Saturday, January 31, 2015

Super Bowl Eve, random thoughts

Since I have to work a double shift on Sunday, I will miss viewing the big game as was the reality last year. Unfortunately as this might be a game I would want to see unlike last year it came apparent that I did not miss much.

With this upcoming game, in light of the concussion issue. People are asking the question "Should you let your son play tackle football?" I question I ask is should you let your son watch the NFL at all. Parents freak out over entertainment content with fictional violence like movies and video games. But have no problem with the NFL that is entertainment based on REAL VIOLENCE.

Video Games get content ratings. E for everyone, T for Teen, M for mature a AO for Adults only.
If pro sports were given these ratings.

MLB and the NBA would get E

NHL would get T

NFL and MMA would be an M rated sport.

As for content, parents whine during the super bowl when Janet Jackson gets here nipple exposed, or Beyonce on how she dresses or MIA flipping the bird, because "children are watching".

It is time to face reality, the NFL is a sport filled with content if it was in another form of entertainment we would be steering kids away from, Violence, Sexualization of women and it is all dripping with a toxic form of masculinity.  Super Bowl itself has 4 million dollar ads that are either for junk foods, alcoholic beverages,  erection inducing medications finishing that off is the yearly tradition of risque GoDaddy.com ads. 

Every time some violent incident happens in our school we blame movies or Call of Duty. But when we hear of some horrific hazing ritual involving High School Football players, the game never gets blamed . Only until recently were these players are even getting punished. As with the case of  Hazing case at Sayerville War Memorial High School, the parents actually complained when the Principal and School Board did the right thing and laid down the ban-hammer of justice an cancelled the entire football season. One such mother and several others did not think that players being anally violated was such a big deal worthy of punishment.

Honest Truth, Football is not and never was a child's game, and if fear of concussions exclude more and more children from the sport, as polls show that 50% of families do not want their children playing. Less children will be watching, if you complain that the Super Bowl is now a raunchfest. If the NFL loses an entire generation, all they will have left is this current generation of fans who will be getting older, shrinking and not getting any new younger fans to replace them. It will also be managed and controlled by these same fans. This is where the NFL could very well be heading in the next 25 years. Super Bowl 75 could be the game that is noted by future sports writers as the one sliding into irrelevancy as a  violent T&A parade for aging men trying to hold on to the fading embers of a now anachronistic form of masculinity that has long been rendered obsolete and has no other place to exist anymore.

How Do I know this? Am I some cultural soothsayer? No because there is one entertainment medium where this has already happened, is it boxing? The sport that other writers have given parallels to since the concussion crisis broke. No its not.

This new parallel is Comic Books, MARVEL and DC books to be exact.

Comic Book medium right now is in bad shape, it went from monthly sales in the millions in the golden age to an average 50,000 a month. Despite Super Heroes raking in big money in the box office, video game sales and huge ratings with shows like Arrow and Flash. The Medium is sliding into irrelevancy as children do not read the books. Because back in the 90s the fanboys and collectors drove them away, and made it all about them. The current group of readers are Male age 30-60 and when DC did their New 52 restart they fired all female artists and writers, because they wanted comics to be their own HE-MAN girl haters club. As a result the current quality of their product is showing.

Comic books are less about heroic action but violent graphic action with female heroes who are nothing more than sex props because it now for and by males who still have the sexual maturity of 15 year-olds.Want an example just Google "Starfire New 52"

It is possible that the NFL could share the same fate of DC comics in 25 years. Monday Night Football games could now just cater to hyper masculine middle age men. Games will reflect this with cheerleaders who make today's women look demure in comparison, whose routines resemble something more in common with strippers than cheerleaders. Not only will these moms not let their kids play the sport. but they will not let them watch it either. With 50% of those sons being raised by single/divorced Moms, it will be huge attrition rate of future fans.

Much of the ills facing comic books has to do with accessibility of the medium to younger readers and the failure to adapt. So far the NFL has shown no ability to adapt, while mothers are pulling their kids out of tackle football over brain trauma. Goodell and Company are still trying to  convince those same mothers with the Heads Up program. A program that has many doctors and even John Madden, (the guy that those video games are named after) unconvinced.

Instead of just switching to flag or touch and then letting that be at least a starter foundation to a eventual graduation to full contact when their bodies are mature enough. They are trying to repackage and resell the same dangerous product instead of changing it to face the challenges of a new era. It is what the NFL has always done to PROTECT THE SHIELD(tm). We see it with their "No More" anti domestic violence ad, a PR response to the horrific Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson cases and their equally appalling response to it. Am I convinced in their sincerity in dealing with this issue? NO because this is the same NFL that actually makes a profit on merchandise sold for Breast Cancer Awareness.

All of this has a feel of a long time institution that is now reaching it's peak, The Peak is only recognizable with the decline that follows.

Final Thoughts....Go Seahawks. Only because my team is the Lions, and I am sick of deflated balls.

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