Sunday, September 25, 2011

Football-- The Opiate of the Masses

I remember from my school days that an infamous man, Karl Marx, once wrote that "Religion is the opiate of the people." His meaning was very sinister and he devoted himself to eradicating religion through his writings that say that true happiness cannot be found until religion is eradicated. He wrote, "The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo."

As I sit here in front of my TV this Sunday afternoon with the DirecTV Red Zone channel keeping me informed of the progress of every NFL game happening at the moment, I realize that football may have replaced religion as the illusion we use to make us happy, at least during the NFL season which runs from the draft until the Super Bowl.

Now I know this may be an unpopular thought--but when compared against organized religion, I would believe that the NFL has a larger following. Even I have rushed from my church pew on a Sunday morning to my home to partake of the NFL Sunday. And while church may only last just over an hour, the NFL lasts nine hours on Sunday and an additional three on Monday nights, before the Thursday night football games even kick into gear.

Does football make me happy? Sure. It makes me forget the mess that our country is in with a dysfunctional leadership. And that the economy is not getting better. And that while my expenses are rising, my income is static.

Yet football makes it all better. And I prefer baseball, but with the Orioles tanking so bad, I don't get as excited about the game as I used to. Fourteen consecutive losing seasons will do that for you.

And so, at least for Americans--NFL Football has replaced religion as the opiate for the masses--or as Marx wrote, the people.



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