Currently, the Texas Tech football team is ranked No. 10 in the country in the Bowl Championship Series standings. Some people believe this is a remarkable achievement, but I couldn’t care less.
College football has been overhyped by the public relations industry like modern pop music, reality TV shows and other mindless forms of entertainment. It is another way to divert the masses and keep them docile and apathetic.
On game nights, we dress in red and black and march toward the battlefield as warlike drums from the school marching band beat in the background. We are expected to go out, get wasted and root for our gladiators as they bash their skulls together like cavemen. We are turned into ignorant consumers as we guzzle down Budweisers and scream and cheer like the passive spectators we are. The boys in uniform are our heroes. We are unimportant, and we are supposed to worship these heroes.
Meanwhile, college tuition is rising incrementally each year, residence hall rooms lack proper air conditioning, and we are left with a lackluster assortment of food options. Could you imagine if the thousands of fans who showed up to Red Raider football games led a rally against the cost of tuition? That won’t happen because football has done its part in distracting the herd.
The real issue, though, is the role college football plays in indoctrinating the youth. When you graduate college, you are supposed to enter the workforce and become a respectable citizen. By respectable citizen, I mean you are supposed to find a dull job, work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until you die, and become a consumer.
Whether you’re a consumer of clothing, television, football or CNN, you are playing your role as what Walter Lippmann called the “ignorant and meddlesome outsiders.” You aren’t supposed to protest George W. Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq or President Barack Obama’s drone assassination campaign that has killed thousands of civilians. You aren’t to question the fact that the government spends more than a trillion dollars on weapons and defense each year or that we don’t have a proper health care system. No, you are supposed to show up, wear the colors, buy the foam finger and root for the team. You are to work and be entertained.
College football is one stage in creating a sick, jingoistic culture. From an early age, we are taught to idolize the most violent members of our society.
Many people join gyms, buy the muscle milk and even model their walk after the aggressive male egos that dominate our culture. Our generation of what Ron Alsop calls “trophy kids” — meaning children who spend their childhood playing little league baseball, attending tennis practice and watching their favorite sport on TV — is particularly chauvinistic.
We have been led like sheep through each step of our lives. We have been filtered through elaborate propaganda campaigns that have crafted our wants and desires. That’s why a video game won’t sell unless it includes the slaughter of our fellow citizens in its storyline. Art and poetry are for “wussies.” People such as Drake and Miley Cyrus are today’s role models. Our generation won’t buy anything that doesn’t have sex, money or guns in it because we have turned into greedy, illiterate beasts.
Most people won’t read this column at all because they have no interest in literary communication unless it’s a YouTube comment, Facebook status or a text from a friend. To those few that do, the point of this column is not to label you as stupid or ignorant. My point is to wake you up out of your entertainment-induced stupor so you can fix the problems around you, whether that’s by working to create better food options at Tech or protesting our government’s slaughter of innocent civilians in the Middle East.