Monday, January 20, 2014

I'd like my violence in a frame on the wall where it can tell me how great I am, and when it doesn't I will punish it

Richard Sherman: I kicked Crabtree's ass. Fuck that guy!

America: Well, golly, that's not very nice. I'll be wholesomely rooting for that wholesome Peyton Manning fellow. And poop on you, Mr. Sherman.

It's always a bit shocking to hear words from mouths on respectable American TV coming at me relatively unfiltered. Even reality shows are mostly scripted with the cussing by design for an audience that's shown a willingness to consume it. The NFL is wholesome, on the other hand, and will likely try to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen again. Don't taint the product, bro.

But now of course Richard Sherman spent the whole week getting ready to kick Crabtree's ass, something he's paid to do mostly by American fans. He did his job and he did it spectacularly well. Then he verbalized the sort of feeling every NFL player has had after a successful play because every celebratory scream, fist pump, and own-chest-thump says more or less the same thing Sherman did. "I am alive while my foe is vanquished. Motherfucker! Motherfucker! Woooooo!!!" This is at the root of all sports and games. It's also the feeling that the white person on the couch who considers Richard Sherman to be a (thinly disguised racial slur) enjoys vicariously and shells out money to sponsors and cable providers for. Get me some of that smiting!

A good sport, a gentleman, a class act, i.e., not Sherman, pretends he hasn't just been participating in a sublimated death match. He hides it from the kids, who are the future of the institution, and the adults who might prevent them from being the future of the institution.

Anyway, that was a hell of a game.

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