|[a] Abundance RF|
As Rousseau writes of nature and culture in Emile, "Everything is good as it comes from the hand of the creator; everything degenerates in the hands of man." Wow. Jean Jacques sounds like he's been watching ESPN this week.
Natural bounty is one thing. I speak of culture and another meaning of the word "bounty" that has nothing to do with vast piles of sustenance heaved forth in loving ladles by Mother Nature and the Creator. Indeed, even Thanksgiving has little to do with this kind of bounty...other than the fact that there are three NFL games on that fourth Thursday every November (in the United States). For football fans, it is a day of bounty, and not always in the way they might have thought.
|[b] Bountiful RF|
Here is the gist of it for those who are not football aficionados and have never contemplated that teams could find a way to pay their players to injure opponents. For those of us who are a little bit more cynical (and watched the travesty of the 2010 NFC Championship game, in which we were convinced that the Saints were intent on causing injury), it is proof that something is seriously wrong with the culture of tackle football.
|[c] Spoils RF|
Don't get me wrong. Nature can be gruesome, and (some of it) entails equations such as "kill or be killed." The lion with a messy face is the victor that has eaten the spoils. To the jackal goes the spoilage. That's nature, and it ain't at all pretty (as we are said to say back home). Not pretty at all.
Still, only a peculiarly insidious concatenation of testosterone, competition, and shared economic advantage could create what the Saints have wrought with their bounties. You might notice that I am voicing an opinion here. I can't even fake analytical even-handedness with this stuff. I am fully on Commissioner Goodell's side on this one, and have not an ounce of pity for the players who are crying foul right now. Others have noted—with various levels of "shock"—that everybody does it, and that the punishments were too harsh.
|[d] Event RF|
It sounds like there are a number of structural, historical, and cultural matters for closer examination on another day. Football is a veritable
Now that's ostracism with a legal-economic vengeance. Let's see if the commissioner can rescue the most popular pastime in America from itself.
I wouldn't count on it.
|[e] Contact RF|