Except for in a couple of instances, feet do not touch the ball.
January 31, 2014 8:42 AM   Subscribe

How the US media would cover the Super Bowl if it were in another country.
posted by DirtyOldTown (138 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Joshua Keating (the author) makes a really, really bad Douglas Adams.
posted by jardinier at 8:48 AM on January 31 [9 favorites]


They'd cover it?
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:48 AM on January 31 [22 favorites]


Superbowl: The chicken-slaughter that unites a country.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:50 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Seems like another angle on the ol' Andy Griffith story, What it was, was football.
posted by pappy at 8:54 AM on January 31 [7 favorites]


I'd have to argue that if the Super Bowl were in another country, it would be covered as well as the Rugby World Cup, Twenty20 International, or any number of sports in which America is not competitive: not at all.

This faux-anthropologist thing is cute but it doesn't do what it says on the tin.
posted by troika at 8:54 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


...attempting to move an oblong ball down a 91.44-meter field...

Metric units? Really?
posted by TedW at 8:56 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


Funny, I don't remember anything like this for the World Cup. Or the Olympics.

"How the U.S. media would cover X in another country" was amusing once. Having it weekly just makes Slate look (even more) like that guy who brings every conversation around to his area of concern.
"Football, eh? You know, Teddy Roosevelt was key in reforming football. Speaking of Teddy Roosevelt, the Spanish-American War..."
posted by Etrigan at 8:56 AM on January 31 [9 favorites]


I gotta say that "highly mechanized form of rugby" is a pretty great description.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:57 AM on January 31 [9 favorites]


It's called football because it, along with rugby football and association football, descended from EnglIsh field games played on foot rather than on horseback. Nothing to do with kicking.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:58 AM on January 31 [27 favorites]


The two finest teams from the nation’s 32 premier league squads meet each year in an event known as the Super Bowl. (There is in fact no bowl.)

Has this person never seen a stadium from overhead? Is this that "I can't tell what's parody anymore" thing?
posted by Big_B at 8:59 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


No Grey Cup mentions?
posted by ODiV at 8:59 AM on January 31


Also, maybe the most important piece the AV Club has ever run:

Nobody cares that you don’t care about the Super Bowl
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:59 AM on January 31 [24 favorites]


It's called football because it, along with rugby football and association football, descended from EnglIsh field games played on foot rather than on horseback. Nothing to do with kicking.

I cannot wait to break this out to the next person who snootily refers to it as "handegg."
posted by troika at 9:01 AM on January 31 [10 favorites]


It's called football because it, along with rugby football and association football, descended from EnglIsh field games played on foot rather than on horseback. Nothing to do with kicking.

Yeah, this nonsense gets brought up repeatedly. Saying that football is misnamed because they don't kick the ball around is like saying that foot soldiers are misnamed because they don't fight by kicking each other.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:02 AM on January 31 [18 favorites]


Well, foot soldiers move via foot, versus the mounted divisions who move on horseback.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:04 AM on January 31


How much coverage does the Super Bowl get outside the United States? I would guess a good bit in Mexico and Canada, a little less in Britain, and then a sharp drop-off from there.
posted by spaltavian at 9:05 AM on January 31


filthy light thief: Well, foot soldiers move via foot, versus the mounted divisions who move on horseback.

So do football players?
posted by Rock Steady at 9:06 AM on January 31


Well, foot soldiers move via foot, versus the mounted divisions who move on horseback.

And football players move on foot, versus polo players who move on horseback. (The actual veracity of this etymological tidbit is a bit disputed, from my understanding, but it works for me.)

Ninjas of the Foot Clan, on the other hand, move by getting their asses kicked by the Turtles.
posted by kmz at 9:06 AM on January 31 [10 favorites]


Nobody cares that you don’t care about the Super Bowl

This. Very much this. And no one cares that you preciously call it "Sportsball" or whatever.

"Sportsball" is the new "is this something I need a TV to know about" by way of "your favorite band sucks."


[edit for typo]
posted by eyeballkid at 9:06 AM on January 31 [23 favorites]


Ah, yes. Sorry, I missed the earlier comment.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:07 AM on January 31


Wait, so in water polo you're not trying to get the water into the net?
posted by ODiV at 9:07 AM on January 31 [6 favorites]


You can compare this to my favorite band when being in a band entails band members hitting each other over the head with a guitar several times a week.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:09 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


TV feeds the national obsession with NFL. There were more than 20 million viewers around the 1970s, and last year viewership was up to 108.4 million viewers. The article suggests that fantasy football is a driver for increased subscription to the NFL Network and the NFL Sunday Ticket.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:09 AM on January 31


I'd have to argue that if the Super Bowl were in another country, it would be covered as well as the Rugby World Cup, Twenty20 International, or any number of sports in which America is not competitive: not at all.

Hell, our local sports pages barely cover international sports that we are competitive in. The USA playing a game in the World Cup might make a blurb on the front page of the sports section around here but probably not.
posted by octothorpe at 9:11 AM on January 31


Wait, so in water polo you're not trying to get the water into the net?


Well, as George Carlin pointed out, water polo is awful because it's extremely cruel to the horses.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:11 AM on January 31 [15 favorites]


How much coverage does the Super Bowl get outside the United States? I would guess a good bit in Mexico and Canada, a little less in Britain, and then a sharp drop-off from there.


It's obviously covered in Canada, but we don't get the commercials and complaining about that fact is usually 30% of the annual commentary. (The Canadian channel showing the game will insert Canadian commercials into the US feed--often the same commercial many times over, annoyingly--and then that altered feed will be played on the American channel as well). One thing to keep in mind re NFL culture is that the powers that be are always trying to make the NFL happen in Toronto what with the Buffalo visits, but we're mostly indifferent here when it comes to actually showing up in person.
posted by maledictory at 9:11 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


It's called football because it, along with rugby football and association football, descended from EnglIsh field games played on foot rather than on horseback. Nothing to do with kicking.

Yes. Just as "handball" refers to sports played by people walking on their hands.

(The "football" refers to "being on foot" thing is a nice story that might even be true, but there's simply insufficient historical data to support this flat assertion of it as "fact.")
posted by yoink at 9:12 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


The actual veracity of this etymological tidbit is a bit disputed, from my understanding, but it works for me.

This is good to know, I hate giving bad etymologies.

But I'm pretty sure both American and international football (and rugby) are definitely descended from earlier, more anarchic games all called, for whatever reason, football (many of which involved the use of hands). Right?
posted by vogon_poet at 9:15 AM on January 31


(The "football" refers to "being on foot" thing is a nice story that might even be true, but there's simply insufficient historical data to support this flat assertion of it as "fact.")


There is also insufficient historical data to support "football" being derived from kicking the ball, so there.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:15 AM on January 31


How much coverage does the Super Bowl get outside the United States? I would guess a good bit in Mexico and Canada, a little less in Britain, and then a sharp drop-off from there.

It's barely mentioned. The BBC Sport homepage currently has one story about American Football, among maybe fifty or so.
posted by Thing at 9:17 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


There is also insufficient historical data to support "football" being derived from kicking the ball, so there.

Insufficient data to prove it absolutely, yes. On the other hand, the earliest uses of both "handball" and "football" date to with a few decades of each other in the C15th. Both games were played on foot. The distinction between them seemed primarily based on whether you used your feet or your hands to propel the ball. Frankly, until some much, much stronger evidence of their originally being a general class of "foot ball" games played upon foot regardless of which limb was used in contacting the ball that seems very strong evidence that the "folk etymology" is also the actual etymology.
posted by yoink at 9:22 AM on January 31 [7 favorites]


You can compare this to my favorite band when being in a band entails band members hitting each other over the head with a guitar several times a week.

Look man, the 70s were a hell of a time.
posted by kmz at 9:22 AM on January 31 [7 favorites]


*bombastic music*

IT'S THE METAFILTER ETYMOLOGY BOWL!

*computer animation of OEDs ramming into each other and exploding*
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:24 AM on January 31 [44 favorites]


Well, foot soldiers move via foot, versus the mounted divisions who move on horseback.

Except for Dragoons who move by horse and fight on foot.

Oh, and I know what I'm talking about here.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:27 AM on January 31 [27 favorites]


From an old Reader's Digest, paraphrase: After a parade of semi-nude virgins, young priests chosen for their physique begin the ritual of the sacred orb...
posted by ovvl at 9:33 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


This conversation makes me wonder if I should watch the Harry Potter movies again to study up before I go play broomball this weekend.
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:34 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Minority rights groups have also criticized the owner and fans of one of the country’s most popular teams—the one representing the national capital, in fact—for referring to players using a racial nickname too offensive to be printed in this newspaper.

You know, I'm a big time anti Washington team name guy, but seeing the absolute all-star cast of villains they have brought in to defend it almost makes me want to let them get away with it for a few more years. Just super impressive comic book level evil here.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:35 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


The coverage of the World Soccer Cup was telling. The American announcer was all "He uhh, just kicked the ball. It uh, went into the goal. That's a, uhh, point." We switched over to the Spanish language channel where the announcer was enthusiastically going a mile a minute, punctuated with "GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLL!!!" Even though my Spanish is minimal, I damn well knee when a goal was made.
posted by happyroach at 9:38 AM on January 31


Nobody cares that you don’t care about the Super Bowl

As someone who has been beaten up for not watching football, I find it very hard to sympathize with the poor oppressed football-watching "minority" whose precious feelings are hurt by something someone tweeted somewhere.
posted by darksasami at 9:42 AM on January 31 [20 favorites]


Damnit 10th regiment, I was going to make a dragoonball joke and you totally beat me to it.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:43 AM on January 31


Y'all got me reading the OED entry for football, and I came upon this gem from 1531:
Foote balle, wherin is nothinge but beastly furie, and exstreme violence.
Fox should be using that as a slogan.
posted by agentofselection at 9:43 AM on January 31 [23 favorites]


So the mention of kabaddi made me watch some video. I was intrigued that eleven out of twelve on the Indian World Cup team roster had the name Singh.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:44 AM on January 31


You can compare this to my favorite band when being in a band entails band members hitting each other over the head with a guitar several times a week.


Sometimes it does.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:47 AM on January 31


While the competition can last for more than three hours, actual playing time is no more than about 11 minutes.

It's pretty much this that I can't deal with. The only way I can get my head around it is by recognizing that in a 30 minute chess match only about 45 seconds is spent physically moving the pieces.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:49 AM on January 31 [6 favorites]


So the mention of kabaddi made me watch some video. I was intrigued that eleven out of twelve on the Indian World Cup team roster had the name Singh.

I'll bet they were all capable of some really Sikh moves.


(sorry)




(not really)
posted by yoink at 9:49 AM on January 31 [7 favorites]


I'm just in it for the chicken slaughter.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:54 AM on January 31


That should be the halftime show, really.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:54 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


> (The Canadian channel showing the game will insert Canadian commercials into the US feed--often the same commercial many times over, annoyingly--and then that altered feed will be played on the American channel as well).

TRUE FACT: Mute buttons are pressed in Canada on Super Bowl Sunday more than any other day of the year.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:55 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Y'all got me reading the OED entry for football, and I came upon this gem from 1531:
Foote balle, wherin is nothinge but beastly furie, and exstreme violence




The joy this gives me is illegal in 14 states.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:56 AM on January 31 [8 favorites]


Interesting discussion in the comments here. I'm surprised there isn't a definitive answer to the question of the origin of the name.

That being said, the actual link in the post is absolute shit. It isn't funny, clever or interesting. It doesn't seem to even care if it is accurate in how it would be approached. It just reads like some smug, snarky little twit wanted to ride a hobby horse on his issues with the United States.
posted by dios at 10:00 AM on January 31


I'm just in it for the chicken slaughter.



That should be the halftime show, really.



NOPE sorry you get Bruno Mars backed by The Red Hot Chili Peppers.



So it will sound similar but do not be fooled.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:01 AM on January 31 [7 favorites]


Sooner or later someone's going to invent a snack food that is to chicken wings what the McRib patty is to actual ribs: a molded slurry of salty chicken skin and connective tissue in the shape of a wing.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:02 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I think people are reading the target of the gag as football/America itself, when I'm pretty sure it's not. It's about how tone deaf and just plain off this coverage would be.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:02 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


Hey, as unexcited as I am about this year's halftime show, it could be worse. A lot worse.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:02 AM on January 31


Next time someone calls football "handegg," I'm going to point out that the logical name for a game where you run about kicking the ball is kickball rather than football. You're kicking the ball, not "footing" it.
posted by graymouser at 10:04 AM on January 31


In the U.S., football has led to an extremely balkanized country, with many warring factions.
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:04 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Nobody cares that you don’t care about the Super Bowl

OK, but does anyone care that I don't care that nobody cares that I don't care about the Super Bowl?
posted by The Bellman at 10:04 AM on January 31 [6 favorites]


It's obviously covered in Canada, but we don't get the commercials and complaining about that fact is usually 30% of the annual commentary.

Please, PLEASE tell me you at least get the Puppy Bowl.
posted by The Bellman at 10:06 AM on January 31


DirtyOldTown: I get the joke about tone deaf. But I think it would be "just plain off" in a very different way. I actually think the concept is interesting, but this guy clearly isn't the one to do it because it comes across as bitchy. US sports articles about foreign sports are probably off, but they aren't shitty about the host country like this.
posted by dios at 10:06 AM on January 31


Golly I just realized that not only does the foot almost never touch the ball in football, but the base doesn't touch the ball in baseball either. Whassamatta us anyway huh?
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:07 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I think people are reading the target of the gag as football/America itself, when I'm pretty sure it's not. It's about how tone deaf and just plain off this coverage would be.

Honestly, as a non-sports fan is who very concerned about the head injuries routinely sustained by players for our entertainment, and who is aghast that we still have a team called the Redskins in 2014, this coverage doesn't seem that off too me. It's about how I would describe things, if I had to.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:09 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


This and the Las vegas bike thread, why the insecurities?
posted by Thing at 10:10 AM on January 31


Football players should be allowed to kick and punch each other.

I have nothing more intelligent to say about it, sorry.
posted by planetesimal at 10:12 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


So an hour and a half in on football talk -- it is past time to link to Sir Patrick Stewart winning the Internet today with his best friend Ian McKellen.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:18 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


> Sooner or later someone's going to invent a snack food that is to chicken wings what the McRib patty is to actual ribs: a molded slurry of salty chicken skin and connective tissue in the shape of a wing.

may I present to you: Wyngz.
posted by xbonesgt at 10:19 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Youse guys wanna play stickball?
posted by eruonna at 10:21 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


So an hour and a half in on football talk -- it is past time to link to Sir Patrick Stewart winning the Internet today with his best friend Ian McKellen.
I saw that earlier today, and my first thought was "Force me to choose between Picard and Gandalf, and I will take Picard every time."

My second thought was "I'm therefore rooting for Picard's team in the Super Bowl."

My third thought, and I kid you not, was "So, I'm rooting for... whatever team is playing against the Broncos in the Super Bowl."

/I don't care that nobody cares that I don't care about the Super Bowl
posted by Flunkie at 10:23 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Sometimes football turns into ballsball
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:28 AM on January 31


Well, Bob, the pedants are out in full force today!
That's right, John, and I want to talk to you about the most important ingredient in pedantry.
There's a lot of theories on that, Bob.
Yeah, I've heard all those, but I'll tell you what you need to win on any field of pedantry: Condescension, just the right amount of it. Too much and you're an asshole, too little and nobody knows you're superior as a human being for knowing minutiae.
All the great teams have had it, Bob.
Yeah, the key ingredient in any pedant-off is to hit the mark with the right amount of smarm and snark. What's important is you're right. You know it, now you've gotta make THEM know it. Your words go BOOM and your snark goes WHACK and then you're standing there and you just won the game
And the adulation of millions.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:32 AM on January 31 [28 favorites]


I loathe fake football.
posted by dfriedman at 10:34 AM on January 31


I loathe fake football.

I can't stand this kind of prejudice against people with prosthetic limbs.
posted by yoink at 10:35 AM on January 31 [7 favorites]


I don't know about "funny", but as an immigrant with no real knowledge of "American Football" (which is what the rest of the world calls it), I thought the article was actually quite enlightening.

"While the competition can last for more than three hours, actual playing time is no more than about 11 minutes. The rest of the time is taken up by military-level strategizing, replays of the action, and providing medical attention to injured players."

posted by monospace at 10:41 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Sometimes football turns into ballsball

If anyone wants to see a shining example of how a soundtrack can really make a video, look no further.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:41 AM on January 31


I actually like this series. The satire, which hasn't been discussed here, is not so much football as the oddly stilted, overly broad, weirdly exoticized language publications use in describing events in other countries. The fact that the author doesn't seem to get it is the humor of the piece. Calling football "football" is only confusing if you've decided to be an overly literal translator for an ignorant audience.

I know it is easy to misunderstand the nature of this satire. It would have been helpful had the editors included a statement at the start clarifying it. Something like "This is an installment of a continuing series in which American events are described using the tropes and tone normally employed by the American media to describe events in other countries."
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:43 AM on January 31 [9 favorites]


The Redskins should keep the name but change the mascot to a potato.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:46 AM on January 31 [55 favorites]


A DELICIOUS BUTTERY POTATO
posted by elizardbits at 10:50 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


I love you Jacqueline.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:52 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Disagree with those who say the joke is the coverage. The guy hits on all the major issues that someone who took a critical, unbiased look at the game would see: injuries, concussions, consumerism, what social class players come from, the Redskins naming controversy, and more. The article doesn't miss the forest for the trees at all, or interpret anything strangely. The tone of the article is: if a disinterested, intelligent party took a look at this game, here's what they would see.

Which is why lumping it in the "if it happened there" column -- which was funny the first time around -- is completely out of place.

Blah, the first few paragraphs amused me ("some would say the key to understanding its proud but violent culture." -- somewhat true, but the same type of silly generalization we'd probably make about some other country's sport that we didn't understand: the super bowl doesn't hold the key to understanding anything), but it quickly devolved into just a list of issues with the sport.

Which of course are all legitimate. But it's adding nothing to the conversation. Subtracting, actually.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 10:52 AM on January 31


omg Jacqueline that's brilliant.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 10:53 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Someone with proper graphic design skills really has to do an NFL logo of small red potatoes on a plate, lightly steaming with a little parsley garnish on the side.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:57 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Hockey used to be called Puckslap.
True story.
posted by Kabanos at 10:58 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Speaking of chicken wings, Philadelphia has an annual "Wing Bowl" tradition (previously, previouslier, and previousliest) that occurs every year on the Friday of Super Bowl weekend, and this morning at 7:30am, a woman from Nebraska ate 363 wings in 30 minutes, breaking the previous record of "only" 337.

The Wing Bowl itself is a bit of a ridiculous spectacle of machismo and misogyny, but it does attract top competitive eating "talent." Ms. Schuyler can put down a 72-ounce steak in three minutes.

Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Jason Kelce also participated in Wing Bowl (Eagles players tend to not have any other commitments around this time of year), but was only able to put down around 1/6th of Schuyler's wing count.

Truly a landmark day for gender equality in America.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:59 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


"Sportsball" is the new "is this something I need a TV to know about"

Yeah, as someone who knows next to nothing about sports - though I do find the Superbowl entertaining when I occasionally watch it - I agree that this is dumb, and, as you say, "too precious." If you're really so myopic as to be able to grow up without knowing the difference between football and baseball, you probably don't want to flaunt that level of self-imposed ignorance. It's not cute; it's sort of pathetic.
posted by Dasein at 11:00 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


MCMikeNamara: "Also, maybe the most important piece the AV Club has ever run:

Nobody cares that you don’t care about the Super Bowl
"

I'm sure that a lot of the public expressions of apathy are indeed motivated by wanting to be too cool for school, but I suspect that a decent portion of them are actually awkwardly phrased expressions of a different sentiment: that football is not apolitical, and that it hooks into and reinforces a number of harmful cultural dynamics. That's not to say that that sentiment itself can't be over-stated or tediously stated, or that it should keep people from watching or enjoying football, but I empathize with the people who want to keep repeating it in the face of what seems like a culture that at best wants to stick its fingers in its ears and yell "I CAN'T HEAR YOU" when you bring this stuff up, and at worst, well. You see it pretty plainly in the article:

"...it would be nice if you were silent, because it’s fun for the rest of us to pretend that the Super Bowl is one big, dumb party with the whole United States in attendance."

I've watched and enjoyed football before, but if I'm being honest, the cultural machinery around it creeps me the fuck out. It's natural to want to talk about that at times like this, when it's highly visible.
posted by invitapriore at 11:00 AM on January 31 [15 favorites]


Oh, and re: the Washingon R******s: Proud to Be. (via)
posted by tonycpsu at 11:00 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Someone with proper graphic design skills really has to do an NFL logo of small red potatoes on a plate, lightly steaming with a little parsley garnish on the side.

We already have a football-related logo with chives on it, so there's at least a starting place.
posted by Copronymus at 11:03 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


(Eagles players tend to not have any other commitments around this time of year)

Yeah, that was one of the reasons WIP came up with Wing Bowl originally, to distract the city from football misery.

I think it's interesting competitive eating is on the list of sports all genders can compete at together on the top level.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:07 AM on January 31


xbonesgt: "Sooner or later someone's going to invent a snack food that is to chicken wings what the McRib patty is to actual ribs: a molded slurry of salty chicken skin and connective tissue in the shape of a wing.may I present to you: Wyngz."

From the linked Wikipedia article:

According to the website for Nestlé's DiGiorno brand frozen pizza and wyngz combo, the fanciful spelling is used "[b]ecause they're not wings. They're even better."

*shudder*
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:08 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


invitapriore: I've watched and enjoyed football before, but if I'm being honest, the cultural machinery around it creeps me the fuck out. It's natural to want to talk about that at times like this, when it's highly visible.

Then I'm sure you can understand how frustrating it is to have to hear about the unpleasant aspects of the sport -- which many of us are really struggling with and still figuring out -- at the very peak of the season, the (theoretical, for those of us whose teams didn't make it there) apex of enjoyment. I'm not saying you shouldn't be allowed to say those things, at any time of the year, but that's where a lot of the backlash comes from, at least from more thoughtful football fans.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:11 AM on January 31


Saying Wyngz are "even better" is like saying your corn dogs are "organic" because the stick is made of wood.
posted by Pudhoho at 11:12 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Sooner or later someone's going to invent a snack food that is to chicken wings what the McRib patty is to actual ribs: a molded slurry of salty chicken skin and connective tissue in the shape of a wing.

I just wish they'd hurry the fuck up.
posted by aught at 11:13 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


You could just make chicken stock aspic and pour it into wing-shaped molds. Some could be chaud-froid based for whimsical variety.
posted by elizardbits at 11:15 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Rock Steady: "I'm not saying you shouldn't be allowed to say those things, at any time of the year, but that's where a lot of the backlash comes from, at least from more thoughtful football fans."

That's fair, and part of the problem I'm sure is that the most thoughtful members of a group of people tend not to be the loudest ones, so I can see how it would get annoying for those fans to be on the receiving end of complaints about football that only acknowledge the most in-your-face elements of the culture.
posted by invitapriore at 11:18 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


NESTLE PRESENTS HUNGER BITES™, A PRODUCT FOR PEOPLE MADE OF LIVING FLESH. MINIMIZE WASTEFUL CRUNCHING AND CHEWING AND FULFILL YOUR DIETARY REQUIREMENTS WITH THIS DELICIOUS BLEND OF FOAMS AND COLLOIDS. AVAILABLE FLAVORS: MEAT, PLANT
posted by theodolite at 11:36 AM on January 31 [11 favorites]


I'm pretty sure the US media would barely cover the Super Bowl at all if another country hosted it. A lot like it covers the Tour de France or the World Cup.

Anyway, Super Bowl, schmooper bowl; the important event this weekend is the arrival of Airplane! on Netflix Instant.

"Ever seen a grown man naked ...?"
posted by octobersurprise at 11:39 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


I saw Airplane! in a bar once with the sound off. Without the jokes, it became this mesmerizing document of pre-9/11 security: hug your family at the gate, board on the tarmac, etc.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:42 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


I actually like this series. The satire, which hasn't been discussed here, is not so much football as the oddly stilted, overly broad, weirdly exoticized language publications use in describing events in other countries.

Yes, this. The author isn't satirizing what football looks like to non-football-watchers, or even what sports look like to the uninterested. The author is satirizing the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that the American media renders other cultures as foreign, barbaric, immoral, and inferior. Things that happen elsewhere are "proud yet violent". Their purveyors are titular by heredity and from "mountainous internal regions" -- provincial warlords, in other words. They resist the things of "the outside world", preferring their own crude traditions. That isn't as interesting a topic as whether or not people are jerks for calling football "handegg", I guess, but that's what's happening.

But, yes, those people are pretentious jerks who don't know what they're talking about. Rugby is "handegg". Football is "armored handegg". Although, based on the number of stretcher carts I see lately, I think I might start calling it "mechanized handegg" instead.

So the mention of kabaddi made me watch some video. I was intrigued that eleven out of twelve on the Indian World Cup team roster had the name Singh.

Yeah, this isn't terribly surprising: all male Sikhs have the last name Singh (well, all formally baptized ones, anyway), to add to its vast popularity in non-Sikh cultures. It's not hugely dissimilar to the Korean "Kim" or "Lee" surname.
posted by Errant at 11:43 AM on January 31 [6 favorites]


George_Spiggott: "Golly I just realized that not only does the foot almost never touch the ball in football, but the base doesn't touch the ball in baseball either. Whassamatta us anyway huh?"

Also no Foos in Foosball. Luckily Basketball and Volleyball are there to save us from complete misrepresentation in ball sports.

Though for the ultimate in truth in sports names there is the sport of Footbag net.
posted by Mitheral at 11:45 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Redskins potato logos. I have seen at least one of these wheatpasted on a corner lamp post here.
posted by exogenous at 11:47 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


> Wyngz is a chicken food product...

That's all I need to know, thank you.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:48 AM on January 31


It's called football because it, along with rugby football and association football, descended from EnglIsh field games played on foot rather than on horseback. Nothing to do with kicking.

Well, we could never play football on horseback.

The horses would get concussions, and then people would sorry for them.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:57 AM on January 31


Can I just say that:


1. We all know what the author is satirizing.

2. He isn't very good at it.

Thanks! Now back to the etymology wars.
posted by mmoncur at 12:01 PM on January 31 [5 favorites]


Also no Foos in Foosball

My German is weak but I'm pretty sure that Foosball players are indeed standing on their Fooses ( Füßen?).

Also I think the thing that some people might be missing is that this story would not appear in the "sports" section. It would be in Travel, or a fluffier International section, or something called "insight" or "ideas". I actually thought the tone was quite accurate.
posted by beau jackson at 12:07 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


NESTLE PRESENTS HUNGER BITES

The big secret is it's really just cocoa powder and sugar!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:15 PM on January 31


Also no Foos in Foosball

And no crying in baseball.

Speaking of which.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:21 PM on January 31


Luckily Basketball and Volleyball are there to save us from complete misrepresentation in ball sports.

They haven't used peach baskets for like 100 years.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:24 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Can I just say that:


1. We all know what the author is satirizing.

2. He isn't very good at it.

Thanks! Now back to the etymology wars.


1. It certainly doesn't seem like it.

2. We disagree.

Now, back to the derail.
posted by Errant at 12:29 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


How is it even the Ultimate Fighting Championship if they keep doing the damn thing over and over?
posted by beau jackson at 12:30 PM on January 31 [5 favorites]


Idea: B
Execution: D-
posted by ctmf at 12:34 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


As a woman, it's apparently just barely ok for me to not care about the SuperBowl. What boggles me is that it's not ok to not care about the commercials. Folks will ask, by way of a neutral conversation starter, what my Sunday plans are. And the answer is, nothing really, maybe go out and enjoy the relative quiet. But, they ask, confused, what about the commercials? If you're not into football, well, you're not into it, but surely you will still watch, so you can see the commercials! It's just weird.
posted by Karmakaze at 12:43 PM on January 31


Sooner or later someone's going to invent a snack food that is to chicken wings what the McRib patty is to actual ribs: a molded slurry of salty chicken skin and connective tissue in the shape of a wing.

Isn't that basically what boneless wings are? Which is why even though I don't like foods that get my hands messy, if I'm going to have chicken wings, I'm going to have real bone-in ones.

(I just use chopsticks to avoid the mess then.)
posted by kmz at 12:44 PM on January 31


Y'all got me reading the OED entry for football, and I came upon this gem from 1531:
Foote balle, wherin is nothinge but beastly furie, and exstreme violence.


What does it have to say on the topic of proper attyre?
posted by dmit at 12:55 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Foote balle, wherin is nothinge but beastly furie, and exstreme violence.

To be fair though, in those days the Detroit vs. Chicago game meant an actual contest involving lions and bears.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:03 PM on January 31


Eustace at the Süper Boel: The New Yorker's Weekend Guide

Possessed within—perhaps imparted by an errant father or misguided childminder—many have a burning flame for the clashing of gorillas and their tanned pointed orbs. If you find little elegance in brushed canvases and brûléed treats, and prefer a layman’s “warm dog,” “spiced patty,” and “thin brew,” we’ve compiled the goings on—or, should we say, “touchdowns”—about town as the first ever Super Bowl engulfs our delicate, pastoral New York and its surrounding environs.
posted by emjaybee at 1:04 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


The Super Bowl is fine, if you like your games with outdated concepts like "rules" and the like. I hold out hope that I will live to see the spectacle that is the professional Calvinball world championship.
posted by Godbert at 1:42 PM on January 31


beau jackson: "How is it even the Ultimate Fighting Championship if they keep doing the damn thing over and over?"

Also: no Mecha.
posted by Mitheral at 1:52 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Sometimes football turns into ballsball

If anyone wants to see a shining example of how a soundtrack can really make a video, look no further.
posted by Daddy-O at 2:11 PM on January 31


Lumping people with legitimate criticisms of football together with people being pretend snobs who don't know what football is on Twitter is a great red herring, but also not particularly productive. It's also a rather novel way to greatly exaggerate the cultural power of a couple guys on Twitter versus one of the largest set of corporate enterprises known to history.
posted by Apropos of Something at 2:16 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Luckily Basketball and Volleyball are there to save us from complete misrepresentation in ball sports.

They haven't used peach baskets for like 100 years.


I was going to say almost the same thing rocksteady said. I would have said bushel basket. Do any folk entymologists know how a generic bushel basket came to be synonomized as peach basket for the purposes of the first events in the game of basketball?
posted by bukvich at 3:36 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that the first baskets literally were peach baskets that James Naismith nailed to a balcony railing. I can't find a great cite to link to, but that info appears to come from his detailed diary entries of the time.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:00 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Do any folk entymologists know how a generic bushel basket came to be synonomized as peach basket for the purposes of the first events in the game of basketball?

It's not apocryphal, really. The very first games of basketball at the YMCA in Springfield, MA used long peach baskets, supplied by a janitor's cache from the gym's storeroom. That was in December, 1891. By May, it appears that the peach baskets had been replaced with the more familiar, rounded bushel baskets; the first game at the Trenton YMCA used those instead. But because those first games in Springfield did indeed use peach baskets, people still say peach baskets.

/Springfield, MA native and trivia nerd

source: Cages to Jump Shots: Pro Basketball's Early Years, Robert Paterson, pp 18-22
posted by Errant at 4:06 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


The Superbowl was described as "a Red Hot Chili Peppers gig with football before and after" on UK radio today.
posted by goo at 5:49 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Alas, the potato mascot was not my brilliant idea but I can't remember which one of my Facebook friends I stole it from. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 6:36 PM on January 31


Do any folk entymologists know how a generic bushel basket came to be synonomized as peach basket for the purposes of the first events in the game of basketball?

My God, it's like you didn't grow up watching the James Naismith Heritage Minute!
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:13 PM on January 31


I get not liking 'is this something I'd need to own a TV to understand?'-style dismissiveness and patronising, and even the 'look at me doing something important with my time!' social media crowing. But let's not pretend that following sports is not a dominant part of our culture, and that not being interested in any form of football doesn't come with drawbacks. So if your feelings get hurt because I don't care who won the big game, I'm going to tell you to toughen up.

Or, really, think it. But I'll think it hard.

(Written by someone who has to endure sports talk at all family gatherings because otherwise we yell about politics, and my ability to change the topic to anything else only works for so long.)
posted by gadge emeritus at 9:14 PM on January 31


If you're really so myopic as to be able to grow up without knowing the difference between football and baseball, you probably don't want to flaunt that level of self-imposed ignorance. It's not cute; it's sort of pathetic

The older I get, the less impressed I am with being proud to be ignorant about things.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:50 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


we still have a team called the Redskins in 2014

The Epic Battle To Save The Most Offensive Team Name In Professional Sports
posted by homunculus at 10:57 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Millions of chickens are slaughtered to obtain only their wings

Pretty sure the rest of the chicken—at least the other convential parts for eating—aren't going to waste.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:16 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Sure, they turn them in Wyngz.
posted by Mitheral at 8:10 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


The older I get, the less impressed I am with being proud to be ignorant about things.

Yeah, it reminds me of folks who are proud of only knowing one language. And that one barely. Way to go, you not-knower!

But if one is going to make fun of the dominant culture, at least take the time to come up with something original, not parrot clichés like "sportsball."
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:26 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


Sportsball: 741,000 results.
NFL+concussions: 4,540,000 results.

Just so we're clear where the real problems are.
posted by Apropos of Something at 4:11 PM on February 1


I no longer pretend ignorance of football...I merely say Oh yeah, that kiddy game that Americans seem to like because they have no stomach for a REAL game. Like Rugby.

I suppose one could like football...if you don't mind the players all being in armor to avoid bumps and bruises, and they stop play every minute for trivial stuff like the ball hitting the ground or someone getting a fractured skull. It's OK, I suppose, in a wimpy, overpampered sort of way. I suppose it's all American sports fans can handle.

And then the following fuss is far more entertaining than any football game.
posted by happyroach at 6:53 PM on February 1


I too enjoy trolling.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:32 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


From the article:

"While the competition can last for more than three hours, actual playing time is no more than about 11 minutes"

Sounds like EVE...
posted by nonspecialist at 10:47 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


It's called football because it, along with rugby football and association football, descended from EnglIsh field games played on foot rather than on horseback. Nothing to do with kicking.

I was just about to grief my facebook friends about this but need a solid case. My Google fu failing so far, hizzelp! The Wikipedia article on football doesn't really touch on it other than this oblique mention that kind of sort of contradicts the horseback explanation (the only mention of "horseback" in the article is about spectators) but Wikipedia ain't shit, I'm just spoiled by Google's normal awesomeness.

From the regular "Football" article:
In 1363, King Edward III of England issued a proclamation banning "...handball, football, or hockey; coursing and cock-fighting, or other such idle games",[33] showing that "football" — whatever its exact form in this case — was being differentiated from games involving other parts of the body, such as handball.
Oh hey, found this from the "Football (word)" article...I need to tighten this up, I can't afford to get into endless debates on the controversy :(
Although the accepted etymology of the word football, or "foot ball", originated in reference to the action of a foot kicking a ball, this may be a false etymology. An alternative, controversial, explanation has it that the word originally referred to a variety of games in medieval Europe, which were played on foot.[6] These sports were usually played by peasants, as opposed to the horse-riding sports more often enjoyed by aristocrats. In some cases, the word has been applied to games which involved carrying a ball and specifically banned kicking. For example, the English writer William Hone, writing in 1825 or 1826, quotes the social commentator Sir Frederick Morton Eden, regarding a game — which Hone refers to as "Foot-Ball" — played in the parish of Scone, Perthshire:
The game was this: he who at any time got the ball into his hands, run [sic] with it till overtaken by one of the opposite part; and then, if he could shake himself loose from those on the opposite side who seized him, he run on; if not, he threw the ball from him, unless it was wrested from him by the other party, but no person was allowed to kick it.[7] [Emphasis added.]
I cannot wait to break this out to the next person who snootily refers to it as "handegg."

Exactly, I have one particularly obnoxious friend who just goes on and on about it. He loves LaCrosse because it's not as popular, being that guy who must be into the thing nobody else seems to be as into
posted by lordaych at 12:19 AM on February 2


I'm that snooty person who refers to it as 'hand egg', but not in a dismissive tone - it's just what it looks like to me. However, having the article with the history of the term makes the name 'Football' make a lot more sense. (Though I do kinda wish it was named 'Gridiron' instead. Because that's a great word.)
posted by spinifex23 at 12:36 AM on February 2


The most interesting "TIL" for me that I stumbled upon while looking for the etymology information was that American football basically turned into what it is today because rugby was adapted to allow the first in possession to hand off the ball rather than pass it by foot, but more importantly the "downs" were added, giving players ample opportunity to rest between plays.

By 1905 the game was so violent and deadly that Teddy Roosevelt considered shutting it down, and then the forward pass was created, turning the game into the highly strategic and specialized unit game that it is today. I wonder if Teddy was able to appreciate its transformation into a more military-like complex game but more so wonder if the "downs" encouraged most of the violence because players have more explosive energy whenever they can rest, and knowing that the incentive is on you to borderline injure someone so that their ability to pop-off is diminished or they're taken out of play. As the seemingly helpful padding ultimately leads to more concussions by encouraging more frequent, intense hits, perhaps the breaks turned what was a more energy-conscious game of attrition and stamina into basically high-intensity interval explosive ass-whoopin' contest.

As with all violent bloody American enhancements to things that might already be somewhat violent, we managed to add the majestic forward pass-mutation that completely transformed the game. I'm not a huge fan but I appreciate its mechanics much more than baseball or basketball and only really pay attention to football and hockey.
posted by lordaych at 12:43 AM on February 2


My last paragraph is poorly worded but basically I'm talking about making violence "sexy" or "admirable from a distance," as someone who grew up watching "Wings" and "Video Ordnance" tapes and then watched the first Gulf War on TV while my dad was in Riyadh with the Army Reserve and thought it was all pretty cool until I grew older and became more thoughtful about it and saw Dubya setting up the sequel. But then having had that admiration for the elegant phallic clean lines of death and the timed glorious explosions from early on I'll always look at a fighter jet or missile or whatever and be kind of "thumbs-uppy" inside, almost reflexively. The most humbling thing to get my adolescent mind working before I was politically cognizant was seeing a hydrogen bomb casing, 50 cal M2 machine gun, and Maverick AGM missile with guidance optics, warhead not included at the Strategic Air Command around the age of 12. Everything was really cool to look at but those three things just made me go "hmm" like walking through a cow-assassinating section of a totally empty sterilized meat packing plant and kind of getting a drift of the magnitude of destruction while having a safe curated experience. Like football vs. gladiators fighting to the death
posted by lordaych at 12:52 AM on February 2


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