Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I grew up rooting for the underdog. This was part of my dad's teachings many a Sunday afternoon: If you don't have a strong prior loyalty, hope for egalitarianism. This, I thought, was a basic American value. Anyone can get ahead here. Pedigree is not destiny, not in America.

I didn't have a strong loyalty in Super Bowl XLIV (last holdout of Roman numerals!). Unlike much of the rest of the country, I don't despise Peyton Manning, and the Colts' departure in the dead of night from Baltimore hadn't left any of my nerves inflamed after all these years. But the Saints had been the Ain'ts for so long that, when the whistle blew, I took their side.

For this, I am derided as insufficiently capitalistic:

What happened to the days of pulling for organizations, teams, and players whom best demonstrate the virtues of team work and heart and will power? Who overcome the challenges of a determined opponent on the level playing field of competition? Of blood, sweat, and tears? I guess in our coddled, emasculated, socialist society any overt demonstration or celebration of these qualities is offensive, too Darwinian, too Randian, too capitalistic.
All I can say to that: Goddamned Tory courtier to power. Root for the Yankees all the time? I don't think so.

(h/t Alicublog)


Anonymous said...

Of course the purpose of the article was really about other things, but I'm surprised the guy watches the NFL at all. The NFL is surely one of the least 'capitalist' organisations in the USA.

What with salary caps; the wealthier teams sharing some of their earnings with the small-market teams; the bad teams one year getting a slightly easier schedule the next year; the worst team getting the first choice of talent the following season; cities often having to subsidise stadiums etc.

I'm not knocking it, I love the NFL and the system obviously works, although as a Bengals fan I'd say its not working well enough.

lovable liberal said...

Yeah, the fundamental "value" of the right has become: The rich deserve to get richer. And the fundamental value of their kept pundits is: If I kiss up to them, they'll share some of their wealth with me and invite me to some of their parties!