Saturday, February 05, 2005

Football: Image

The NFL has increasingly cracked down on "excessive celebrations," claiming that it is unsportsman-like and damages the image of the sport. That wise view despite the fact that the most popular players are the most exuberant players. And then, there was the mindless shitstorm last year over the appearance of Janet Jackson's none-too-impressive tit. Image.

Joe Namath had an interest take on this whole image issue, from Paul Zimmerman's A Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football:

"After the New York Jets won the AFL championship in 1968, the league's president, Milt Woodward, mentioned that champagne in the dressing room was against the rules. Joe Namath, of course, had a few words about this, and he paused between swigs of bubbly to take a look at the game of football.

'Mr. Woodward tried to tell me that it was bad for the image of football...that it was bad for kids to see [the players drinking champagne.] But you know what the real image of football is? It's brutality. Why don't they tell the kids like it is? Tell the kids that this guy is trying to hurt that guy and knock him out of the game. Or show them some of the letters I get from people who hope some guy cripples me because of my moustache?'"


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