities.
Football is considered a unique aspect of American culture. It's a strictly North American game, and even a tradition on some American holidays. But the NFL---and college football as well---long ago sank into the quagmire of the political correctness and moneyed corruption so characteristic of American society today. Today we have an inclusive NFL, with female coaches and sportscasters, and openly gay players. Some teams are disbanding cheerleaders as sexist; others are encouraging female players; and the boys are even sporting pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month---one of the PC NFL's leading social causes.
And the Corporate corruption is there too. From the collegiate level where athletes are given a free pass through college and schedules are fixed to promote certain teams---raking in millions annually from television contracts and the three-dozen-or-so college bowl-games; the NCAA is the corrupt tree on which the NFL is the poisoned fruit. The executives in both posture as pillars of society; but the fast buck is what it's really all about to any of them. When we look at the economics of the NFL today what we see are mercenary players and coaches jumping to any team that offers a dollar more than their current one. And behind the scenes, there are stadium deals; players' agents, TV rights, revenue-sharing, union bosses, contract holdouts, schedule shaving, rule-bending, Vegas oddsmakers---a whole host of unsavory characters looking for angle to cash in on.
Professional football---as it's practiced today---would probably be much less objectionable if it simply portrayed itself like so-called 'professional wrestling' and just admitted it was all a con-game put on for show. Unfortunately, professional football is also a part of our cultural traditions; and to admit that fact would be about as popular as cancelling the 4th of July just because our government no longer respects our Founding Principles.
Football was actually begun in America as a uniquely American sport. It was developed in the Ivy League schools during the 1880s. Its founders encouraged it to promote masculine virtues like physical fitness, leadership, teamwork, sportsmanship, and responsibility. And most importantly of all, a team represented the values of its school. Professional football began shortly after WW1. The same principles applied, except the professionals represented a city and were the top national athletes. But as narcissism and moral relativism took over the culture, athletes followed suit.
It's no wonder then that football players refuse to honor America. Their disloyalty to Nation is simply the natural consequence of earlier players, coaches, and owners' disloyalty to their community. It's not a huge leap from a greedy owner who'd move a whole team for a quick buck to refusing to stand during the National Anthem for a publicity stunt.
Americans who complain about these players' protests need to take a good look at how the situation got to this point. If you take people who are unqualified for college, run them through the PC universities and the corrupt NCAA; and put them in the even more corrupt and politically-correct NFL---what kind of behavior do you expect? Why should a player care about his community image? Some other team might offer him more money tomorrow; or the owner could move the team for a fat payoff next year. It's all about the bottom line, and the Smart Boys have little room for quaint ideas like teamwork and sportsmanship.
The issue is much deeper than a political statement. These incidents are a statement of how low we have sunk as a culture. The win-at-all-costs, look-out-for-number-one attitudes from our sports stars represent the morality of the culture which produced it.