Hello, and welcome back to I Am Watching Football. Last week’s column was published on a Sunday, having been written in advance of that week’s games. This week’s column is being published on a
Monday Tuesday, having been written during/after the games. Will I figure out a schedule and have any sort of consistency going forward? No promises.
There was a bit of a delay this week due to the terrorist attack in the capitol, and me not really knowing what to say about it. Well, that’s not quite accurate, I know exactly what to say about it I’m just not sure it wouldn’t further escalate the level of violent rhetoric we’re currently trying to control, and there are of course those who would say a column “about football” on a comedy/entertainment website is not the place to talk politics. Those people are wrong though. Politics is life, and especially today, faced with a sizable portion of the country willing to murder our lawmakers and then anyone else with an ounce of intellect or compassion, keeping your head in the sand is just an easy way to end up decapitated.
I want to hit two points, and then we’ll move on. Skip to the Obligatory Sports Talk if you’re not on board for some serious conservative bashing, though I would hope we all are at this point.
The Founding Fathers of this nation, the people whom these idiots claim to so revere, would be hanging every single one of them who crossed those steps, every congressman who stood with them, and the President, for treason, without delay. It would have happened already. Now, I am not necessarily advocating for this, because Constitutional originalism is for morons, but don’t anybody act like we don’t all know this is the truth.
Also the truth: any other group of protesters who had tried something like that (a purely theoretical hypothesis as no other group would) would’ve been shot on sight, and these people should have been as well. I was worried that there would be more of a “nobody deserves to be shot and even though other people would have been it’s good that these people weren’t” sort of reaction from people on the left, and thankfully there hasn’t been, at least not that I’ve seen. If these people were in any way competent, they could have easily killed the majority of our federal lawmakers, you can’t look at the way so many of them are dressed and what they’re carrying (you know, pipe bombs, etc.) and not know that’s what they’re there to do, they were just bad at it. Extremely bad at it, as they faced seemingly no resistance from law enforcement.
There’s at least been a lot made of the response (or rather lack thereof), which is only semi-reassuring, because the potential reasons for the riot being allowed to unfold range from abjectly terrifying to at best deeply unsettling. Toward the terror end of the scale you have the idea that a great number of people in law enforcement actually sympathize with these people, and weren’t willing to stand in serious resistance. The officer who they killed was an ardent Trump supporter, a frankly hilarious development that has served to eliminate what legitimate sympathy most of us may have had for him and instead turn him and his life into a highly effective prop for arguing the central and obvious hypocrisies of the “Blue Lives Matter” crowd. I’m hopeful though that Nazi-sympathizing wasn’t so much the cause as something else I observed: them all shitting their pants in fear.
If you watch the footage of the terrorists and security engaging, you can see in the eyes and jittery actions of all of the officers that they are scared for their lives like they never have been before. Before this, while certainly being a police-skeptic I would not have been one to break out the word “pigs” and mire an argument in terminology. Watching this changed that, because I’ll tell you what I see. Those pigs know that when they’re faced with the BLM or other protesters, they’re in no real danger. A few bottles might get thrown, some empty commercial properties that will be covered by insurance ransacked and burned, but these are essentially good people who won’t hurt them, so they go on a power trip and break out the teargas and rubber bullets, if not the real ones. Here though, they were presented with actual evil people who they could tell might kill them, people who were scary not because of any sort of might but for their complete lack of a moral center. They could look into the eyes of these people and see nothing looking back at them, nothing but vacuous pools of the rotting souls within, set over horrifically gap-toothed mouths, and rather than carry out their sworn duty and lay them all down with lead, putting themselves at risk in the process, they chose to act as complete and utter cowards. A disgrace.
Some might say it’s inappropriate to so flippantly discuss an event in which five people died, but lets break those down real quick. You’ve got 1) a rioter deservedly shot by police 2) A Trump supporter beaten to death by his friends and 3) Three “medical emergencies”, which I’m taking to mean you can’t get this many Trump supporters together for more than an afternoon without three of them dying of heart attacks. Small victories.
Obligatory Sports Talk
Well, if I hadn’t just spent the last 800 words saying I didn’t want to drive further division in the country and then going ahead and doing it anyway, this would have been a good week to talk at length about football, quite a bit happened. We had:
- The Bills and Browns both winning their first playoff games in 25 years
- That absolute disgrace of a PHI/WAS game we were all made to watch last week
- A subsequent career-making performance from WAS backup QB Taylor Heinicke, an un-drafted free agent who had been out of the league over a year when signed by the team in December (sadly still losing)
- A satisfyingly humiliating end to a rapist’s career
- The unsatisfying continuation of two other non-rapist (as far as we know) yet still largely objectionable people’s careers
I did my bit about the Bills last week. I wasn’t prepared for the panic-attack level of stress watching them in a close playoff game would put me through, but here we are. I’m still alive, they’re still in, on to next week.
The victory of our Lake Eerie pals the Browns was made even sweeter by it also being an absolute decimation, as in like, digging, filling, and shitting on the grave of Ben “The Rapist” Rothlmfghinbsgburger’s career. It was over from the first snap, sadly not Raple-burger’s fault entirely, but he surely did his part following it up with four interceptions through the rest of the game. I think his career is best summed up by the following exchange between Pawnsylvania characters on Kroll Show:
“Your quarterback’s a rapist.”
“Yeah he’s a rapist but he’s an effective QB in the pocket.”
Now it’s not even that last part, and there were some choice shots of him sitting on the sideline looking dejected (as in full on existential crisis) and then crying on national television:
Not so beautiful, the primetime end-of-regular season game between Washington and Philadelphia. Much has already been written about this tragedy of what could barely be called a football game, no less one that was, again, aired nationally and in primetime, so I’ll keep it short. It was cruel to Jalen Hurts, it was cruel to Nate Sudfeld, it was somewhat mean to the Giants (though no 6-10 team can really be upset about missing the playoffs), it was in a way meaner to the Football Team (a largely moot point now that they lost, but an extended playoff run would have had the fact that they were essentially let in by the Eagles throwing it hanging over them), and it was cruel to us as a viewing audience, America. I won’t attempt to make a connection between this at the time being the last football game that had been played and the near end of our democracy last week, but that was, undeniably, the sequence of events.
We did at least get to enjoy Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth enduring the whole thing along with us. Of the prominent announcing pairs, these guys have truly perfected the art of chewing up airtime during a game that’s got no life in it, as this one did after about a quarter. This is where you most get to see the tension between the NFL and, well, reality and human emotion. The League (and maybe to some extent the networks) certainly has things it doesn’t like talked about. Bad refereeing calls, player misconduct, betting lines or even too much fantasy, and above all definitely not the fact that we are watching a team deliberately tank the season-capper with direct playoff implications for the sake of gaining a likely equally bad draft pick (6th over 9th) and “getting a look” at their back-up QB. (Guess they’ve never seen the guy before. Huh.) The two were about as professional and on-message for most of the affair as they could be, the cracks showing towards the end though, perhaps most noticeably in the form of a “Redskins” slip-up from Chris, which he acknowledged, to then be reassured by Al, “It’s okay, we’ve been good boys all night.”
Brady and Brees are still in it. Both old white men with suspect histories re. Trump and supporting their black teammates through a social justice movement respectively. Breaking as of me writing this though, Bill Belichick has decided to decline the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump, so that’s one good thing from him, I guess.
Looks like GEICO aren’t regular readers of the column, because I encountered this for the first time this week (apparently so new the only video on YouTube is from someone who’s pointed their phone at the TV):
I feel like there were some other good commercials this week that I didn’t take notes on and so now I’ve forgotten them. Oh well, if there’s one thing that’s certain in today’s world, they’ll be back. And then back again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And ag-okay you get it.
There’s a commercial I’ve been seeing all season, and each time it makes me uncomfortable, but it wasn’t until this week that I figured out why:
Did you see it? I think probably some of you are already on board with where I’m going, but for those who may not be, I’ll narrow the focus. The part that gets me is the shot with the older woman, the one who exclaims, “WHERE IS THE BUD-LI-never mind I found it.” Now, it’s not that she’s an older woman with a deliberately grating voice of the type that you wouldn’t normally see in a beer commercial, it’s not even that the fridge is a mess, no. No my problem is that they are using “Bud Light” in the singular and that is simply not enough beer for a football game. Every time I see her take that last beer out of the fridge, I wince. It’s just wrong. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen. There’s actually an alternate version of this commercial with a similar exchange between other people where one responds, “There’s more in the garage.” And that’s nice. It also shows though, that they know what they’re doing, and they could easily placate us if they so chose, yet instead choose to continually antagonize us with the shot of that last beer being lifted and no hope offered as to the possibility of more.
You may be noticing a recurring bit here if you’re like, my mom, so know that in these parts I am playing a character who is meant to represent America and the larger, deeply conflicted nature of our relationship to alcohol as a society. I am fine. Nothing is wrong. I do need to run to the liquor store though, I’ll be right back.
A Dream I Had the Other Night
Again following on a theme from last week, I’ve been repeatedly dying in plane crashes of late. Not sure what that’s about.
What Else Am I Watching?
We’re going to return to a somewhat lighter look at politics here, because if you did not stay up until near 4 AM on Thursday watching the proceedings in the Senate and House, you missed out.
Oh boy did you miss out.
First we were treated to a series of Republican senators getting up and absolutely eating shit, clearly rattled by having had their lives threatened by the president they themselves thrust into this position (during one person’s speech a door slams somewhere and the people in the background jump). Kelly Loeffler and James Lankford (who had been interrupted while speaking at the start of the siege) recanted their intentions to object to the electoral votes. This was early in the night while the anchors were still awake, and it was a true joy to see Chuck Todd miserably fail at containing a gleeful grin while saying, “It looks like what we’ll be seeing here is a number of Republicans coming up and essentially apologizing.” Not all of them did, of course, about half of those in the House and Senate who had originally intended to still objected, meaning we were then ping-ponged back and forth between the two until the early morning hours, though at least those in the Senate chose to largely forgo their time.
Along the way we got Lindsey Graham, doing a full-on comedy routine:
I still hate the guy, and there are still some huge problems with a number of things he says in that speech, but the guy gets in a few pretty good laughs, and the delivery is solid, so, credit where credit is (barely) due.
Once it hit the House it was just craziness, because, you know, the House. At least a few people made reference to the day’s events as akin to what would occur in a “banana republic” which, like, we’re responsible for those guys so maybe cool it with that one. Also about an hour after midnight a few people’s aids clearly rushed to give them the note that it was no longer what happened “today” leading to some hilariously forced pronunciations of “yesterday” or “the last twelve hours”. Nancy Pelosi’s palpable disdain each time she asked, “On what grounds does the gentleman from X seek recognition” followed with the equal dryness of “the gentleman has exceeded his time,” to each of the objecting Republicans was about the only thing that kept this stretch bearable.
At about 3:30am as things were winding down, long after the anchors had all gone to bed and the networks were just airing feeds of the House and Senate floors, there was a bizarre moment of Maryland’s Democratic representative Steny Hoyer doing a jokey bit about being upset because he was losing his top staffer to the Biden administration and making her stand up for a round of applause (she did not want to), definitely something they had planned for when the vote was a purely ceremonial occasion where the government wasn’t almost overthrown and people didn’t die, so, maybe should have rethought that one.
All in all, well, I’m struggling really in terms of how to sum it up. It was an upsetting event but fascinating to watch unfold, our capitol suddenly in the spotlight in a way it’s never been before, the cameras rolling as they always do, but now with the full focus of the nation behind them, long into the night, seeing our nation’s lawmakers respond in all these different ways in real time and unedited to a crisis on their literal front door step. As a viewing experience, truly one of a kind.
Hopefully next week I won’t have to spend half my word count on domestic terrorism. We’ll see though. Until then thanks for watching and thanks for reading and for at least one more week I get to say
LET’S GO BUFFALO!