The Socialism Bowl

London-based animator Fraser Davidson presents a short explanation, narrated by Bill Maher, of why America’s favorite sport is also one of the our most socialist institutions.

This is 10 different kinds of brilliant.

Suck on that, Jesus.

Yes, I will be watching the socialism bowl tomorrow. I encourage everyone who loves socialism to watch. Did I mention socialism?

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  • http://twitter.com/j_scottthomas Scott Thomas

    Republicans wouldn’t know socialism if it were followed by the word: security.

  • mrbrink

    That was really great. And, once again, from the Green Bay Packers website:

    *Shareholders

    Green Bay Packers, Inc., has been a publicly owned, nonprofit corporation since Aug. 18, 1923, when original articles of incorporation were filed with Wisconsin’s secretary of state.

    One of the more remarkable business stories in American history, the team is kept viable by its shareholders — its unselfish fans. Even more incredible, the Packers have survived during the current era, permeated by free agency and the NFL salary cap. And, thanks in large part to Brown County’s passage of the 2000 Lambeau Field referendum, the club will remain solvent and highly competitive well into the future due to its redeveloped stadium.

    Some team owners, in all sports, many of them “groups,” sympathize with right wing zealots like Rush Limbaugh and extort their host cities’ taxpayers into building hundred million dollar stadiums, or picking up the tab for upgrades. They squeeze discounts on commercial development in costly long term land deals, public services and sanitation, tax breaks and reimbursements, and all you get as a fan is high ticket and food prices and a right wing business model that continues to serve the few over the many, that is, take from the many to provide for the few.

    How many Green Bay Packers fans know, or will admit, that they are model socialists?

    • JMAshby

      The socialist nature of the Packers is one of the reasons they’re my favorite. That’s aside from my family being from Wisconsin.

      It also makes me admire Packers players more because you wont see any of the Packers on top 10 lists of highest paid players. Aaron Rodgers could be the best QB in the league but hes not even in the top 10 highest paid. They stay at Green Bay because it’s a great locker room and Packers fans are the best fans.

      • mrbrink

        I’m a Bears fan by birth, but I love the story of the Green Bay Packers.

        That’s why I keep posting that shareholders link here. The model is right there hiding in plain view! I believe The Owners or the idiots who prop them up would rather not talk about it. I would.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lucy-Beckett-Martinez/1363823645 Lucy Beckett Martinez

      I live in Cleveland (that’s in OH. We used to have a football team, too) and I’ve known and loved the Packers for decades, for just this reason. I’m also in love with my Medicare! I’m not afraid of a little socialism!

      • mrbrink

        Ha ha! You are fantastically right on!

  • http://www.osborneink.com OsborneInk

    Industrialized warfare began with trenches and no-man’s-lands; football has lines of scrimmage and a neutral zone. Football terminology is infected with martial language: bomb, formation, etc, of course, but until you’ve attended both two-a-days and basic training it doesn’t really hit home how similar they are. It’s not just the physical training, mind you, but the mental training. Players have to be aggressive to win and soldiers have to be aggressive to shoot.

    So not only does the sport embody the economic and social ethos of the progressive era in which it was born, it consciously imitates the dominant historical experiences of that age. American football is THE representative sport of our nation’s 20th Century, which was characterized (until the 1980s, anyway) by mass conscription armies and the social leveling they provided.

    The Civil Rights Era began with AA veterans and service integration. Paul Bear Bryant’s 1971 refusal to continue coaching an all-white team killed official segregation altogether. Within a year, the entire Southeastern Conference was integrated — and in ten years George Wallace would win the governor’s mansion with 90% of the black vote.

    George Will, who hates football, agrees on this topic, saying that the game is “a mistake” that combines the two worst aspects of our previous Century: violence and committee meetings. But the white and black and brown kids holding hands in the huddle with seconds on the clock on a Friday night are the best argument that we should keep the game forever.

  • joseph2004

    This so-called ‘Socialist” scheme is really a super-duper capitialist strategy, is it not? What little the big $ teams give up to the little $ teams is just another way of funding NFL Inc. The individual teams are like company affiliates all contributing to the same corporate bottom line.

    “FOOTBALL FOOTBALL FOOTBALL.”

    It’s a magnifiscent capitalist scheme to make every game exciting and generate more revenue for the league. “Fairness” is probably at the bottom of the list of priorities in the revenue/ad income/ticket fees/concession $s “sharing” platform. The goal isn’t about fairness at all.
    It’s all about something Bill Maher knows a lot about himself – Making Money.

    LOTS of money!

    Give it credit. The NFL is doing a very, very good job of marketing itself. It’s even got some people believing it’s about compassion for the little guy.

    Professional football is the most popular sport in America, and the NFL intends to keep it that way. If that means Soccer and Baseball and Jesus get the very short end of the stick, well, tough cookies.

    It’s money.

    It’s Karma.

    • mrbrink

      Yeah. Through the NFL’s socialist structure, what’s better for everyone is better for the whole.

      Say it loud, would you?

    • JMAshby

      Of course it’s about money, and socialism is making a lot of money for the league.

      • mrbrink

        And let’s not forget about the strength of the NFLPA as a model for union rights, or the fact that they have to play this game in a state that hates them and wants them dissolved, or abolished.

        • JMAshby

          I was recently involved in a discussion about the merits of unions with a friend and used both the NBA and NFL lockouts as good examples of why unions exist in the first place.

          He was skeptical, but not to the point where he was drinking the Fox koolaid. I’m sure that’s where most people, or the “Silent Majority” if you will, really are in their understanding.

          • mrbrink

            …I’m still trying to come up with a list of merits against unions. I followed the NBA lockout pretty closely, reading player twitter posts and official league statements and rumors. I think those are great examples to pull from in a pinch.

            The one counter-argument that keeps coming back is “player salaries!” Not CEO salaries, or executive board dead weight, “the owners and job creators,” but the best talent on the planet whose own rise to greatness through those Friday nights that Matt wrote about make it all mean something.

          • JMAshby

            Right. “Who cares? they’re all rich!”

            Totally ignoring the fact that the average player doesn’t make as much as the Tom Bradys and Peyton Mannings do, and the fact that the typical franchise is worth over a billion dollars and the owners take home between 300 to 700 million.

            Sure’ they’re all well-off, but you’re comparing the wealth of Mitt Romney to a doctor. In this analogy, Mitt Romney owns the hospital.

          • mrbrink

            Perfect.

  • laddieluv

    Perfect!