So far this season, NFL football has about off-field misconduct instead of on-field performance. Where we used to speculate on Xs and Os, now the chatter is about how team PR can response to waves of social media outcry.
In a Vox Popoli thread about the Vikings’ decision to reverse their decision and re-suspend Adrian Peterson for doing a bad job at trying to be a good dad, commenter Cash vents:
I just remind myself that being a football fan is about what America used to be. It's about watching the game with your dad and cheering for your team no matter how bad they are and hating your rival. It's about a house in order where the man can be a man while still being with his family. He can raise his son while mom is in the kitchen making snacks and smiling about how much they are like each other. It's about knowing exactly what you are going to do after church on Sunday and that all the other men and their sons are going to be doing the exact same thing; watching the game.
Where we were once unified in a common American cultural ritual, the sport now divided us into angry factions. We replaced ritual combat on the gridiron with social justice logrolling. Those not displaying the proper outrage at the proper time, and for the proper reasons, are shunned. Hysteria careens from headline to headline, in an effort to remake the world.
I want my country back.