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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Saturday January 03 2009

On Sunday nights (i.e. early Monday mornings over here) and Monday nights (i.e. early Tuesday mornings over here) Chanel 5 TV has been showing NFL football, which is the American variety, which isn’t football (apart from for a couple of specialist kickers on each team) and where touchdowns aren’t.  I usually record these on my TV hard disc, but the problem is finding the time to watch them.  Often I still have two unwatched when the next two come along.

Soccer, which is all done and dusted inside two hours, unless there’s extra time and a penalty shoot-out, has a bit of an advantage here.  You sometimes get extra time in soccer, butt then again, you sometimes get extra time with American football too.  There’s extra time going on right now, in the recording I’m watching the game between Carolina and the NYGs.  28-28.  I do a lot of fast-forwarding, and then slower-backing when someone scores a touchdown.  But not now.  What a finish by the Giants.

I think what I like about American football is the definite family resemblance to rugby union, which I have always liked more than soccer.  I reckon rugby fly halves could learn a thing or two from quarterbacks, even though they can’t through their passes forwards, only sideways.  The funny thing is, there is no particular NFL team I support, but I still like to watch them knock hell out of each other.

At half time in the show I’ve just watched, they asked a British guy who plays American football why he liked it.  He said he liked the violence.  “If you did that in the street, you’d be in trouble.” Indeed.  Maybe the secret is all that protective clothing.  When you wear all that stuff, there’s less and less of a limit on what you can be allowed to do.  So if you want violence, maybe rugby union will get better in the decades to come, because they, like the American footballers before them, are getting more and more encased in protective clothing.

Injuries still play a big part in American football though.  Somebody called Plaxico Burress was a key NYG player this season, until he shot himself in the foot by, and I kid you not, shooting himself in the foot.

Soccer has got a lot less violent in recent decades.  They used to have people called things like “Chopper Harris”.  Now, if you chop, you get banned for about ten matches.  But they still have an after-echo of all that seventies mayhem in the form of shameless public denunciation of the officials, by managers, during the game and after it.  And Liverpool’s Stevie Gerrard upheld the ancient tradition of soccer player mayhem (when not actually playing) by recently getting himself arrested for brawling.

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