It's once again Super Bowl Sunday, and time for this post I wrote a couple years ago, but forgot to post on the big day. So, in honor of this Packerless Super Bowl, I can finally post it. In it, I wonder just how much of a shelf life professional football has due to a combination of economic contraction and lawsuits from concussions.Escape then compares football to both the Roman Legion and gladiators and the U.S. to the late Roman Empire. I highly recommend the history lesson, which he interrupts with a screed about commercials.
Commercials are as big a deal as the game now, and one has to wonder at not only the mental state of the people these commercials appeal to, but the tremendous waste in a society that can't even keep it's infrastructure sound or it's basic public services funded. How much of our economy is dedicated to this essentially useless and unproductive activity? How much economic "growth" has it been responsible for?I wonder what escape thinks about my interest in marketing and commercials? Probably not much, if at all. I've only seen Escape on my blog once, commenting on Matt Taibbi and Mike Lofgren are on the same page about the global rich. I wouldn't mind him commenting more. Aside from the personal, he's again raising good questions about advertising, which is the life blood of the media industry. The real question becomes "what good is the media" and how can one maintain a worthwhile media sector without advertising? I don't think subscriptions are it for mass media (HBO on the one hand and public broadcasting on the other notwithstanding) and a TV tax like Britain has would go over like a lead balloon--or worse. So, no, I don't have any answers right now.
Escape also talks about how lawsuits by players and ex-players could shut down the game. I suspect it won't, but it might make it more safe. If it does end football, well, it might be what finally turns the U.S. into a power in the other football, men's soccer. Wouldn't that be a switch? In any event, I'm betting on the legal situation ending football sooner than general economic decline. Extending the Roman Empire metaphor, we need our bread and circuses. Besides, the one thing that will get Americans to act is messing with their entertainment, something I've mentioned again and again. The end of football would interfere with Americans messed up priorities and we'll want to keep football as long as possible.
Escape concludes with this hilarious video animating one of Bill Maher's New Rules, Bill Maher - Irritable Bowl Syndrome.
A short essay animated from the audio recording of 'The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody but Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass'. It was originally performed on 'Real Time with Bill Maher'.Everyone enjoy your socialist sports spectacle!