Thursday, February 01, 2007

From Our Compatriot Mr. Ryan

Neo-Luddism in the NFL, or Why the Chicago Bears will win the Super Bowl

In the late 1700s, outside the village of Lancaster, two British schoolchildren mocked a

worker named Ned Ludd for his apparent stupidity. In a fit of rage, Ludd pursued his antagonists to their very home and gained entry by force. The wily youngsters managed to disappear, and the scorned curmudgeon, seeking an outlet for his fury, set upon the nearest object- a knitting machine. By incident’s end, the implement lay in ruin, and Mr. Ludd (somewhat becalmed, we hope) stalked away.

The event garnered local attention, and history, as it is wont to do, enacted a gradual distortion. The misrepresentation culminated thirty years later, when a group of disenchanted mill workers crowned Ludd a folk hero, interpreting his act as defiance against the burgeoning technological infrastructure. Though their version was apocryphal, it succeeded in spurring the momentum of the cause. For three years, the self-proclaimed ‘Luddites’ defended the working class by engaging in ‘industrial sabotage,’ a mission which mostly comprised attacking factories and assaulting mill-owners. Eventually the powers-that-be grew weary, hung a few of the instigators, and deported the rest to Australia.

Though the original incarnation dried up around 1815, philosophical strains have persisted in the succeeding 200 years. Luddite culprits usually act on an individual basis, the most famous and recent example being Ted Kaczynski, alias ‘The Unabomber.’ But the strength of the market, it seemed, was too great for any kind of unified opposition. This January, however, the group phenomenon has experienced a resuscitation in the most unlikely of places: The National Football League.

It may seem bizarre to accuse the NFL of Neo-Luddism, but once we consider the symbolic evidence from this year’s playoffs (derived by victorious nicknames), it becomes clear that the organization is not merely against the industrial framework. No, the truth graver yet; the NFL appears to have drifted into the far-left reaches of ecological extremism, dedicated to complete demolition of human structures and the restoration of animal supremacy. In turn, they’ve tipped their hand, and the act of Super Bowl prediction becomes mere formality. Behold, the round-by-round corroboration!

AFC, Wild-Card Round:

Patriots defeat Jets: The Luddite manifesto couldn’t have said it better- any man who loves his country must destroy manmade machines- in this case, airplanes.

Colts defeat Chiefs: Young horses, a species so long enslaved by man, usurp the very leaders who once rode upon their backs. What fitting imagery!

NFC, Wild-Card Round:

Seahawks defeat Cowboys: Birds topple humans, and humans, no less, with a history of poor treatment toward animals.

Eagles defeat Giants: Birds unseat the largest, most powerful men in existence. The message from the NFL is clear- even the greatest of our species stand no chance against the animal kingdom.

AFC, Divisional Round:

Patriots defeat Chargers: Again, pure Luddism. A country-loving man must destroy all chargers, making it impossible to power any electronic devices, thereby stymying technology.

Colts defeat Ravens: Here we are confronted with two animal species, and the difference is clearly made by a raven’s similarity to an airplane. Both fly, after all, and association renders them inferior.

NFC, Divisional Round:

Bears defeat Seahawks: As with the preceding example, a ground animal must triumph over its airborne counterpart owing to the latter’s resemblance to man-made flying machines.

Saints defeat Eagles: At first glance, this result appears to buck the trend. However, as noted by my good friend Brian, the eagle has come to represent America, the world’s foremost industrial power. Surely a Luddite group as subtle as the NFL could not tolerate this symbolism. The Eagles, as it were, had to land.

AFC Championship:

Colts defeat Patriots: Animals over man. The noblest of mankind cannot hope to match immature equines.

NFC Championship:

Bears defeat Saints: Perhaps the strongest example. The bear- fierce, solitary symbol of nature- triumphs over humanity’s best. Even canonization, the NFL asserts, is no retribution for the crimes of man.

The undeniable logic of the theory poses serious questions, the most pressing of which concern the future. Will the NFL’s propaganda ever spread beyond coy metaphor? Time will tell. There is one certainty, however, and it pertains to the impending match on February 4th. The playoff pattern seems to long for a return to nature, whose main precept is survival of the strong. The obvious conclusion, then, is that Chicago must emerge victorious. The only possibility of a colt defeating a bear is with a vicious, well-timed kick. Therefore, in the absence of Vinatieri heroics, I predict the following:

Bears 24 – Luddism began with Ned Ludd’s act in 1779- simply add the digits.

Colts 17 – Luddism ended in York, where 17 instigators were tried and executed by the crown.


Ben Lebeaux said...

And here I thought it was about the disintegration of the feminine metanarrative, viz. Pynchon's "The Crying of Lot 49." I feel like an IDIOT.

John M. said...

So I'm behind in coming across this entry...
I'm not sure it isn't a vengeful reductio ad absurdum of sports fanatics by comparing them to numerologists? Would have been more fitting with baseball, though, so my model must be off...

Anonymous said...

holy shit, you got almost every game right. good job