As the gridiron goes quiet for half a year or thereabouts, Ron Hart writes in the OC Register about the appeal of football:
Americans find comfort in football. In a country where most voters cannot tell you who is secretary of state, 95 per know that Peyton Manning quarterbacks the Indianapolis Colts. In "A Fan's Notes," Frederick Exley writes about the importance of football: "Why did football so bring me to life? I can't say precisely … It smacked of something old, something traditional, something unclouded by legerdemain and subterfuge. I gave myself up to the Giants utterly. The recompense I gained was the feeling of being alive."
Hart also brings the funny:
The Super Bowl represents what we Americans are all about: creative commercials occasionally interrupted by violence. During the six-hour broadcast, there were only 11 minutes of actual, live football action. Some of the commercial breaks were so long that, when we finally came back to the game, I had forgotten which teams were playing.
And what better Norman Rockwell-esque ritual could I have with my kids than to watch 20 erectile dysfunction commercials to every snap of the football? "Daddy, why are those people in bathtubs watching the sun set?" I just tell them the people lost their homes to foreclosure.
A collection of his cols (full disclosure, I blurbed it) is on sale here.
Exley's A Fan's Notes is one of the great American autobiographies and (libertarian nerd alert!) worth reading as a document of the 1950s along with the works of Ayn Rand and other works covering that period (On The Road, Catcher in The Rye, etc) about conformity, mass society, and related fears. Has anyone seen the film version featuring Jerry Ohrbach? If so, please dish now.