Football Highlights Reel

There was a time when I watched every single Philadelphia Eagles game in a season, but I have zero nostalgia for those Sunday afternoons I spent neglecting my algebra homework. In fact, my favorite football game ever was the Huxley College comeback against Darwin in 1932:

That’s Horse Feathers  (screenplay by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, S. J. Perelman, and Will B. Johnstone). Silly as it is, professional American football is almost as nonsensical, with a rulebook about when players are and aren’t allowed to move, about when specific kinds of contact are off limits, and  a whole body of what can only be called case law that, obviously to everyone, is designed to make the dramatic moments look and feel spectacular on the highlights reel. Play gets stopped and technicalities discussed more often than at an amateur robotics convention.

The only rule you need explained to you to watch a soccer (actual “football” to you overseas) match is the offsides rule. Baseball, “my sport” which is also full of odd geometry and scoring, has a few obscure rules such as the balk or the infield fly rule, but they rarely come into play.

I know lots of intelligent and soulful people who’ll be watching the Superbowl today. I’ll catch up with you guys next week.


  1. I need to to thank you for this fantastic read!!
    I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I have you book-marked to look at new
    things you post…

  2. Thanks! Keep in touch.


  1. […] I’m not a fan, suffice it to say, and haven’t been since I played one year on the freshman squad, when I was 14. I may have been the only football player in New Jersey with a Moody Blues tee shirt. The hardest hit I took was a helmet-to-helmet collision with my own teammate that probably looked like something out of Scooby Doo. I still remember that ringing feeling I got in my ears whenever I’m walking past a bar on a Sunday in fall, and I hear the guys shouting inside. […]

  2. […] hate American football, and have hardly watched it at all since Jimmy the Greek was still a fixture of football commentary. I always found it sad […]

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