Sunday, September 19, 2010


I’m a product of my environment and time; the effect of which—among other things—is that I remain, somewhat abashedly, a professional football fan, although when it comes to cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers, I’m not afraid to admit that I’m superstitious, silly, and embarrassingly willing to invest way more energy in rooting for them than is becoming of a man my age, education, and pretensions.

Consequently, it’s not uncommon to find me, of a Sunday morning in fall, listening to sports radio, or more precisely, internet feeds of the Steelers radio network broadcast of the pre-game, game, and post-game shows. During these events, you hear lots of talk by mostly meathead jocks about the various ins and out of the event, serious discussion, as if it really mattered; and while I’m not the sort of guy who calls in to dispute the opinions expressed, I do find myself thinking about what’s said with way more interest than the material actually warrants.

I’m sure I’ve wondered and written about this before; if I were a better, more evolved sort of person, I’d spend my weekends doing things that would do more to make the world a better place; alas, however, I am what I am and that means that, instead of listening to TED talks or C-SPAN feeds, I fill my ears with the sounds of huge men in spandex pajamas running into each other while pudgy guys wearing pleated pants expound upon their actions.

Of course, it could be worse: I could be a dyed-in-the-wool hockey fan.

In France, intellectuals craft weighty tomes about soccer; in India, I hear, you get serious, thoughtful writing on the subject of cricket; there’s a tradition, even here in the US of A, for smart people to hold forth on baseball and golf; traditionally, though, you don’t find a lot of intelligent prose about the gridiron sport; a product of my environment and time, I’m keeping up that tradition.


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