Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Football. Football. Alas.

I asked Tom Curtis at church a couple of Sundays ago whether he could do anything about speeding up the beginning of football season. He sighed and confessed that he had spent the previous afternoon watching some sort of golf game on TV that had elements of poker larded into it, he was that desperate for sports. We asked each other whether he had the slightest interest in hockey, and of course neither of us does. And as for baseball? Please.

Which takes me momentarily to a review that appeared in the WSJ Saturday of a non-fiction book entitled The Real All Americans by Sally Jenkins. It is the story of the "the momentous college-football game in 1921 between [Glenn "Pop"] Warner's renowned Carlisle Indian School squad and a vaunted Army team."

Jenkins quotes "the best locker room speech ever . . . to be":

Your fathers and your grandfathers are the ones who fought their fathers. These men playing against you today are soldiers. They are the Long Knives. You are Indians. Tonight, we will know if you are warriors.

Carlisle beat Army 27-6. It helped that Jim Thorpe was in Carlisle's backfield.

As football continues its inexorable migration from free to pay tv, every new season sees me weaken in my resolve to stay with the rabbit ears. The gods have taken away Monday Night Football, and the autumn weeks have dimmed. MNF once redeemed Mondays. Now MNF is no longer a matter of grace, but a matter of money. American Civilization is clearly on the downslope.

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