Football philosophy is our modern ethic

By Ken Goze

omecoming is one of the few events in DeKalb besides warm weather that has the power to radically alter the usual weekend activities at NIU.

In defiance of the unwritten standing evacuation orders for weekends, students steel themselves for a whole weekend away from “home.”

There must be some reason for this other than the opportunity to go to a gin mill at 6 a.m. This reason is football.

Regardless of the expected outcome, thousands of drink-ravaged students and alumni faithfully pour into Huskie Stadium to see their team through.

For those of you who don’t remember anything after that third Rumple Minze shot, we lost. However, it was not as embarrassing as the other home games. We didn’t get rolled like some poor wino sleeping on an “L” platform.

In America, football is more than just a sport or an excuse to get loaded on Monday night. It is an institution, a philosophy that defines and embodies our society’s couch-potato spectator ethic.

It is also idiotic. Grown men are encouraged to grab-ass and knock each other around like they did during childhood, eventually resulting in arthritic middle-aged men.

It’s also agonizingly slow and frustrating to watch. The clock is forever being stopped for violations or time-outs. The ball is truly in play only minutes each game.

The game’s only appeal is the sort of garish violence it offers, not unlike boxing or bullfighting. This is not to say football should end, it just needs to be revised and brought to its logical conclusion.

Some rule changes are needed. Make the field 150 yards long, and 10 yards wider.

Each team will have 20 players on the field, and instead of facing off on the line, each play would resemble a kickoff. Each team starts at their 10-yard line, and at the snap, runs full speed at each other in V-formation.

Keep the four down, touchdown and kicking rules. Also, put a concrete or plexiglass wall along the sidelines. None of this running sideways out of bounds.

The clock would only be stopped for three reasons: 1. When the runner is pinned down or loses control of the ball; 2. To remove injured players and 3. Television. Commercialization is everything.

During halftime, supplement the bands by throwing criminals and Christians to hungry lions. But hell, this is the 90s, let’s be fair. Throw Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims AND atheists to the lions.

If this sounds good so far, the best is yet to come. At the end of the game, thousands of frenzied fans would stream from the stands onto the field in a drunken orgy of violence.

There it would end, with people screaming, running, copulating, fighting with their bare hands, broken bottles and pieces of the losing team’s uprights.

The plan isn’t perfect, but all the essentials are in place. Very action-oriented, made for TV—a true Circus Maximus.

Ratings and attendance would skyrocket, and if this weekend’s police blotter is any indication, it would keep in one place all the things that happen anyway after the game.