Saturday, February 21, 2015

The NFL is out to get your kids

In the PBS Frontline episode League of Denial, there was a scene where Rep. Linda Sanchez (D) compared the NFL to Big Tobacco, and now comparison more and more apt according to this Vice Sports article by Partick Hruby.

Like marvel and DC, comic books the readership is aging with children no longer reading them. Unlike the comic publishers the NFL at least understands that children are the future. With concussion and brain damage fears causing less and less kids to be playing the sport, they are at least trying to make them FANS of the game.

First the NFL was all about easing Mom's qualms about the dangers of the sport with "safe tackling" programs which are about as questionable as Big Tobacco's safe cigarettes.  Their next strategy is is just comically bad, first with introducing fantasy football into the schools under the guise of "math education"(which is for some believed to be a gateway to gambling) and NFL themed teamwork propaganda posters and the next is the Joe Camel style campaign involving a Nicktoons cartoon called NFL Rush Zone, which according to Hruby,
Akin to Hasbro pushing G.I. Joe and Transformers dolls in the 1980s via after school cartoons, the league now has its own Nicktoons network animated series, NFL Rush Zone, which began in 2010 as a series of shorts that averaged 1.2 million boy viewers ages six to 11. Ostensibly about a group of pre-teen heroes wearing football-cum-Power Ranger outfits who team up with NFL players and mascots to fight anti-football villains and free the "benevolent life force" trapped inside the league's 32 stadiums—sadly, there's no mention of also freeing the billions of taxpayer dollars used to build said stadiumsNFL Rush Zone is basically an infomercial, a way to build brand affinity among grade schoolers who might find actual football to be slow, complicated, and boring.
I grew up in the 1980s and 90% of every cartoon I watched was out to sell action figures, I also have a nostalgic yearning for them. I look at this show and it is what we media studies people like to call  "Shit". Not since marvel's NFL Super-Pro has football put out something this bad. I suspect we will soon hear from Roger Goodell of a Super-Pro movie with Tim Tebow playing the titular character and it will cost $200M of our tax dollars.

I watched one episode and I have to ask how much Toradol did the NFL inject into the buttocks of the creative team to come up with this concept? This is coming from a person who is writing a screenplay for a low budget B-Grade sci-fi satire where the Bible God(tm) declares War on the USA and we side with the UFO Aliens and kick his ass. (Shameless Promotion)  I highly doubt this cartoon will have the Super Football Force get concussed and develop CTE, this show looks like it will damage children's brains nonetheless.  I remember when Nicktoons started out and they had Ren and Stimpy with it's absurd gross out humor got parents up in arms.

This looks just as absurd with super powered teens defending the NFL from the forces who threaten it, like evil space aliens, who for some reason have a beef with the NFL.  These children are called the Guardians and are defending the league from evil forces who want to capture "the essense of the NFL" whatever the heck that is. From what I can tell recent events is that this "essence" is a destructive form hyper aggressive masculinity." It must be the closest thing to crack, in whatever hyperspace dimension these aliens come from.

 More realistic show is one where Roger Goodell hires a group of teens to wear RIDDELL built super powersuits to defend the NFL shield from the real forces who want to topple it. You know like law suits from former players and the families of players who died as the result of crippling football related neurological injuries.  Another episode the Guardians protect the NFL not from aliens but itself as they steal casino security camera footage of one of their best players caught slapping his  wife around.

You know....The real enemies of football.

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