How Does the NFL Compare to the Concept of Feudalism?
We seem to be witnessing the early stages of a new kind of feudalism in the form of entertainment — coming from the NFL.
The NFL has become the way to spend our Sunday; mildly sedated on Budweiser, stuck to the arm chair, a layer of glistening processed meat sweat standing on our brow gently reflecting the advertisements that burrow neatly into our brain.
We sit and consume — and then over-consume — every Sunday helping to make the NFL the most popular sport and presence on television in America. The athletes do all the work, take all the praise, criticism and provide us with all the entertainment.
However, there is another level. A deeper level that seems to be increasingly ignored.
The NFL is pseudo-capitalism built on pseudo-socialism and being run on 13th century European feudalistic ideologies. Stick with me…
The owners are the clear cut “Lords,” the players are the “vassals” and the fans round out the bottom as the “serfs.” This bottom-heavy triangle slowly filters money upward until somewhere, atop the hill, nested cozy in a giant castle, are a small group of the richest men on this planet laughing as the money continuously pours in.
The Lords draft the players into vassalage to carry out the field battle and to ensure the serfs — or fans — continue to pay their dues.
The vassals represent the Lords for all their good and bad qualities. The vassals are the ones who protect the turf and protect the fiefdom. They are the ones that come into contact with the serfs and the Lords the most. The vassals take the allegiance of the serfs seriously because the serfs’ money and dues pay the vassals. The happier the serf is in the fiefdom, the more money that can roll in.
This keeps the Lords happy, too, with the vassals collecting a portion of each serfs’ pittance before presenting the rest to the Lord. A happy fiefdom is a happy Lord — is a happy vassal — is a complacent serf.
The serf, then and now, lives a workaholic lifestyle. Between their job — or sometimes jobs — and family time, the only free day left was and is Sunday, a tradition started as most of Europe during feudalism was Christian. Sundays were time to spend with the family, go to church and pay respects to God as well as the Lord of their fief.
Many of us still take time to pay respects to God on Sundays, but more of us respect the Lord of our fief on Sundays, a fact proven by TV ratings. To miss a game during the NFL season is to miss a major portion of the season, a considerable travesty that has fans struggling to explain their true allegiance to a team.
The serfs of yesterday became the fanatic of today.
Blindly showing faith for their owner, growing concerned over the way the vassals — or players — have been acting, blaming the middle-man for losing, showing them praise when they fight and win. The real winner seems to be the Lords — owners — who have little or nothing to do with the outcome of each game and have virtually nothing to do with life at home. However, they sit and conspire to amass more wealth, more land, more infamy and more allegiance by more and more fans.
Win and the fiefdom is strong, lose and you could lose your fiefdom.
The NFL of today is overrun with commercials, decimated by replay, taciturn among corruption and beguiling to the general public. They have stolen money from players, stolen money from breast cancer research and made the military pay for their demonstrations before the game — and at halftime — hid and falsified concussion documents from the players and will not pay medical insurance for life, etc.
These atrocities have been called out on several occasions and the NFL sheepishly gave some of the money back in each instance, released some tepid apologies and doled out a little more for health insurance. However, no one has demanded that these things happen within any fairness.
The fans only care that Sunday will remain theirs, that they are able to binge watch the eleven minutes of action per game on the field and the tirade of over 100 commercials. Cable bills rise, product awareness increases and the money is continually siphoned upward, a pittance being thrown like shell corn to the employees while a small group of men make billions of dollars every season.
We serfs don’t notice, because the vassals live better than us. They are also the ones that maintain the public eye. The vassals will do anything to stay out of serfdom: take drugs, give up their bodie, and take vicious unscrupulous hatred from the serfs as to stay where they are. They seem to be the privileged ones, the ones the serfs love, hate, worship and condemn all in the same breath.
The serfs will maintain allegiance for their Lord, even as that Lord steals from them, treats the vassals that they worship poorly, treats the serfs even poorer and takes cent after cent, fattening their own pockets and living off the hard work of others.
The Lords even make the Serfs pay for their super castles and landmarks to their own greed — calling them stadiums.
Feudalism lasted for thousands of years, the fall happening rather swiftly and due to a number of factors — including unrest among the vassals and serfs. Many attribute the fall of Feudalism to the beginning of enlightenment, which happened around the same time that the invention of coffee spread around Europe.
Maybe as the Serfs slowly moved away from a steady diet of beer every morning and into coffee, they figured things could be a little more even for everyone.
Next NFL game I’ll try drinking coffee the whole time. Maybe I’ll view things differently.