Posts Tagged ‘the romanticization of violence’

Joie de Vivre: NFL Films

In the best football news of an otherwise forgettable postseason, a vast archive of NFL Films footage is now available on Hulu. In related news, I have not left my residence in several days.

With eloquent narration from a series of memorably baritone voices, a sweeping and adventurous instrumental score, and a slow-motion aesthetic that became its trademark, NFL Films has become an integral part of football’s popularity in America. It isn’t a stretch to say that it helped fuel the sport’s growth and acceptance in American culture, to the point where it is now, if unofficially, the nation’s pastime.

It’s a remarkable achievement considering football’s inherent disadvantages in reaching an audience. First, fewer children play football than basketball or baseball (or, from what I hear, soccer), and thus fewer adults have an understanding of how the sport is played. It’s a far more complex sport than the others in terms of strategy: I have watched football for over 15 years and still know only the basics of the Cover 2 defense, which is more than can be said for most people who watch the sport. Compare this to basketball or even better baseball, where real “analysis” comes down to pitch sequence and whether the manager should have brought in a reliever or bunted. Continue reading