Only dopes and hipsters watch American sports
Yesterday my local was full of tattooed guys with beards and moustaches wearing football jerseys, drinking beer and yelling at the football on TV. Sadly, I didn’t time travel to 1975 - it was just a huge group of hipsters watching Super Bowl XLVII.
American football, baseball and basketball have never been more fashionable, at least judging by the popularity of snapback hats, which universally make you look like a dickhead - I know, I tried once.
The thing is, the majority of those rushing to embrace NFL, MLB and NBA have NFI what they’re watching. The assembled tattoo canvases at my local didn’t even seem to notice when the New Orleans Superdome blacked out for half an hour during the third quarter of yesterday’s game. They probably figured it was just another one of gridiron’s frequent, tedious breaks.
The teams involved in yesterday’s Roman numeral labelled gladiatorial contest had impeccable hipster credentials, though. The Baltimore “The Wire is like, my favourite show ever” Ravens ran out to an early lead and held off a late charge from the San Francisco “Mexican food in Australia just doesn’t compare to the Mission District” 49ers to win XXXIV-XXXI (sorry, 34-31).
At first glance, a game where men built Mack trucks run into each other at high speed seems an unlikely choice for people whose main physical activity is walking their fixed gear bicycles up hills. But upon closer inspection, it makes a lot of sense. A visit to a couple of small bars will reveal that Americana is so hot right now - the inner city watering hole I was at was serving chicken wings by the kilo, along with cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR to the initiated). What could be cooler than America’s most popular game?
The rise of American sports is just a symptom of a classic Aussie cultural cringe. Why watch State of Origin or the Bledisloe Cup when you could watch the two best American football teams IN THE WORLD. Why support a local team when you could support an American college: “Bro, twice as many people go to college matches than AFL games.”
Australia consumes a hell of a lot of American TV, movies and music without even thinking about it. Still, we seem to have gotten over our old inferiority complex when it comes to the arts. Now, despite punching well above our weight, we’re developing one for sport. I don’t get it - Australia is a world-beater in a slow, statistic heavy sport. It’s called cricket. We produce our own perfectly good bad canned beer as well.
Get used to it, though. If thick rimmed spectacles tell us anything, it’s that last year’s hipster fashion is this year’s prime-ministerial wardrobe choice. Better start buying up Budweiser and frankfurts (sorry, frankfurters) for your Super Bowl XLVIII party.
Alex McClintock is a freelance writer and the Deputy Editor of popular boxing blog www.queensberry-rules.com. He lives in the inner city, has two tattoos and likes “The Wire.” Follow him on Twitter at @axmcc.
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