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Monday, February 6, 2006

Super Bellies

Posted by on February 6 at 14:33 PM

I was trying to gather materials on Cape Town jazz. The process was slow going. Finally, a technical difficulty forced me to stop the research and spend the remainder of the afternoon watching the Super Bowl. I watched the last two quarters and this is what I saw: a lot of players with pronounced beer bellies. Now how can a man who looks no better than a couch potato be an athlete? I have a suspicion that American football is not really a sport, but something closer to professional wrestling. A sport is performed by an athlete, and the body of an athlete is agonized (in the Greek root meaning of that word) into shape by that sport. The body of a man who performers a sport is an athletic body. A man with a beer belly can never be an athlete.

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Would sumo wrestlers be considered athletes? Just asking.

I've thought for a long time that we should get rid of football as our "national favorite sport", and get into soccer. Most other civilized countries are in on it, and we should follow suit. You will never see a fat ass soccer player.

YEAH! Plus all those 0-0 ties are sure to win over tons of fans!

On the plus side, it would finally give the beer, auto, & fast food industries that long sought-for opportunity to smack their logos directly onto the player's uniforms...

Charles, when I look for an authority on who and who isn't an athlete I'll usually look to someone who knows nothing about sports.

See, that's kind of like looking for a good band to check out and reading Megan Selig's suggestions.

The reason NFLers are so fat is because, like sumo wrestlers, they need the weight.

They are in fact outstanding athletes under the fat. But when you have all that padding, you need to be able to bring the sheer weight with you to make an impact, as it were.

Also, since they stop every ten seconds or so, the linemen don't need to have stamina, unlike your rugby league fellow there (or rugby union, a different game).

Of course, the weight is contributory to the health problems endemic to NFLers -- heart problems, knee problems, ankle problems.

As is running as fast as one can into another 250lb man running as fast as he can, repeatedly, for 3 hours every week.

That's what I mean -- it's the padding which both allows and requires the weight, which is what makes the impacts so severe. Though it's a bit much to characterize it as "3 hours" -- a football game is mostly down time, with far fewer plays than a supposedly slow-moving baseball game.

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