National Fool’s League

I am perplexed by the continuing acceptance and popularity of the NFL; especially by men who otherwise I would consider in pursuit of honor and righteousness. From every aspect I consider, the NFL is a monster.

  • It was acceptable to the NFL that Adrian Peterson father multiple sons (are there daughters, too?) out-of-wedlock and largely abandon them to the half-life of bastardy. On this they are silent. However; when he makes an error in attempts to raise and discipline his sons: The NFL bans him.
  • It was also acceptable to the NFL that Ray Rice carouse and fornicate with women before marriage, but when he makes an error in defending himself from a drunken harlot then the NFL bans him. It is inconsequential to them that the two made peace, and even married.
  • The NFL repeatedly perverts eminent domain laws meant to provide for the common welfare to instead build palatial monuments to themselves. Thus “dedicated to the good of the community”, they strike me as temples to other gods. If you pay, they will bless through mystical and arcane “laws of economics”. Yet the NFL does not pay the evicted even one year’s minimum salary for their incursion upon the innocent; who are often old, poor, and without recourse.
  • They make grown men wear explicitly female garb for a month every year. Pink is not an essentially female color, but it remains that it is clothing that is chosen precisely to represent women. It’s light cross-dressing to feign solidarity.
  • From stats to cheerleaders to fantasy leagues, the NFL distracts many men from properly prioritizing their lives and time. Christian men who are familiar with the first and last names of every starting player on their favorite team–some of which change from year to year–, but can’t summarize the Gospel, list the Major Prophets, give St. Paul’s birth name, or even how many books are in the Bible.

On that last bullet point, some of you will want to retort, “Oh, well, that’s not the NFL’s fault.” That’s not Christ’s perspective. We do have a responsibility to our brothers, and to the extent that the NFL or anyone undermines that: We should carefully consider whether we ought to support them. Taken along with the rest, abandoning the fools to the peripheries of our consciousnesses seems obvious.

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18 thoughts on “National Fool’s League

  1. Some of my best memories of my youth involve working outdoors with my dad on Sunday afternoons, listening to the Packers on the radio, and running inside to see television replays of exceptionally good plays. But I hadn’t seen a game in a couple years, until last week I was at work and couldn’t leave but had nothing I needed to do. Waiting for the next emergency, I walked into the lounge, where the guys had the Green Bay-Miami game on. I forgot that it was dress the NFL like fags month, but settled down to watch the boys in pink prance about the field for the last quarter. In doing so, I realized what I believe to be the answer to the question you express above “the continuing acceptance and popularity of the NFL; especially by men who otherwise I would consider in pursuit of honor and righteousness.”
    When the final whistle blew, and the score was in favor of Green Bay, I felt a sense of victory. The feeling of winning is not a common one. We know that we are fighting the long defeat, and while final victory is assured, it is not something we see often in our daily lives. Socially, politically, even in our churches, we seem to be standing against the inexorable tide of an ocean of wickedness. We know that we are more than conquerors through him that loved us, but damnit, we don’t often feel like conquerors. The idea of seeing a team we identify with win, even if it is only 8 games a season, is a powerful pull.
    I probably won’t see anymore football games this season. If I feel that I need the since of accomplishment and winning, I’ll go work on adding that stubborn 20lb that are keeping my bench press from my goal, or work on another personal goal that accomplishes some good. And I think that is the only way to wean our fellow-soldiers off of sports-spectatorship-dependence: to introduce them to more productive–and ultimately more fulfilling–ways to ways to experience the joys of victory.

  2. We know that we are more than conquerors through him that loved us, but damnit, we don’t often feel like conquerors.

    I used to sympathize with this, but not anymore. I am convinced that the solution to the mismatch of emotions with experience is to change how we perceive the experience. In that light, my feelings of defeat are shown to be false…which matches with what the Bible tells me both about our victory in Christ and about the deceitfulness of my heart. Now, others’ confusion at my peculiar view of sports, art, and media is the source of my sense of victory. And it correlates with the Truth.

  3. I am convinced that the solution to the mismatch of emotions with experience is to change how we perceive the experience. In that light, my feelings of defeat are shown to be false…which matches with what the Bible tells me both about our victory in Christ and about the deceitfulness of my heart. Now, others’ confusion at my peculiar view of sports, art, and media is the source of my sense of victory. And it correlates with the Truth.

    Agreed. But to rejoice when persecuted, glory in sufferings, and consider trials pure joy in the interest of a better and lasting possession is not natural. That’s why the command to do so is repeated in Matthew, Romans, Hebrews, and James. The issue is that Christian men have confused feelings of victory with victory itself–but victory doesn’t feel like victory when you are lying eviscerated on the field of battle. Christian men will only learn this lesson when they are made to see that the battle is much larger than them personally.

  4. NFL cover up for their players. They too busy trying to keep an image and that is the problem. I recently started following one team which I haven’t followed a team since high school(about 14 years). I prefer to watch college football since it’s unpredictable. You know who’s going to be win in the regular season in the NFL and most of the time in the playoffs. I don’t think I’ve watched a full super bowl game in a while.

  5. I am a part-time fan of the NFL (which I picked up from my father and brothers). I used to be really into it but having a husband who can’t stand watching sports dulled that enthusiasm years ago. I still keep up with the Dolphins though.

    If the NFL’s (or any pro sports organizations) morals clause included sanction for fornicating, carousing, and all other manner of immoral behaviors, they’d be out of business.

    They are responding to public pressure from leftists and feminists. Period.

    And no, I’m not excusing the behavior that the NFL has suddenly decided to sanction. But one has to wonder if any of them has considered how the needs of Peterson’s kids will be met when they turn him out on the street.

    He has fathered 7 children, including toddler who died last year, leaving him with 6, for whom he “dutifully pays child support”, according to an article.

  6. @Elspeth

    But one has to wonder if any of them has considered how the needs of Peterson’s kids will be met when they turn him out on the street.

    He’s already made more than I probably ever will, but Peterson doesn’t seem to think very far down the road (as evidenced by his 7 OoW kids). Without him making a change I doubt that any amount of money could meet the demands of Peterson’s habits and the needs of his children.

    If the NFL’s (or any pro sports organizations) morals clause included sanction for fornicating, carousing, and all other manner of immoral behaviors, they’d be out of business.

    I take it as a law of consequences that a community which will not police itself will be policed by others, and in a manner that is not only restrictive, but even retroactively punitive against stupidity, sloth, and corruption. It tends to be crushing, and take a long time to overcome. I think people underestimate how long the leftists/feminists/punitive government can rule. It could be a very long time.

    This is what drives me nuts about libertarians: Out of one side of their mouth they’ll demand we show what interest it is of a company or institution to concern itself with what a person does on his own time. Out of the other they’ll say that we don’t need government laws because businesses can police themselves and make whatever rules they want. They are willfully ignorant of consequences.

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  8. I’ve always thought it weird when a grown man willingly pays to wear another man’s name on his back in the form of a jersey.

    Remember back in high school when the girls used to wear their boyfriends’ letterman jackets?

    Yeah. That’s what it looks like.

  9. I’m with you on all but the pink. My husband wears pink occasionally. He wore pink plaid in the delivery room when our daughters were born. He’s not a “fag”.

    Some Basketball and baseball players, along with football players, are baby daddies with more than one woman. There are women that have multiple children with multiple sports stars. Their career is seeking these guys out to make babies.

    The commercials are the main reason we gave up watching sports. It was too much trying to explain to the kids why people would take a drug so they can have sex.

  10. I am the odd man out in general, not just regarding the NFL. I have gone truly full circle, having lived in Chicago in 85-88 and being mad on da Bears, next stop in my life, Dallas, for two the 90’s Superbowl teams, sick sold out to Cowboys ….and the NFL in general of course because you cant be a fan unless you know how the injury to the back-up kicker on another team COULD impact the chances of yor team making the playoffs, so, one listens to, reads, talks about, memorizes crap….etc. on the NFL.

    Then somehow, it all vaporized. I’m not one to make big spiritual claims much, especially anything that seems to be me saying I was made better, but my loss of enthusiasm for the NFL was coincident with a period where my reliance on my faith combined with some hands on work we did for several years directly engaged with and helping others did indeed crowd out some things. Do not take that to mean some miraculous increase in piety or even a self aware choice. Its hindsight. Maybe it had a negative side effect in that it jaded me to lots of things that are superfluous, which I write about too much already.

    Im in a job that involves a very large amount of business/social interaction with lots of men in and out of the my employer company, and I am a rare non sports conversant man (not 100% void, but I cannot hang with 9/10 men I meet if in groups. I get tight back muscles and an urge to get up and move if I have to hear sports talk yammering on TV or radio, all the hypothesizing and endless debates about details and players.

    Id say we got our bread and circuses but the gluten police took the dang bread.

  11. @Liza

    I’m with you on all but the pink. My husband wears pink occasionally. He wore pink plaid in the delivery room when our daughters were born. He’s not a “fag”.

    Welcome.

    Now: Calm yourself woman. I did not say pink was only for women, or that your husband is a fag. I said:

    They make grown men wear explicitly female garb for a month every year. Pink is not an essentially female color, but it remains that it is clothing that is chosen precisely to represent women. It’s light cross-dressing to feign solidarity.

    There is a difference between a man choosing to wear pink because it suits him or his wardrobe, and a man being forced to wear pink because those in charge have chosen it to represent females.

  12. I think this sort of analysis hasn’t worked for Christians…ever. The NFL is of course a cesspit of evil because of the Fall. That hasn’t stopped Christians from engaging in organized play ever because if it did:
    1.) We wouldn’t listen to any music (Mozart…had serious issues)
    2.) We wouldn’t read
    3.) We wouldn’t eat

    Now saying that I’m not against your families ban of the NFL but I’m not surprised that others don’t agree either. The NFL is a bit of a battleground right now and surrendering is about as unwise as swallowing it whole. And I say that as one who watches NFL games almost never.

    I’d also not fault men for memorizing sports statistics. Most of the men I know who are good at that sort of thing and who are also religious are very good at all the skills you mention (even if the number of books is indeterminate says this Orthodox guy).

  13. Sport is and always has been a man’s activity. The very idea of “iron sharpens iron” suggest fencing, and is a manly proverb. I enjoy watching men perform athletic feats on the football fields, or baseball field, basketball, etc. It is one of the few ‘things of men’ still permitted in our feminine dominated culture. The corruption in the NFL is mirrored by the corruption in all other institutions in our culture, including the church.

  14. @GKC & Bobbye

    “Ban” implies that I’ve done something against the NFL. I don’t walk out of a sports bar if it’s on. I don’t force myself to forget the rules. I still enjoy the game of football.

    I simply ignore the NFL as I do The View; which is about the same to me.

    You keep introducing the false idea that I am concerned about purity from these programs and sports. That is the wrong emphasis. The NFL is passed-off as simply good wholesome fun. That lie–which they overtly perpetrate–is my emphasis. Do not believe me: Look at Bobbye’s comment. He insinuates that if we stop watching football we’re betraying men, or shuttering men away, or that we’ll “lose something”.

    I submit that there is very little iron being sharpened by the mere spectator.

    I think this sort of analysis hasn’t worked for Christians…ever.

    1. It seems you misunderstood my analysis. One sympathizes because there is a lot of nonsense purity tests that get thrown out there every few years. This is not one of them. If Christians DIDN’T so overwhelmingly choose the NFL over real life, then I wouldn’t be posting this.

    2. What do you mean by “worked”?

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  16. I’m not sure they do chose the NFL over real life. Of course, I also _don’t_ live in state that is famous for its football fascination. So it may be a cultural thing. Hoosiers might have similar problems with basketball (a sport that I never understood having any interest in).

    The ancient gymnasiums were pits of villainy to a Christian. Yet St. Paul doesn’t assume Christians wouldn’t use them. He just commends a balance to be struck and care to be given, “bodily training is good for a little…”. The NFL is a thing of this world that is fun to watch. Being a thing of this world it will in large part suck. We are allowed to enjoy the little that is good in it as long as we are aware of the bad parts.

  17. @GKC

    The ancient gymnasiums were pits of villainy to a Christian. Yet St. Paul doesn’t assume Christians wouldn’t use them. He just commends a balance to be struck and care to be given, “bodily training is good for a little…”. The NFL is a thing of this world that is fun to watch. Being a thing of this world it will in large part suck. We are allowed to enjoy the little that is good in it as long as we are aware of the bad parts.

    I’m not able to communicate something to you, because whatever objective goodness is in the NFL is irrelevant to my criticism.

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