Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Going for the Under-dog and Trash Talkin'

Well, one of the best football games of the year was saved for last (especially if you were a Giants fan). I normally do not cheer for the Giants during the regular season, but I was definitely going for them against the "invincible" Patriots on Sunday. So were a lot of other people.

In fact, everyone at our youth group Super Bowl party this last Sunday was a Giants fan, except for two students. And that was the case, despite the fact that only one of our students is actually from New York. What is it about this year's match up that could cause so many central Kansans to all of a sudden cheer for a bunch of "yankees"? What is it about the Super Bowl this year that brought about such an environment this last Sunday so that well over a dozen "instant-made" Giants fans (just add water) in our group stood on their feet for the last three minutes of play-clock, hoping against the odds that Eli Manning could lead his team to victory?

Well, I certainly don't want to pretend to know the minds of all the screaming fans, but I have thought about one issue that might be a cause of Giant-ism in our youth group. I wonder if so many of us cheered for NY because of the younger generation's disdain for so-called "invincibility?" In other words, it seems to me that the younger generation is instantly skeptical and instantly opposed to any so-called claim to invincibility or perfection. We don't like it when someone claims to be without fault, pretends to have it all together, masquerades as unbeatable, wearing armor reportedly without chinks. This generation hates pride. It hates the idea of someone having a status that places them far above the rest of us.

You might think that this characterizes everyone's feelings. Maybe. But I think the younger generation is even more against pretended perfection than generations before us. For the Super Bowl, that translated into many Mid-Westerners going for New York!! I know I was. I would love to hear any more thoughts on this one.

And that brings up another topic...trash-talkin'. Man, I heard some good trash-talkin' this last Sunday...especially between the many Giants fans and the two Patriots fans at our party. I heard Tom Brady called a "pretty-boy" about three dozen times. I heard the Patriots called a bunch of "cheaters" about fifteen times. I heard Eli Manning called "weak" and "incapable" of leading his team to victory. Someone told Eli Manning that his grandmother could have made a better pass than the "wounded duck" thrown by Manning to a wide-open receiver that dropped dead to the ground. I myself threatened to wrestle both Patriots fans to the ground and serve them a bowl full of pain if the Patriots scored one more time.

Gladly, I was able to do that. It felt good.

So, here is the assignment. Let me know of any good trash talkin' you heard this last weekend or during the exciting football season that just ended on Sunday. I could use some more ammo for next year.


Eric Tippin said...

I actually was cheering for the Patriots for the opposite reason. I think this world needs--even if it is just in the NFL--greatness. I would love to see the Patriots become the modern "Superhero" team of football. The eighties had the Bears and Dolphins. The Seventies had the Stealers, and we need a good dynasty to look back on and say, wow those guys were really great. And I think that applies to other areas of society as well. I personally like having a superhero to look up to or to look back on. I think it's unhealthy to always cheer against the teams/people who are doing well.

Ray & Janell said...

to link the word "underdog" to any group of extemely high-paid professional game players seems to me to be a fanciful stretch of the term. if these men were truly (by its purest meaning)the "underdogs" then could they have even had a chance of winning? i watched the game with friends ... just like every year ... solely for the sake of being with them, regardless of the who plays, wins or loses.

John Buerger said...


Thanks for your comment. I'm not sure that having a good football dynasty is going to somehow achieve the kind of positive force I am looking for in our world, but I certainly can see your point about cheering against others, just because they're being successful. That's not the position I was arguing for in my blog, but it is a good point anyway.

John Buerger said...

Ray and Janell,

I am not sure what the "purest" meaning of underdog is. I think the context must define how the word is being used. In my opinion, and I think in the opinion of many others, the Giants were in an "underdog" relationship with the Patriots (as were all the other NFL teams this year) before the Super Bowl.

I agree with your view on watching the Super Bowl with friends. I really didn't care who won, either. I picked a team because it makes the experience more fun, not less. I probably see a total of four or five NFL games a year...hardly the practice of a die-hard fan.

Also, please don't take my discussion of "trash-talkin'" seriously. It was more for fun--at the game, and on my blog--than an actual representation of my feelings concerning how we should treat one another in a serious way. I'm sorry if that was lost in translation!! My fault, not yours.

Eric Tippin said...

You gotta start with the small things . . .

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