Sex scandals not to the contrary, the Commissioner of the NFL was confirmed by the NFL bishops for the song and prayer of $34 million per year. In the meantime, over a million people congregated in Denver, this year’s national football champion, to trod along in a parade that would have made the saints, if they were marching in, blush for its utter mindlessness and clumsy stupidity.
When the Catholic Pope came to Denver, sex scandals not to the contrary, he could only muster 75o thousand, from all over the world. The football vs. the cross. No contest.
And yet the Catholic Church of America has an annual budget of $17o billion, while the NFL confesses to only $9 billion. Clearly the arousal created by a few gladiators, most of them not from Denver, and a considerable number of them belonging to a racial group usually shunned by the powers that finance such spectacles, the ecstasy caused by these muscle machines is far greater than anything the Vatican can generate with its always aging magicians.
Ah yes, and there is the tax stuff: the NFL makes much of its income through indirect taxation without representation. (Everybody, rich and poor, pays the surcharge for advertising in their grocery bill, including their toilet paper that otherwise surely would not sell, etc., without any representation (where is the Tea Party when we need it?)). Since advertising dollars are tax-deductible, paying $5 million for thirty seconds of selling more trash can only be compared, for its sheer insanity, to the tax-free church budget (of the American Catholic Church) of $170 billion. But then religious teams are known to kill each other and stupefy their members, while football teams only break bones and inflict damage on each other’s physical brains. Surely, in this respect religion is more newsworthy.
And yet the masses keep coming and keep paying and keep sacrificing their minds to their manipulators. For example: just what do these football players have to do with the “Denver community?” They are bought and payed for from other localities all over the country, payed for by people who have extracted more than their fair share from the average citizen. Do the passive consumers of these spectacles, the marchers in the parades, do anything themselves to move that ill-shaped little ball across the field? On the contrary, they sit, get drunk and give up their last bit of sanity for the sake of becoming part of organized mass hysteria.
Ah, the sports arenas of demagogues! From Billy Graham to Il Duce, from high school cheer leaders to becoming a favorite place for mass arrests, a place of pilgrimage that is apparently impossible to resist. Now crowds gathering to watch mass hysteria are too large to fit into one colosseum, one structure to give shape to what lacks all substance. So they congregate around sacramental beer cans to pray to television sets, with religious fervor. And often the television set hears their prayer, rewarding the truly faithful in Denver, rather than the heathens from elsewhere.
Perhaps, if we started to hold sports events in some of our cathedrals, mosques, temples: a win-win for two methods of duping the masses for which winning is everything, and achieving human progress is the real enemy. That would mean again bigger cathedrals, because the last time the Pope did come to Denver, he used the sports stadium, rather a sad concession to a more successful competitor.