Monday, January 22, 2007

It's the ritual, stupid!

For a while, it looked like the Saints would rally. Although committing turnover after ridiculous turnover, the Bears' impotent offense, led by Rex "I swear, this has never happened to me before" Grossman were unable to put the game out of reach during the first half.

I'll spare the gory details of the game's latter parts. You already know them.

The point is, I once again found myself hanging out at a buddy's house in front of the big-screen TV, watching the violent committee meeting that is NFL football, and it made me think about ritual.

It's a term we tend to associate with church, but the fact is that people like structure, and they use the trappings of ritual in all parts of their lives: How they get ready in the morning, how they operate at work, how they shop, and even how they play.

A sport is, after all, a ritual. It follows rules, uses iconography and uniform, and (usually) takes place at predefined times and places. Therefore it shouldn't be a surprise that fans find their own way to participate in the ceremony.

For me, and many others, beer factors prominently into the event. If I'm watching German Soccer, I'm drinking German lager, usually a beer from the city where the game is being played. English soccer might see me slurping down a Boddington's, and, for American Football and Baseball, I prefer macrobrewed American lagers; the very stuff most beer geeks rail against.

Are they the best beers? No. But Budwiser and its ilk are part of the ritual. You don't have a 1996 Ducru Beaucaillou as the wine in church communion. Likewise, high-end beer just seems inappropriate and it screws up the ritual.

Hmm, maybe if Gatorade marketed a sports beer, we'd have the best of all worlds. It sure would look good being foamily poured all over a Super Bowl-bound coach.


'Don' Cialini said...

Is this what its come too?

Sparkle Anne said...

The all-important question, however is: How was the stuff Pete gave you?

SJ Austin said...

When I finally got downstairs to watch the end of the Pats-Colts debacle, I had a Blue Moon, the Belgian-style swill brewed by an America macrobrewery. How does that fit?

Nice George Will reference, too.