Monday, November 12, 2007

It's All Relative in the NFL

One of the great things about the NFL is that every team has a different culture throughout the years. You know when you get the Pittsburgh Steelers, they'll have a monster defense fueled by great linebackers and a head coach with job security. Nobody circles the wagons better than the Buffalo Bills. The Tennessee Titans have an over-achieving defense and a QB that may not set records with his arm, but is simply a winner.

Take the Skins, and you'll have a bunch of overpaid underperformers and a coach out of his element (at least in the Dan Snyder era). With the Miami Dolphins, you're watching a bunch of nazi losers. No matter the talent on the Arizona Cardinals, they'll find a way to lose. The Eagles have a Red Sox-like fatalism and a bunch of moronic fans. Detroit is haunted by the ghosts of Bobby Layne and Wayne Fontes.

These distinct cultures make the NFL great. Sure, every team could have the same philosophy and their history could be deemed irrelevant, but it wouldn't be as fun and rewarding. Unfortunately, neo-conservatives can't appreciate these differences just as they don't believe in relativism in the larger world. That's how we get a mess in Iraq, because the planners of the war didn't take into account its culture uniqueness and distinct history. Had they understood Iraq irrespective of their ideology, they would've known better than to invade that country.

The NFL could make every team play like the Patriots, but that would be boring. If teams want to play like Patriots, it should be their own choice and they should take only what works for them. After all, the Patriots franchise isn't even that great, considering it was caught cheating. Do we want the NFL to be a bunch of cheaters? Imposing the dominant culture just makes things worse.

The differences are what make this world so great. I appreciate different perspectives and histories. These should be celebrated seriously, instead of cast aside like Miami's playoff hopes.

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