Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In which football is stupid

The most awesome thing about living in Charlottesville is that there is no NFL football team. I grew up in Buffalo, the city of the Buffalo Bills, and so endured all the inconveniences of sharing one's environment with rabid football fans. Such as? Such as the super-irritating "The Bills make me want to SHOUT" song that got played on the radio and TV at least once each hour throughout football season. (Click here for your listening displeasure.) Football conversation at virtually every gathering of people over the age of seven. Talk about fatuous observations! Sunday afternoons devoted to football on every TV, everywhere. You literally could not escape it.

Even my first ultrasound when I was pregnant with Mad Scientist was ruined by football. It was scheduled for the Monday after the Bills were to play in the Superbowl. (1992) Remember how exciting it is to have your very first ultrasound with your very first baby? I was sure excited. But since the Bills had lost the Superbowl the night before, everybody I encountered that Monday was pissy and rude, including the radiologist and the ultrasound tech. I felt vaguely cheated.

It is nice to be removed from the football madness, but whispers of football culture still come to me sometimes from family in Buffalo or my facebook friends who still live there. Hence I have learned that the Bills have signed on one Terrell Owens to the team for next season. There's a youtube movie circulating of a scene from a German film about Hitler, over which someone superimposed subtitles of Hitler ranting about how the Buffalo Bills signed on Terrell Owens for the next football season.

I watched the movie and soon became confused. I think we all agree that Hitler is the universal symbol for "bad." So if Hitler is ranting about the Bills getting Owen, does that mean that it's a good thing? Because if Hitler hates it, aren't we supposed to like it? But then, Hitler says, "I am a Bills fan." Oh. So maybe the film is making fun of Buffalo Bills fans, or football fans in general? But then I read the comments that followed the movie, in which people said things like, "Hilarious!" and, "That's the only time I'll ever see Hitler as a sympathetic character." Ah. So I get it now. For this ONE TIME ONLY, Hitler=good because Terrell Owens=bad. So bad, apparently, that even Hitler hates him.

One commenter pointed out that if you understood German, the movie clip wouldn't be so funny, but other commenters reminded him that the important thing is to have a sense of humor. And anyway, who understands German? Geez.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm offended by this movie. It's way too silly and stupid to get worked up about, and it's kind of comfortable to observe from the safe distance of Charlottesville, kind of like reminiscing about 8th grade gym class when you're drinking a gin & tonic on the balcony of your luxury hotel suite in Cabo San Lucas. Still, I have to ask the football fans, Hitler? Seriously? Is this really the direction in which you want to go?


  1. I have to agree with you--a stupid, tasteless and awful video from any perspective.

  2. Yes. Football is stupid. Homoerotica at best.