The “Get-The-Fuck-Over-It” Bowl

Over the years, we have had epic football games that have
led to the greatest of nicknames. There was the Ice Bowl, the Blunder Bowland
the Miracle Bowl
, just to name a few. We’ve had the Bears Super Bowl Shuffling,
we’ve had the Titans coming up one yard short and we’ve had the Browns… well…
uh… Hey, we will always have 1964, right?

As the length of time between the game and the end of the
season has grown to a full two weeks of hype, we have seen more and more
chances for the media to get excited about something stupid as hell. There was
Broadway Joe’s guaranteeand there was Hollywood Henderson explaining that
Terry Bradshaw was so stupid, he couldn’t spell “cat” if you spotted him the C
and the A.

Most of the time where we see everyone tripping over their
dicks is when they have to deal with something controversial.

In the case of the most repeated and yet most likely
apocryphal story ever,
it was race that became the issue. Doug Williams won the
MVP in Super Bowl XXII, but it was the fact he was the first black guy to start
at QB in the big game that garnered the pre-game attention. Someone either
asked or didn’t ask him in a news conference “So how long have you been a black
quarterback?” to which Williams either did or didn’t respond, “I’ve been a
quarterback since high school. I’ve been black all my life.”

This year is no exception, with Joe Flacco calling the idea
of playing the Super Bowl in New Jersey next year “retarded.”
This was both
controversial and stupid because a) saying something is “retarded” is as
socially acceptable as calling someone a “negro” and b) Flacco somehow managed
to forget he plays a sport that happens in the winter and was actually played
outside for generations (and in some cases, still is).

Not to be outdone, as Adrastos pointed out earlier, 49er
cornerback Chris Culliver came out (pun intended) and explained that he “don’t
do the gay guys” and that he “can’t be with that sweet stuff.”
This immediately
prompted outrage from people who have more than 15 percent of a working
brain, many of those people demanding Culliver be suspended, fined or required
to hang out at John Waters’ house for a few days. It also had people asking
themselves a) will pro sports ever have a truly inclusive and tolerant society
and b) who the fuck is Chris Culliver?

Compounding this issue, several 49er
players who had done a “It Gets Better” video backpedaled faster than Culliver
when asked about it.
They denied being part of it, were then shown the video
and came up with a “uh, isn’t that just an anti-bullying thing?” response. Right, because if
you just come out against the ant-gay stuff, it’s clear you’re a nob-muncher
and you’re likely to be doing gay porn films titled, “Wide Receivers and Tight
Ends.”

Dan Savage pulled the video.

Making this even worse, the most important thing about the
game (the commercials) has become sullied by the claims of racism.If you haven’t seen the VW commercial
featuring Minnesota Dave, the state’s official Rastafarian, well, you’re
missing exactly nothing.
Still, the idea that a white guy from Minnesota would
be using the wrong stupid accent to sell cars has enraged the people who were
looking for something to be enraged about.

(Volkswagen has been relatively quiet on this issue, relying
on its long history of being founded by Nazi tradeworkers to speak
for itself.
)

Look, I get it. Unless you’re a fan of one of the teams, you
probably don’t give a shit about the Super Bowl. Thus, if you’re going to be
surrounded by Super Bowl bullshit, you need something to keep you entertained
or outraged, or both in the case of people for whom there is no real
distinction.

Still, can we let some of this shit go?

Column after column after column has tried to get me to be
angry with Culliver for not being OK with gay people and then REALLY trying to
get me to be angry about his apology. Even more people have been angry about
the VW commercial, which is getting so much free media play right now, it’s
likely to replace Faith Hill’s number as the intro to next year’s Sunday Night
Football.

Maybe if you combined a couple of these things, I’d care
more. If Joe Flacco called Culliver a “retard” while using a Jamaican accent, I
could get a little more worked up, but as it stands, not so much.

Every now and again, I get behind a car that sports a “If
you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” bumper sticker. I guess there’s
a good career in outrage, but it’s just so damned exhausting.

Even if we can’t all coexist or get along or whatever, could
we at least learn to shrug more? Instead of worrying which football player
might say something stupid or which media guy might ask the next “it” question,
can we just kick back, relax, drink a beer and not give a fuck for a while?

10 thoughts on “The “Get-The-Fuck-Over-It” Bowl

  1. MichaelF says:

    I couldn’t care less about Art Modell — typical creep owner — but enjoyed reading Bernie Parrish’s book They Call It a Game, which has a chapter or two about 1964…

  2. Athenae says:

    I know you know this, but the problem with shit like this is that it sends a message to people who aren’t white or straight or neurotypical that this shit is okay. That the kid who called them a retard on the playground was right. That the parent who kicked them out of the house for being gay has more socially acceptable views than they do.
    I’m glad people are outraged. More than that, I’m glad people are MOCKING Culliver, because when your bigoted shit becomes hilarious, then you know you’ve truly lost the culture war and boy, have they.
    I think what you’re taking issue with here is the coverage that devotes more time to the random utterances of sports figures than the actions of the powerful, but I don’t think outrage is a bowl of sugar. Every time I think I’m running out, somebody opens his yap in the press and says something so shit-stupid I can’t breathe. Our capacity to tell other people where to stuff their bigotry should be limitless.
    A.

  3. Doc says:

    A-
    You got the point even though I didn’t make it clear enough, upon second read.
    I want people to be outraged when they’re actually outraged. It’s the media coverage that is fucking annoying because with the exception of certain people who actually have been on top of this stuff for years (read: Dan Savage, LZ Granderson etc.) they really aren’t outraged. They’re peddling outrage to us when they sense blood in the water and then spend that outrage trying to get me to give a shit about it. It’s like the Christians who whip out their Christianity when it becomes convenient and can be a weapon as opposed to using it every day.
    The writers of most of this fuck-nut frenzy would be hard pressed to convince me that on any given Wednesday, they would think, “Hey, we should write more about why no player has come out during his playing career in the NFL.” Instead, they wait for a dick-nugget like Culliver to say something stupid and then they get all “more PC than thou” about it. I’d wager a dollar to a dime that at least 1 in 4 of the people who wrote bitingly and angrily about Culliver have called someone a “faggot” at least once in their lifetime.
    If we really care about this stuff, fine. I do. I know that I teach gay kids and straight kids and kids with learning disabilities and kids with biases and more. I treat each one like I want to be treated. Am I perfect? No, but I’d like to think that I think about these kinds of things more often then when I could wring an acerbic column out of them.
    Doc

  4. MapleStreet says:

    I can understand having the playoff at the end of the season (Superbowl).
    What I never understood was then having the Pro-Bowl. If teamwork is important, what sense does it have to throw a bunch of players together who have never played together? Looks like High School football.
    Two more “get over it” in Football regarding repeated head injury. Not that repeated injury has bad effects (which seemed rather obvious even while the power that be were fighting the idea).
    Rather about a week ago when Obama said that if he had a son he would have to think about football. In local restaurant with TV that ran this as a news item. I was then treated to 2 locals who started on how Obama was out to destroy football in favor of Basketball. Not only was it a rather lame racial slur in the way they were using that information (you mean blacks don’t play football?) But also that a question of trying to alter things to prevent repeated trauma was somehow an assault on their manhood.
    Then today, the TV had a football official apparently saying they were releasing new guidelines for dealing with head trauma. Admittedly this seemed a good thing and a thought that perhaps they had seen the error of their fighting this. However, they guy went into a long speech on how good they were to release this / how it would change not only football but the world as all organizations used this guideline/ etc. Kind of disappointed that they didn’t break out into a chorus of “We are the World.”

  5. I don’t care about the Super Bowl. I just hope the LOCAL small businesses in New Orleans make a lot of money off the people who come to watch.

  6. adrastos says:

    Looking pretty bad on that score, Grandmere Mimi. They came for the free shit.

  7. merciless says:

    I am a bad person. I read the entire post, and all I could think of was, if I say ignorant, homophobic things on camera, can I go hang out at John Waters’ house for a few days? Please?

  8. BlackSheep0ne says:

    Consider the key: People had to ask who the hell Culliver was, before this.
    How much you wanna bet he gets cut / traded sometime during the off-season? He’s a reserve, not a starter. SF can get a better player in that position among undrafted rookies come training camp…

  9. Bruce Webb says:

    Doc, Doc, Doc you missed the true genius of Hollywood Henderson. In the original it was
    “Terry Bradshaw couldn’t spell ‘cat’ if you spotted him the K and the t”
    Much funnier. And frankly gets more to the point.

  10. Bruce Webb says:

    On the Pro Bowl.
    John Madden had an excellent suggestion on local SF Bay Area radio a couple of weeks ago.
    Continue to name players ‘Pro Bowlers’ but substitute a charity golf tournament in Hawaii for the meaningless game. All the honor and a hell of a lot more fun for all concerned. As a twist I would allow the Pro Bowlers to name ringers to play for them with cash prizes split between the football player and golfers charities. Even as some pro bowlers ate actually scratch golfers (I hate Elway with every fiber of my being, but back in the day he swung a mean golf club. And Steve Young too.)

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