Hey, sports fans, the day has arrived in which “men and women gather round their ludicrously gargantuan flatscreens to watch people attempt to cripple each other in order to celebrate capitalism’s rousing defeat over such nefarious forces as ’empathy’ and ‘moderation.'”
That’s the Super Bowl according to Dave Schilling, an American sportswriter who has contributed a think piece on the game in general (not tonight’s in particular) to the left-wing British publication The New Statesman. The essay sounds so much like a parody of what a clueless left-wing British intellectual would think about the Super Bowl that I wonder if this is the sports equivalent of the Sokal Hoax.
Avers Schilling, “My household Super Bowl tradition involves each guest being forced to eat an entire bucket of fried chicken in one sitting. The last person to finish gets punched in the stomach.” Did that really happen or does that sound like the kind of thing you’d tell a Brit who would believe any gluttony story you can offer about us?
Schilling adds, “The Super Bowl might not be quite as pedantic [sic] as watching a person stand around doing nothing, but it is on at an unseemly hour [in the U.K.] and features esoteric, labyrinthine rules that can alienate even the most devoted follower of the NFL” and “NFL games are one of the last places that it’s socially acceptable to enjoy country music.”
Rehearsing some extremely tired points about Colin Kaepernick (that guy? still?), Schilling insists that the ex-quarterback’s “thesis” has been backed up by “everything from Charlottesville to the latest tragedy [sic] involving Empire star Jussie Smollett.”
Schilling predicts tonight’s game will take a political turn: “Surely, another front will open up in this rhetorical pillow fight. Maybe halftime show performers Maroon 5 will unfurl a Palestinian flag during their set. Could Patriots quarterback Tom Brady remove his jersey to reveal a ‘Build the Wall’ t-shirt?” Pursuant to that, he longs for the relative cultural distance of Britain, which unlike the U.S. is a place where people don’t have to fret about the politics of the Super Bowl: “I envy all those in the UK, able to watch Sunday’s game without wondering what it says about you as a citizen.”
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