The solemn National Anthem performances and ridiculously huge huge and threatening field-sized USA tarpaulin flags first appeared after 9/11 along with the flag pin. The disingenuous wearing of pink by league office decree came before that but it’s essentially the same. Read: the NFL hasn’t altered a thing since the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, more than 15 years ago. I remember growing up and seeing those army and marine recruiting commercials made to look like life in the military was an awesome opportunity to blow stuff up and maybe kill some Russkies, too! 

Fifteen years and nothing has changed. The NFL is mainstream entertainment on mainstream media. The players are neutered of their personalities through hefty fines for excessive touchdown celebrations and even the protests ala QB Colin K.  of the 49ers are so watered down they’re pathetic. The entire ceremony SHOULD be protested and for 1000 more reasons than out-of-control police departments shooting to kill, on effect acting as judge and jury. It’s not that hard to aim at someone’s wing to decommission them. Yet cops take the outlaw bikers line and once someone engages, they all jump in. That’s why these victims die of multiple gunshots. An I don’t mean two or three. Cops routinely empty their clips into suspects. 

Watching the NFL from a foreign country, especially one whose market they covet and want the fans and corporate expansion into new lucrative fan bases. The NFL pregame patriot act says this is a game for Americans played by Americans like Pat Tillmam and we don’t really give a fuck about our players like Big Ben being accused of rape as long as they’re big stars. The huge fucking US flag is alienating and disenfranchising. Per People aren’t dumb–they know that FOX news is a horrible mainstream place to get their news and so why should they get their sports elsewhere. You’ll notice an identical lowering of ratings for mainstream TV series, mainstream everything. The XFL seems more palatable than the NFL in its current sorry state. Next time a guy like Chad Johnson legally changes his name to Ocho Sinco or Hans Solo, the commentators shouldn’t spend the season laughing at him derisively and calling him Johnson. Once Tom Brady leaves the league, ratings will fall off the table. 

Por ejemplo, as I’ve said about breast cancer awareness week in the NFL, it just feels phony. A reason to sell pink football cleats. My mom is a two time survivor of breast cancer. I just watched the Stand Up tribute during game four of the World Series. Players and fans even umpires held up signs that includes space to write in who you are standing up for. It seemed much more touching than a bunch of jocks running around with pink jockstraps during the game. Maybe because it wasn’t another NFL excercise of calling attention to yourself. Everyone in the stadium shared a moment that reflected our common humanity. The NFL tribute has more of that “all the cool kids are wearing pink” type vibe. People want to identify with their sports heroes. Having a mask over your face for most of your career makes that difficult, and when there’s no mask, expressing personality is discouraged. Again, take the 49ers in 2012.QB Alex Smith was wearing SF Giants caps during press conferences and got disciplined for it. Nobody wants to sell more gear than the NFL. But ultimately American football has peaked, like the American Empire itself. The US won’t join the ICC and it won’t play soccer. Football is about being overfed and fast. Live fast and die young from having 100 concussions a year. I remember my first concussion. I was told not to go to sleep but not to move. It’s nothing the coach told told me. NFL players get them every time they hike the ball. You wouldn’t come out of a game for a little concussion, now would you? He asked, leading me to the answer. 

Yes, I said. I couldn’t be lead. I’d come right out of the game. Life isn’t worth losing just to beat another team of stupid fucks.