“As much as I hate that, Brad…”

That’s what the ‘analyst’ just said after a penalty flag was thrown for unnecessary roughness following a helmet-to-helmet hit on Thursday Night Football. The ‘analyst’ — part asshole, part cyst — was referring to the flag, not the hit. The hit? Old-time football, motherfucker. The flag? Pussification. This ain’t soccer, wimp. First they turn perfectly timed blows to the head into personal fouls, then they force socialized medicine down our throats. Fuck that Euroshit.

Me, I like socialized medicine. Love it. A society that allows huge corporations to regulate and market medical care while preaching ‘family values’ and jailing drug addicts instead of Wall Street buccaneers is naturally going to love the sort of sport that specializes in brain damage. Never mind the mounting number of concussions and the mountain of fresh evidence of their hideous effects. We like our gladiators fearless, and if they die young and demented, we’re fine with that. That’s a price we’re more than willing to let them pay for our entertainment.

Some of my favorite conversations have been with fathers of young sons who think it’s a good thing for 9- and 10-year-olds to play tackle football in full gear. They’re not worried about brain damage; they talk about football teaching their boys ‘how to compete.’

I wonder if they ever wonder how the species itself somehow managed to survive without football? Dumb luck, I guess.