Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanks For Tradition

I hate to reference the same book in one week, but sometimes writing has an effect on you that cannot be shaken for at least a month. Like the first time I read The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved, or the first time your daughter read Twilight.

Some interesting points were brought up in Chuck Klosterman's Eating the Dinosaur. One of which is the parallels between football and conservatism. On face value, conservatives probably love this idea, but the point, as I recall, is that both football and the conservative movement thrive on one main perception; though their fan base thinks that their beliefs stand on solid ground, in reality, the core ideals of both movements have adapted with the times so as to keep their stranglehold on the American public.

As football fanatics still believe the game they are watching now still has the same rules and philosophies as the game of old, so do conservatives believe that their party is consistent with the men who ran on the same namesake when they were kids. And of course, as any NBA fan or liberal will tell you, those beliefs are completely misguided.

Just as right-wing government has been passing around cash like Pacman Jones and conservative leaders are throwing family values out their mistress's window, football to has not been sticking to their core beliefs. During Monday night's Texans/Titans game, a defender was charged a fifteen yard penalty for "horse-collaring" Tennessee's Chris Johnson, when all he did was tug the back of Johnson's jersey. You can't sack a quarterback anymore without being brought up on charges. The conservative game of today was the liberal game of yesterday. The NFL has yet to accept change, though their game has progressed further than any Ralph Nader supporter.

But through all of it, one thing remains the same: the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions will host games on Thanksgiving. The league has added a third rotation game to be broadcast on the NFL Network, but I (and more than likely you) do not get the NFL Network, so that doesn't count.

Debate has sprung on whether the NFL should scrap the Cowboys/Lions tradition and rotate all teams for a Thanksgiving game. A recent ESPN poll shows that every state except Texas and Michigan is in support of this idea, obviously. But would that be good for football?

I say no. In the Age of Information, certain things have come to light. Joe Namath wasn't very good, the worst team today (Raiders) would demolish the great teams of old. The game is different, as Klosterman pointed out. It's not the NFL you or I grew up with. Nothing is sacred. Al Davis is universally known as the worst owner, nobody outside of Kansas City knows who Lamar Hunt is.

But it didn't use to be this way. Al Davis was a genius at one time. It's true. But you wouldn't know it growing up with today's NFL. It's a completely different sport, and that's okay. Though, it would be nice to hold on to something old, something to remind us of what the league used to be like. If nothing else, that is watching the Cowboys and Lions play on Thanksgiving.

No it doesn't make sense, and it may be hurting the NFL. But just like conservatives, the idea of holding on to traditional values makes it all worth the while.


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