America’s pent-up passion for football is about to explode.
You feel it every day when you live in the shadow of Lambeau Field. You feel it this weekend as college football starts. Some of it remains simply a love of the game. But not much.
That passion for football, be it the NFL or college football, is increasingly driven by equal parts marketing, gambling and fantasy leagues. Even the TV and radio talking heads are geeked up.
Is that a microphone in your pocket or are you happy to see me?
This week, we’re getting our close-up. Right here in the shadow of Lambeau Field, it’s the NFL Kickoff Weekend, starring Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum and Maroon 5! Oooh, Matt Lauer and Al Roker will be live from here, too! Oooh, Jay Leno is going to talk about us in his monologue!
It is, in the eyes of one David Fantle, the deputy secretary of tourism in Wisconsin, “almost like a mini-Super Bowl.” Then he added:
“It’s invaluable. It’s the kind of exposure you can’t buy
— or you can’t afford to buy.”
Is that a brat in your pocket or are you happy to see me?
I wonder what Vince Lombardi would think of all this. His teams won championships, then opened the next season with little more than a baton twirler and a marching band. That was a different time, of course.
I also wonder what George Carlin would think of all this.
“Baseball-Football,” George Carlin, from “An Evening With Wally Londo Featuring Bill Slaszo,” 1975.
Baseball isn’t so innocent anymore, either, but Carlin’s take still goes a long way toward exposing the absurdity of what we’re seeing this week. That this was spoken in March 1975 and still holds true is testament to Carlin’s genius.