So, I was sitting at a bar on Sunday, watching a few minutes of the Saints-Packers game, actually paying more attention to my beer than the television, when an old guy sitting at a table behind me yells, rhetorically, “what the hell is that on the TV?”
He had a tiny ponytail, his thin white hair pulled back so tightly that the eyes bulged as if his thyroid was raging.
“Football game,” I said, startled for a second by his Marty Feldman eyes. “Saints-Packers.”
“I know what it is,” he said. “Why the hell is it on?”
I looked around the bar. The only people there were me and him and the bartender. “Because people like watching football,” I said, not entirely convinced.
Then he cursed the players, echoing his president, “sons of bitches. Too good to stand for the National Anthem. Turn that shit off.”
No one did.
He was really pissed off at the National Football League over the take-a-knee protest by players during the National Anthem. So he’s boycotting the NFL, like so many other folks, many of whom are still involved in fantasy football leagues, which utilize the stats of NFL players, proving that the righteously angry can have it both ways.
The air in the barroom turned an ugly, stressful shade of red, as the the old guy fussed and fumed over, “those goddamn prima donnas,” and their disrespect of God and country and the soldiers and the policemen, etc., etc., etc.
While this was going on around me I wondered if this guy and his fellow disgruntled fans or their chickenhawk president or any other football consumer got this irate over the NFL’s feeble response to the spate of domestic violence carried out by players. Of course they didn’t. That’s because in the land of the free, taking a political stand – or knee, in this case – is way more offensive than beating the shit out of a woman.
Either way, the attention span of the average irate sports fan is kind of like the old man’s pony tail – short and insubstantial.
And when the players get tired of protesting (probably before then), those same morally outraged fans will be back in record numbers to support “those goddamn prima donnas,” filling up stadiums and watching their big screens, many of them doing what they typically do during the National Anthem, which is, drink beer, binge-eat, scratch their asses, and thank God for football … while standing, of course. You can’t scratch your ass very well if you’re sitting.