Roman Stoad’s Rules for the Road, Part 2

2011 February 6
by Roman Stoad

Patronizing Big Sports

Big Sports is similar to Big Oil or Big Pharma—a monster enterprise excercizing mind control while lining the pockets of the wealthy with the paychecks of the poor.  Roman Stoad condemns Big Sports for the following three reasons: the massive waste of energy and resources, the pornographic nature of the activity, and the dangerous regionalism it propagates.  For a better world, Stop Big Sports.

The first reason to boycott Big Sports is to put an end to the vast amount of energy Big Sports wastes, not only in producing these ridiculous events but in the consumption of the event. The obscene carbon footprint is the size of a small country. The floodlights alone could no doubt power a small town in Africa long enough for the students to read Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man. The massive amounts of plastic crap produced as souvenirs and promotional material, need not be produced. The billions of gallons of fuel burned in the transportation related to these events could end—the planes, trains, automobiles bringing all those people to their stadium seats when they could just as easily watch it at home or not watch at all. Think of the cleaner air. Even the delivery cars and vans polluting our streets to bring the thousands of pizzas and millions of cartons of Chinese food to overweight couch potatoes would be reduced.

What makes this scenario even more absurd is that the logic driving all this waste is the joy and entertainment value of the waste itself; these events are sold to the public precisely on the merit that the public is already buying the event. Millions of Americans tune in, so you should to. What they should really be saying is “tune in to the great waste of power.” See millions of kilowatt hours drained away before your eyes, thrill to the exploitation and destruction of precious natural resources!  Be a part of it, by wasting resources yourself while you watch other people waste resources in a massive passive appreciation of a primitive pornographic ritual which exists primarily to sell stuff. We know this because of the emphasis put on the superbowl commercials. The media slobbers for months over what these commercials will be. The ad agencies put their top guns on the job. The ads draw an audience all to themselves, equal in their enthusiasm to the fans.

I said porn above, and I meant it. What is Big Sports anyway but a type of porn in the disguise of fandom. Worshipping a sports star is like worshipping a favorite porn star, except that these overpaid athletes make more money than porn stars. What is an NFL quarterback but a kind of sex object for homophobic frat boys who secretly dream of sharing a shower stall with their idols. What is the hip shimmy of the running back in the endzone after a touchdown but an invitation to the lewd zone. How many wives and girlfriends wish they could shed their drab husbands and bed one of these real men?

There’s an old saying that goes “It is better to have sex than to watch it,” and I am not condemning sports necessarily, but sports should be something you play, you participate in with your own body.  Spectator sport is pornography. It is interesting that in this years superbowl, ironically, there will be porn advertizing, or rather anti-porn advertising concerning the growing pornography problem in this country. Indeed, professional athletes themselves are often drawn into its obscene embrace, a phenomenon no doubt augmented by the massive amounts of steroids pumping through their brains and loins. And if the athletes are doing it you know their fans are doing it too. Therefore, I say think of the Moral Lives we could save, not to mention the BTUs, if we could attach the same stigma to sports that we do to porn.

All this porn and exploitation has one major benefit for The Man (yes Roman would like to ressurrect that old appellation for power—The Man) that often goes unremarked in that it propagates a kind of false sense of rah-rah nationalism, disguised as regionalism. Thus another reason to resist Big Sports is this promotion of petty regionlistic (us against them) attitudes that can often turn violent.  I saw an example of this when I saw a bunch of yuppie New Yorkers tell some visiting people from Boston to get out of their bar. The more sinister version of this sportism is of course nationalism, a line that is purposely and effectively blurred in the mind of the buff. Sports fandom thus is a useful tool for social control that can be called upon at any time when the national identity is at stake. “Dude, you’re American. You’re better than everybody else. Football! Yeah! Now give us your credit card number. Yeah. Fuck those commies. Fuck the French. Fuck those Arabs.” And the sheep flock to the feeding trough.

Can the Jets and or the Steelers march across the ocean and beat those Chinese Devils with their manly American fists? Can the brawny tough guy Yankees or the bruising Braves flex their American can-do abilities to quell the rising tide of global unrest? And in the process can they rescue billions from poverty? Can the mighty Dallas Cowboys or the L.A Lakers put those wimpy Eurotrash in their place? Indeed the American sports hero is superior to all the smaller races, those who cannot afford the steroids and the millions of dollars of training and hype. I read recently that Americans’ two favorite things are football and TV. It follows that you’re not even American if you don’t. I say break those chains, save the planet!

Break the Chains of Market Patriotism
There was a time (80s, 90s) when you could walk around “bohemian” neighborhoods like the “East village on “Supersunday” and nary a bar would have the game on. People would be playing pool, reading Guy Debord, making music, talking to each other. Nowadays hipster culture flocks to patriotic events like the Superbowl and the World Series. Even the rock scene has been co-opted to the cause. Recent history has witnessed numerous “rock stars” (The Stones, Springsteen) fallen (in the biblical sense) by descending to perform on the stage of this absurd spectacle. Throughout the hipster neighborhoods of the East Village and Billtown it is perfectly normal to see Alterna-girls and Indy-boys attending Superbowl parties at their favorite high-end cafes. This would have been unthinkable twenty years ago when such events were considered emblematic of establishment power and patronizing them would have been seen as subscription to capitalist oppression. Now, however, a cowed “left” buys readily into anything that provides the masters with profit. And to hell with global warming, use as much power as it takes to keep this economy rolling and the populace enthralled.

But I say it is time to help stop global warming and help the poor of the world at the same time. Boycott Big Sports. Stop paying attention to the bowls and the series and the cups. Hell, put an end to the regular season and shut down the stadiums altogether. Turn them into public gardens for the production of wholesome food. Turn off the switch. Do it now before its too late.

French Revolution 1789

Egyptian Revolution 2011

American Revolution 2011

Footnote: It seems pornography is the elephant in the pew as 48% of Christian families have some kind of pornography problem. The pastors are watching porn. One out of three Mormon couples have porn problems. Orthodox Jews are watching porn. If you are having a problem go to, or, websites that help religious people resist pornography.

LeBron James is a Star of the Court who, in one game, makes more than the GDP of one hundred third world villages.

Roman Stoad is a Star of the Road who makes enough money for breakfast

Roman Stoad is coming to your town.

Vote Stoad in your next election.

One Response leave one →
  1. 2011 February 9
    Carl Watson permalink

    Through the juxtaposition of three images, Stoad intends to contrast revolutionary activity to American passivity. What he fails to mention is that the “privilege” of such passivity is what the revolutionaries probably want. If and when the Egyptians win their freedom they will probably become couch potatoes as well, just like the American’s whose money has paid for their oppression.

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