We discussed early in our course the relationship between football and the military. We focused on the similarities between the sport and military culture in general. I agree that football is militaristic by nature, and I found an old stand-up piece by one of my favorite comedians, George Carlin, to reinforce this notion. View the following link:
George Carlin does a wonderful job of juxtaposing baseball and football as the antithesis of each other. The clip illustrates the power of nomenclature in sports. More specifically, Carlin deconstructs the naming and framing of specific rules/goals of football in contrast to the more lackadaisical nature of baseball. Carlin uses language like "gridiron, aerial assaults, and dropping bombs" to demonstrate how a sport like football is rooted in military jargon. By crafting his comedic message in such a demeanor, he aids the viewer in understanding the aggressive tendencies of football. We are in turn to believe these values are instilled by the military as well. It is the entire point of the joke because if we as the audience or society did not think to ourselves, "Hey, he's right. This joke is funny because it's kind of true," then he failed as a comedian.
I believe Carlin's most poignant example supporting the militaristic perspective is his analysis of the objectives in baseball and football. He blasts off on a riff about the quarterback decimating the defenses and "launching a sustained ground attack into the enemy wall". The final punch line comes with the contrast of baseball's objective - to go home. My interpretation is the two sports become manifestos of the political ideals espoused by pro-war and anti-war supporters, a product of his generation (Carlin was a vocal pacifist during the Vietnam War).
Another way to perceive the content of the clip is from an aggressive vs. passive stance. Was he simply trying to show that one sport is aggressive, while another is a passive, and that's it? Or was there some sort of greater meaning to the skit in general? How do you guys feel about the nature of nationalism in sports today, specifically in football?