For the following three hours, these giants (in most ways, but not all) of the athletic world fought their heavily regulated tribal war, which consisted of approximately fifteen minutes of actual action spread over the theoretical hour of play. By doing so, these heroes successfully convinced the watching billions (at least twenty two billion people watched the game on a reliably-reported eight billion TV sets, many of them inn the deserts of Sudan and Chad) that they were in fact doing something extraordinary.
It mattered not that they took very frequent breaks from their ten-second bursts of activity (and impressive amounts of manly, intimidating grunting) in order for the advertising world to sell their clients' increasingly ridiculous hair products, increasingly unfathomable cars and the increasingly deniable idea that having more stuff makes us all happier and better people. It mattered not that the actual amount of physical contact time - quite separate from the 'playing time' by the way - was laughably, pathetically short when compared with – oh, for example, the world's best sport: rugby. After all, everyone had been thoroughly aroused by the singing of America's national (battle song) anthem by a woman with a name not unlike the first sounds of a six week-old baby. That, apparently, matters; not just to Americans, but also - of course - to the thirty four billion people watching the event both inside and outside the solar system.
Once you've been worked up into a nonsensical fervour by something like nationalism, the facts about what you're watching cease to be important. Being part of a gang - all hollering the same nonsense – can be exciting and a lot of fun. Unfortunately, for those of us who see American football for what it really is (very rich people pitting their teams of highly-paid slaves against each other in mock battles, and charging ordinary people money to watch that shit), it all looks extraordinarily silly.
Super silly, even.