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NFL and military jingoism

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Heard quite a lively debate yesterday on sports radio about the NFL and Fox's constant rolling out of servicemen, fighter jets, and all things war during the Super Bowl pregame and broadcast (and even during the regular season, to a certain extent). Host said that it is trivializing something important to sell a product (the NFL). Also argued that there is a serious danger when nations go beyond just harmless nationalism and start exalting combat and combat imagery in such a militant way. Said it was a cheap tactic to sell product by the NFL to constantly wrap itself in the flag and thank servicemen and women, who should be well aware at this point that they are appreciated. Said that the rolling out of the Congressional Medal of Honor winner was diminished because it was, "just another solider" because of the way we are bombarded with it by the NFL and Fox.

    I agree with him on all counts, and said the same on Sunday as I watched: "Enough already, with the 'U.S.A.! U.S.A.!' stuff." Of course, you had the callers immediately bombarding the lines raging about "If you've never carried a rifle" and "If you've never buried a friend or relative," which was, IM(not-so)HO, beyond the point. But such are people's visceral reactions when it comes to the military.

  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    It's a trite display. Just mention Bush or Obama and see how far apart we really are.
  3. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I've already commented on the miltary being used by the NFL on another thread. I know enough members of the service that while enjoying the recognition, are well aware they are often used by politicians, advertisers, entertainers and others to boost their own popularity.
    Fox and the NFL just made it a little too obvious on Sunday.
  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I remember when John McCain was running for President, you basically were not allowed to criticize him - even on policy or campaign matters - without first lauding his "service" up, down, and sideways. It had to be exhausting for the Obama campaign at some point.
  5. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    The NFL has been doing this since I was a kid. You should have seen some of the displays during the Vietnam War. PS: Our society venerates the military because 1. We need it. and 2. So few people have ever served in it. It's a TINY percentage of the population. When there was a draft many more people were exposed to military service, and had a less idealized view of it.
  6. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I understood the need for the NFL to build up it's military cred early on - hell, they are still getting blasted for playing the weekend Kennedy was killed - but at some point, and I think this last weekend was it - it's become a parody of itself. It's almost like (well, exactly like) the miltary is being used to justify the excess.
  7. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    just wait until Sunday, Sept. 11 (if they play).
  8. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    As long as we're griping ... when the hell did it become mandatory to treat "God Bless America" or "America The Beautiful" like they're the National Anthem? Every time I see people standing and removing their hats for those songs, it bothers me just a bit. Was The Charlie Daniels' Band's "In America" treated this way during the early 1980s?
  9. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    I don't think you can thank and recognize the military folks enough for the sacrifices they make.

    At worst it shows many-- thousands of miles away from friends and family that they are not forgotten.

    I put it up on Super Bowl thread but it's worth putting here also. There was a story linked on Sports Pages Top Ten written by Kevin Van Valkenburg yesterday that talks about how much sports mean to those in war zones.

    I believe it really provides perspective to those who say that we should not recognize the troops at our big events.

    Came across a great article in Sports Pages "Top Ten" by Kevin Van Valkenburg that indirectly puts it all in perspective:

  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    That may be true, but the hosts felt the NFL's recognition was cynical - using the military as a human shield, basically, against criticism of the NFL.

    I also think there is a fine line between honestly thanking people for their service and just engaging in groupthink, reflexive thanking military people because it is the thing to do. Sometimes, sadly, it feels like recognizing the military has become about as heartfelt as saying "Bless you" when someone sneezes.
  11. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    The Yankees appropriated "God Bless America" as part of their campaign to anoint themselves "The Official Team of 9/11," with the special 20-minute Ronan Tynan version imposed on unwilling opponents.

    If I were an opposing manager, I'd tell my team to start jogging laps in the outfield, hitting fungos, playing long toss. If we're going to have a fuckin' half-hour break in the game, they gotta do something to stay loose.

    The Flyers of course were the first team to use "GBA" somewhat interchangeably with "The Star-Spangled Banner," with the Kate Smith version in the early 1970s.
  12. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    The military callers to the talk show were split. There were some Marines and retired Marines calling in and saying the hosts were dead-on, and that they considered the NFL's excess insulting. One said he even thought the national anthem before games was silly.
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