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.