I don’t remember when I first heard Coach Mac, my head coach in college, criticize me or one of my teammates for “fake hustle.” I remember that although it was the first time I had heard that phrase, it was so vivid and contextual that I immediately knew what it meant. It’s the portrayal of effort rather than effort: a manipulative melodrama meant to convince people that you care more and play harder than you really do. In a basketball context, it is hitting the ground with both palms to communicate good defense rather than simply blocking.
If this is too esoteric, think of a puny boyfriend bending the knee and proposing to his girlfriend in a crowded food court. Or, better yet, a person who talks, texts, tweets, and writes about how problematic the NFL is, and gets all the easy, low praise of being critical of Death Shield, and then watches the games.
Of course, the path to ethical consumption here in the United States is narrow. It exists, sure. But capitalism ensures that it is intentionally elusive. If you dig deep enough, most of the occupations we have and the consumption choices we make are made possible by damage so far removed from the minutiae of our lives that they don’t feel important enough to affect our behavior. Maybe you wouldn’t buy those sneakers if you lived next door to the sweatshop in which they were threaded. But you live in a suburb with zoning laws, so you don’t think twice. So what distinguishes criticizing the NFL but still watching the game from criticizing, I don’t know, Apple’s labor practices but having an iPhone? What makes the former a “fake hustle” but not the latter? I have an answer. But first, I want to talk about the new NFL “helmets”. Have you seen the helmets? Let’s talk about the helmets because that explains everything else.
If you’ve seen footage from this year’s training camp, you may have noticed players wearing something that looks like someone gathered all the IHOP waffles together and stitched them together to form a helmet-like substance. They’re called “keeper caps,” their goal is to reduce head trauma, and the NFL has mandated that linemen, tight ends, and linebackers (the players who tend to be involved in the most helmet-on-helmet collisions) must wear them during the training camp. Guardian Sports, the maker of the waffle, claims that it reduces impact by up to 33 percent.
If this sounds like another example of a fake hustle, you’re right, it is!
Soccer, the most popular sport in America (by far) and the most lucrative television property (by far), demands that many of the participants violently collide with each other every time the ball breaks. scientists other players Collisions have been compared to car accidents. The average number of snaps per game is about 130. Multiply that by the number of games each season, then multiply that by the number of years these guys have played contact football, and then you have a…really big number. The NFL telling everyone they’re making football safer is like strangling someone and calling it a neck massage. The only way to change this sport is to create a new one, something that nobody is very interested in. The violence, and the broken brains and bodies caused by it, isn’t just an unfortunate inevitability, it’s the whole point. The tremendous feats of skill and athleticism that populate the featured packs are only significant because of the specter of terrifying violence. And sometimes, the terrible violence is the highlight.. Eliminate the violence and you will eliminate the interest. Eliminate the interest and you eliminate the money.
When you understand that the NFL’s primary function is to increase the value of all 32 teams, it makes sense that as long as franchise values continue to grow into the billions, the league (and, by default, us) won’t be far behind. watch out so much on the health of the players. of course NFL conduct policy it will always be shabby and shabby, because things created to build a look of concern usually are. of course the NFL used to receive millions of dollars a year from the Department of Defense, an act that paid for the performance’s injection of patriotism and made each game feel like an episode of “NCIS.” Of course, she would make a big splash every October, wearing the special pink gloves and heels to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And of course, in 2013 it was revealed that only eight percent of the proceeds went to breast cancer research. (The NFL now dedicates October to awareness of all types of cancer.) Of course, it would effectively be a black ball to a player for kneeling during the anthem. And then, when the national consciousness about the value of Black lives shifted during that hour-long whisper in the summer of 2020, and protesting became a market-tested corporate strategy, of course. owners would find it in their hearts to be more tolerant of kneeling. The NFL has created America’s most effective symbiotic relationship between damage monetization and damage reduction performance.
The only way to change this sport is to make a new one, something nobody cares much about.
So back to you. well back to U.Sbecause I’m here too. Since watching Ryan Shazier nearly die in 2017 during what seemed like a routine inning, I haven’t watched as much football as he used to. Basically, I just watch the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’ve tried to rationalize this by saying I’m a Steelers fan, not an NFL fan, but that’s also false!
Regardless, what makes the fake NFL critique hustle so distinct is that football, specifically the NFL, is essential.. An iPhone, for example, can be a necessity for communication, health care, public safety, food delivery, and employment. But our NFL consumption is focused on pure and unadulterated. desire. Which means that even knowing that No looking at it’s literally the only way we can give the league any incentive to honestly try to change, we watch because it feels right.
The point here is that we shouldn’t say anything? Nope! Keep the NFL on the sidelines. Just know that as long as you keep watching the games, there is no fire under that chair. He only smokes.