Monday, February 4, 2013

The Football Culture

It's infected every part of our society. I've got it. Most of my friends have it. It dominates my workplace at times, and yesterday it took over our church. I'm talking about the football culture in the United States of America.

I love football. It's my favorite sport by a wide margin, so don't get me wrong here. There's nothing I like better than sitting back on a weekend day and watching the teams go at it on the gridiron. College or pro, doesn't matter. Maybe the pros slightly more. But I also enjoy going to see a high school football game. I love it all.

The violence of the game is a concern, of course; one that I push aside and let the NFL deal with through their evolution of the game. The off-field antics of a number of players is a concern, though I suspect we hear about more football players getting into trouble because there are more of them on a roster than are there players for other pro sports. Per every 100 players I bet the NFL has no more troubled players, and maybe fewer, than MLB and the NBA.

Our pastor likes football as much as I do if not more. I spend many a Sunday afternoon during football season with the television off, using that time to write a couple of thousands words. He probably watches as much as he can, and relaxes from his Sunday morning job.

Yesterday, since it was the first of two weeks between sermon series, pastor Mark decided on a football theme for day. He made it "Soup-er Bowl Sunday." Everyone was to bring in cans of soup or other food items for our church's food pantry. That's a good thing. But, we were to choose a bin to put them in, the choices labeled NFC, AFC, and Don't Care, and we were going to see who won. Seemed kind of silly.

Last week he encouraged everyone to wear their football jerseys, hats, or other apparel. Okay, nothing wrong with that. But I was left out as I've never seen the point of paying money to buy one of those overpriced items. Meh, no big deal.

The sermon, and hence the Life Group lesson, was "God vs. Baal". For the projection they created a graphic with two football helmets on the 50 yard line, with logos created for the God team and the Baal team. The sermon was from 1 King 18, where Elijah met the prophets of Baal and bested them in a day-long challenge, complete with trash talk, taunting, illegal use of knives and swords, and a contest won on the last play.

It was a good sermon. And we had a good life group class afterwards talking about it. I can't complain; I enjoyed it.

When it was time for the big game to begin, I was in The Dungeon busy working on my novel-in-progress. So I didn't turn it on. I got as far as I wanted to in the book, then went upstairs and we watched the news. The brought us to 7 Central Time. I turned the TV to the game and it was early in halftime. So we heated our soup for supper and settled down to watch the halftime show.

It seemed to me that the show mimicked the football culture. An attempt to be overly sensational. It wasn't music she sang so much as supposedly clever metrical sounds, and barely metrical at that. I never had a sense of rhythm from the singing, never heard a string of words that my brain could process into recognition of a tune. I'm used to music having melody and meaning, of being poetry without the words. Even rap has the strong meter that makes up for lack of strong melody. But last night? It wasn't music. I find it very hard to believe that people pay money to hear that kind of thing.

I have no real solution for this, and of course a lot of people will say no solution is necessary. Bring on more of it. It does seem that everything the NFL does prospers, and that people can't get enough of it; that the NCAA has the same phenomenon and have stretched out their season and differentiated their bowls to tap wider audiences. America is pulling further and further into the football culture.

This post is long enough, and I haven't fully gathered my thoughts and turned them into words. Perhaps I'll write a couple of more posts on this. Stay tuned. This may just be the end of the first quarter.

1 comment:

vero said...

Interesting comments.