February 08, 2005

"American football is, in short, a made-up sport.": Steven Wells vs the Super Bowl

posted by gspm to football at 01:01 PM - 37 comments

As opposed to the ones given to us by God.

posted by yerfatma at 01:08 PM on February 08

Curse those cocky Patriots - if only they could be reserved and modest like Freddie Mitchell.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:24 PM on February 08

That was a funny article. God bless Steven Wells. If we can't see the ridiculous nature of some aspects of our pasttimes, then we truly have lost an important sense of perspective.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:38 PM on February 08

Jesus, there sure seem to be a plethora of bad sports articles lately. Maybe he should look at the beam in his own eye? I'm referring to Cricket, of course. (Also, our fans don't regularly kill each other)

posted by selfnoise at 01:41 PM on February 08

That's an interesting tangent, though: what sport isn't "made-up"? What sports today could be said to really derive from something that wasn't a game? Boxing, okay; most of track and field, or pretty much any kind of racing, and *cough* Scottish heavy games, I guess. And stuff involving weapons, archery and target shooting and so on. But I can't think of anything involving a ball that isn't "made-up" from the get-go.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:54 PM on February 08

Put me in the "all sports are made-up, aren't they?" camp as well. If this article were posted here I believe it would get filed under T. And who is "Crib Collingworth"? Is that a jab of some sort or just a serendiptous reflection of the quality of this article as a whole?

posted by pivo at 02:17 PM on February 08

Dodgeball, competitive pinball and that Motorcycle High Jump thingy at the X Games are only three sports that are totally organic. Everything else? Human-made, and thus faulty. Glad someone, even if they are from Yoorp, made that clear. Cute piece.

posted by chicobangs at 02:27 PM on February 08

I am now dumber for having read this. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your sole.

posted by mayerkyl at 02:57 PM on February 08

thank GOD for steven wells and all his expertise, because we all know that soccer is not a "made-up sport." clearly, this is why europeans make bad sportwriters...because sportswriting is a made-up job. nice jab in there about the war too.

posted by curlyelk at 03:10 PM on February 08

I liked it. Funny stuff. Here's more on the Wing Bowl. (NY Times link). Wells refers to it, and World Champion Bill "El Wingador" Simmons, in the article. 23,000 people were inside the Wachovia Center by 5 am to see this event. Another ~10,000 had to be turned away.

posted by 86 at 03:18 PM on February 08

I should mention I enjoyed the piece, I just don't get the "man-made" bit.

posted by yerfatma at 03:18 PM on February 08

Dodgeball, competitive pinball and that Motorcycle High Jump thingy at the X Games are only three sports that are totally organic. Do NOT leave Slamball off this list.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:10 PM on February 08

Yeah, but if you include Slamball, then Big Brother and EXTREME KNITTING have to be included too. It's a slippery slope, dude. Just saying.

posted by chicobangs at 04:42 PM on February 08

this is why europeans make bad sportwriters It's so warm under this blanket statement. And thicken up the skin about the war. Your country starts wars, you might be criticized. Hey, it happens - I know, like, totally unfair, right?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 04:43 PM on February 08

Jeez, did you whiners even read the article? My favorite organic sport is Bounce the Superball Off of the Sidewalk Really Hard and If You Whack Yourself in the Face and Break Your Glasses, You Lose, Because Mom Will Be So Pissed.

posted by dirigibleman at 05:46 PM on February 08

It's so warm under this blanket statement. But that really isn't the statement he made. I read the original comment as a sort of tongue-in-cheek jab at the whole "made-up" thing in the article (and by inference, "naturalness" or "purity" of all things European/British). Of course, the cherry-picked, out of context snippet replied to is indeed a blanket statement. Gotta reply to the comments as a whole - definitely unfair! You may now proceed with your regulary scheduled "America Sucks" jingoism. Man, I wish I was cool and hip and hated all things American too.

posted by pivo at 05:53 PM on February 08

And, of course, by the last quarter I am totally absorbed. I am drunk and in love. I'm roaring abuse at the fancy-dan Patriots when they dare to mock the Eagles' victory wing-flap. Nope, no knees jerking around here.

posted by dirigibleman at 05:59 PM on February 08

And to think the Germans get lumbered with the humourless label.

posted by squealy at 06:15 PM on February 08

No, they get the methodical and efficient label. The French get the humourless label. As for Americans, we're just, like, better than everyone else. And we work harder. And we totally rule! I thought the article was fun. I'm not much of a football fan, but I get completely sucked into the playoffs every year, and can. not. resist. the Super Bowl and the associated hype. It's the American media machine at its finest.

posted by rocketman at 06:51 PM on February 08

What about BASEketball? Now there's a sport handed down from on high!

posted by billsaysthis at 07:49 PM on February 08

nice jab in there about the war too There was a war?! Seemed more like an invasion... The Stupid Bowl is 3 minutes of action, 1 hour of hype, 3 hours of commercials... This article didn't go far enough... You may now proceed with your regulary scheduled "America Sucks" jingoism And i don't think you can be jingoistic toward another country, you can however, be jingoistic about your own country... Please look it up...

posted by StarFucker at 09:05 PM on February 08

Who said America sucks? Now let's abondon the topic before this becomes riddled with facts and isms and which band of religious zealots is more dangerous, etc., etc.... (can't not antagonize... must resist....)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:47 PM on February 08

I thought the article was a funny bit of cultural study and outsider reporting.

posted by dusted at 11:07 PM on February 08

The Stupid Bowl is 3 minutes of action, 1 hour of hype, 3 hours of commercials... And a baseball game is like watching paint dry, right? At least, to anyone who's never really watched one. I know it must be, because I heard someone say so once.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:57 AM on February 09

i'll admit to using a bad choice of pull quote since that is not the point he is trying to make in the article but hopefully it got some people to read it. interesting article, steven wells always writes with a sense of humour (witness his article on the music and entertainment played at american sporting events) and i don't think anyone should take that quote to mean anything. his whole outsider perspective on the pomp and circumstance of the super bowl was interesting.

posted by gspm at 06:57 AM on February 09

Quite possibly the gayest column I've ever seen on a Super Bowl. I plan to tweak the writer's nose by writing a column pooping on doilies, tea parties and Astroglide.

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:53 AM on February 09

"...pooping on doilies..." that could be a great band name

posted by garfield at 09:02 AM on February 09

I think it's more of an album title.

posted by rocketman at 09:44 AM on February 09

Astroglide's latest 'Pooping on Doilies' I like it. god, i miss hockey.

posted by garfield at 09:54 AM on February 09

Quite possibly the gayest column I've ever seen on a Super Bowl. At least it's original. I think 90% of sportswriters follow a script.

posted by dusted at 11:18 AM on February 09

...or just plagiarize.

posted by smithers at 03:07 PM on February 09

I think 90% of sportswriters follow a script. You're off by a couple of 9s.

posted by yerfatma at 05:31 PM on February 09

You know, I always thought Astroglide should have picked up the old Kings song, "Switchin' To Glide," and made a kickass advertising campaign out of it. Or maybe not.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:37 AM on February 10

Hoho. It's so amusing to see you Yanks get your panties in a twist...

posted by salmacis at 01:17 PM on February 10

If it weren't for our panties, you'd all be wearing lederhosen right now. </knee-jerk tone="jingoistic">

posted by yerfatma at 02:26 PM on February 10

Actually, this would be the gayest column you've ever seen on a Superbowl. Just saying.

posted by Samsonov14 at 04:32 PM on February 10

Its always 'fun' to English and others to poke fun at America and our proclivities. Its safe. We're the worlds #1 super power so its like making fun of the kid who has everything. I took it as tongue in cheek and not vile hatred. But all I can say in response is at least dominate the sports 'we make up'. The English invented soccer/football and don't dominate. Cricket as well and don't dominate it and Rugby as well (their last WC aside) haven't really dominated the sport as well recently. We invented baseball, american football and basketball (although Naismith was Canadian) and we dominate them. The embarassing thing is inventing a sport and not dominating it.

posted by AmericanGooner at 02:27 PM on June 12

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