Why Game of Thrones Fan Should Hop on the Minnesota Vikings Bandwagon

We are nearly two weeks away from the Super Bowl. The Big Game. The Final Battle of the latest NFL season.

And while being a fan of the NFL can be trying (see this article from two years ago for more on the topic), this has been a good year to be a good Vikings fan. But rather than keep my Vikings fandom to myself, I would like to take this moment to try to convince all my fellow Game of Thrones fans that they should be Minnesota Vikings fans as well.

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I will assume you’re already familiar with this moment.

Let’s consider a few reasons:

They are the Kings of the North.

This isn’t just something I say, although it is something I do say. During the latest season–upon clinching the NFC North title–shirts began circulating declaring the Vikings to be the “kings of the north.”

And it’s not just that they’re kings of the North. Defending the North has become a war cry among Vikings fans, just as the North has become a way to describe Minnesota itself. Continue reading “Why Game of Thrones Fan Should Hop on the Minnesota Vikings Bandwagon”

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How Being an NFL Fan is Like Being a Woody Allen Fan

With the Super Bowl approaching, it comes time to defend it. In some circles, this isn’t a challenge. In others, you have to justify how you can watch something with a clean conscience when the people behind and on the screen do bad things. So, basically, watching the championship game of the National Football League is exactly the same experience as watching a Woody Allen movie.

And so, for those of you who cannot (for the life of you) understand how anyone could possibly support a sporting organization whose star athletes beat women and children, kill people, drink and drive, smoke drugs, and more, then I’ve created this simple guide for how you can determine how you should feel about the National Football League, based on how you feel about Woody Allen.

Not Liking the NFL Because You Just Don’t Like It is Like Not Watching Woody Allen Films Because You Just Don’t Like Them

The first, simplest category to fall into. Some people don’t watch football just because, you know, they don’t really like football. It’s not for them. And that’s how some people are with Woody Allen.

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Midnight in Paris? A little obvious. Annie Hall? Boring. Denver vs. Carolina? Does it matter?  Continue reading “How Being an NFL Fan is Like Being a Woody Allen Fan”

What exactly is Ballers supposed to be?

Herodotus told us to call no man happy until he is dead. The same is true of television: no series, no season, no episode can be called good until it is over. All endings matter. And it is for this reason that the first episode of HBO’s Ballers is good, while the subsequent two are bad.

The three things that you need to know before you keep reading are a) Ballers is the new Entourage, b) I do not like Entourage, but c) I kinda like Ballers.

Point A is not debatable. Everyone agrees that it is the new Entourage. To be more specific, it’s the “Entourage of the NFL,” and remember that Entourage was always “Sex and the City for men.” Which makes Ballers the “(Sex and the City for men) of the NFL.” (Sex and the City, if you cannot remember it, was the Girls of the late ’90s and early oughts.)

Regarding my dislike for Entourage: I have only seen two episodes. The first two. There was not a single moment during those first two during which I thought to myself that I should continue watching. I gave it two, rather than one, out of a sense of fairness,and because I’d finished The Wire and needed something else to watch. The second episode of Entourage is the worst episode of television that I can recall finishing. It’s a terrible way to spend thirty minutes. I would rather spend thirty minutes on an episode of Duck Dynasty or the first ninety pages of a Dan Brown novel.

Anything with this many smiles = boring.
Anything with this many smiles = boring.

The reason that Entourage is so bad is that it is nothing but watching good things happen to bad people. (I am aware enough of Entourage to know that, yes, the show continues within the mold of bad people, good things, throughout its run).  There is nothing more boring than a television show in which the characters continually get what they want. But enough about Entourage. Let’s discuss the trouble with Ballers. Continue reading “What exactly is Ballers supposed to be?”

The Man of 2012, Part II: Bale vs. Tebow vs. Gosling

(Continued from The Man of 2012, Part I: Christian Bale vs. Ryan Gosling.)

There was another public figure who captured the attention of America in a way that few others did in 2011.  That man?  Denver Quarterback Timothy Tebow.   But unlike Gosling, Tebow has not been adorned with universal adoration.  He divides the country,  causing more polarization of the nation than LeBron James, Michael Vick, or Brett Favre.  One study said that 43% of Americans believe that God picks sides in football games and that he divinely intervened in order for Tebow to win his first NFL playoff game.  On the other hand, Deadspin published an article defending hatred of him entitled  “Why People Who Hate Tim Tebow Hate Tim Tebow.”  NPR used him as an example in an editorial on hatred, pointing out that no one dislikes him: they either love him or  hate him.

One can argue that Tebow likes the love, and loves the hate.  He basks in it.  Consider that Tim Tebow prays with his lips moving, so that there is no doubt that he is praying for all to see.  Consider that Tim Tebow dabbles in politics, automatically forcing anyone passionate about abortion to either side with him or against him.

Yep... this is one of the many things that is happening.

Regardless, everyone has an opinion on Tebow. Everyone from Chuck Klosterman to Jason Lewis to Rush Limbaugh to LeBron James to Reverend James Jones to everyone you have ever met.  Even Charles Barkley had made a point of saying that he doesn’t like Tebow.  I am apt to agree with Klosterman that the reason people hate him is a form of jealousy, that Tebow does not appear to be a hypocrite (unless the gay rumors are true.)  Unlike most public figures, from politicians to movie stars, Tebow appears to have no crack in his public image.  He has, as Klosterman says, “profound social intelligence.”  As most people point ultimately point out, whether reluctantly or excitedly, Tebow is, by all appearances, a nice person.

Continue reading “The Man of 2012, Part II: Bale vs. Tebow vs. Gosling”