What’s Wrong With The NFL

Pretty much the only reason I ever owned a television or had a cable subscription was so I could watch sports. Growing up, we only have a few channels and they were often so fuzzy you could not watch them. Television was just not a central part of my life as a kid, so I never developed the habit. I grew up on sports, so as I got older I did what everyone else did and got cable and a television. In truth, I bought my first TV after a girl I was dating said she would not come over to my place if I did not have a television.

Over the years, the only thing I bothered watching with any regularity was sports. Even as the cable companies kept jacking up the rates, I liked sports enough to keep paying the rate. In fairness, the number of games kept rising and the quality of the television got better, as the prices went up. When I was a kid we got one NFL game on Sunday. If I want to watch every NFL game on a Sunday, I can do it now. The same is true of college and other sports. It really is an amazing change just in my lifetime.

I no longer have a cable subscription. I’ll watch movies off Amazon or off the Kodi, but that’s the stuff I can get free. I stopped watching the NFL a few years ago, even when I still had cable. I’m not sure what happened. The games just got boring to me. I’ll still watch a college football game, but I’m not arranging my schedule around it. Basketball stopped interesting me in the 90’s, mostly because I’m white. The only sport I will watch is baseball and I primarily follow it over the internet and through the box score.

It’s popular to say that the NFL is struggling due to the player protests. There’s certainly something to that, but it feels more like the final straw than the prime reason. I have friends who were regular fans, going to games and watching on TV, but now they don’t follow the NFL at all. At the same time, they cut the cord and started disengaging from sports media too. That’s not just the protests. There’s something else going on in the culture that is causing people to rethink their interest in professional sports.

A few years ago, it was received wisdom that the NFL, and to a lesser extend college football, was the tent pole holding up the cable business. Americans were football crazy and they would pay the price to have their weekend games. Now, ESPN dropping the NFL is no longer a crazy idea. They are getting killed by cord cutting, but they are also paying huge money for professional sports. They are preparing for another round of layoffs. There is a limit to cost cutting. Anyone involved in downsizing knows it is just a way to buy time.

The question no one seems to ask is why has the NFL lost its appeal? Again, the decline has been going on for a few years. Ratings were dropping before the players decided to demonstrate their hatred for white people. If we could get an honest accounting of ticket sales, my bet is those have been in decline as well. People in the secondary market say prices have been dropping for years, which is a good indication that retail sales were sliding too. For some reason, normies in America are losing interest in football.

One possible explanation is that supply created a bubble of demand. We tend to think of economic bubbles as demand driven, but take a look at the bookstore business. There was a time when the bookstore was the small shop selling bestsellers at the mall or a shop in the bohemian section of town. Then all of a sudden, every town had a massive warehouse selling books. Of course, Amazon came along too. Book sales went up until people remembered they did not like reading that much. Poof. Bookstores went away.

Maybe something similar is happening with sports. In the 70’s, it was rare for a sporting event to sell out. Big games were a hard ticket, but even some title games failed to sell out. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, the NBA playoffs were on tape delay. The famous US hockey win over the Soviets was not broadcast live. In the 80’s, new arenas and the roll out of cable made everyone a sports fan. Then the girls got into it and being a sports nut became the way people related to one another in the public.

It could be that after a generation of sports mania, people are remembering that watching live sports is not all that much fun. Just as the culture changed with the new flood of sports television and high end sports arenas, the culture is changing again as the novelty of those things wear off and people rediscover other entertainments. We tend to think of fads lasting a week or maybe a summer, but maybe some things run their course over a generation. Maybe as the Boomers fade, their cultural items are fading too.

If you think about it, Boomers have driven other sports fads that have come and gone. In my youth, tennis was a big deal. Boomers were young enough to play tennis, so they watched tennis too. Then the boomers got old and moved onto golf. Tennis collapsed and golf took off. Now, Boomers are getting too old for golf, so it has fallen into decline. Maybe that’s what is happening with professional sports like the NFL. The demographic cohort that blew the sports bubble is expiring and the bubble is collapsing.

It’s not an elegant answer, but there is no obvious reason why football has a stink on it all of a sudden. The games have been over-hyped circuses for a long time. They actually made some changes to quicken the pace and shorten the games. The cost of attendance is ridiculous, but you never hear that as an explanation for the sudden decline. Even so, that would not explain the free fall in TV ratings. Whatever the cause, it is part of a much longer trend and not the result of one thing, like the player protests.

The Personal is Political

The defining characterization of second-wave feminism, according to feminists, is that the “personal is political.” The phrase comes from an essay by feminist Carol Hanisch with the title “The Personal is Political.” Hilariously, she claimed the phrase was something all women knew and said, but was a secret until the late 1960’s. The most likely reason for her refusal to claim ownership is that she stole the idea from someone else, but feminists have always been nutty, so there’s no way to know.

The argument is that personal experience is intertwined with larger social and political structures. One’s personal choices reveal one’s politics. Consequently, one should make personal choices that are consistent with one’s politics. Put another way, your life is your politics, so therefore politics defines your life. This was a roundabout way of attacking normal family life and traditional female roles, but it did not stop there. Defining people by their politics, and only their politics, meant that there is no escape from politics.

The irony of this is that this is perfectly consistent with how men have always understood women. Women compete with one another to establish their status in relation to men. That means for women, it is an endless competition. Therefore, politics is all consuming. Men, on the other hand, establish their status among one another. Once the pecking order is set, that’s the end of the competition. Politics is for when it is time to reset the pecking order. Otherwise, men define themselves by their role in society and their deeds.

As our society has become feminized, everything is drenched in politics. You see it with the NFL protest debacle. Men watch sports to enjoy seeing men compete with one another in ritualized combat. Men don’t care about what the combatants think about anything, including the combat. Interviews with coaches are to be focused on the strategy of the game, not the guy’s feelings about life. Player interviews are only interesting because most players are black now, so they say wacky and stupid things.

Of course, the zeal of NFL owners to include the girls is due to the understanding that their sport is never going to be popular with girls or sissies. Like boxing, it takes guts to play football. Anyone who played the game knows the risks, as they saw teammates carted off with broken bones or on backboards. Girls don’t like seeing that and they really don’t want their children doing it. The pinking of sports like football is an effort to distract the girls from the reality of the game so they don’t shut it down.

In a feminine society like ours, it is just a matter of time before masculine things like sports are either made girlish or relegated to the fringe. Boxing, for example, still exists, but only as a fringe sport done by foreigners. UFC has managed to gain an audience, but again, it is as a renegade activity, done underground and on pay-per-view. White mothers will never be taking their sons to UFC camp. They can tolerate martial arts, just as long as it is white boys in bathrobes, safely pretending to be Jackie Chan.

This is why football is so much trouble. Peak professional football was probably a dozen years ago. It was around then that white mothers, especially divorced middle-class mothers, started turning against youth football. They did not want their little baby being run over by black kids. That’s why the concussion hysteria gained traction. It’s a ready made excuse for pulling the white kids out of football, that lets white women pretend it is not racism driving their decision. After all, they loved Will Smith in the concussion movie!

It’s why the NFL’s decision to let their blacks kneel during the anthem is going to be a disaster for them. The owners signed off on it thinking it added drama and would therefore draw in girls, because girls and girly-men like drama. Instead, those kneeling black players are a stark reminder to white women that the sport of football is for violent black men, not nice suburban white boys. Youth participation in football is collapsing and this will only serve to accelerate it. The NFL has now made football anti-white and un-American.

The root cause is not the inherent danger of playing sports like football. The root is the same as it is for everything in the current crisis. The feminization of the West is turning politics into a never ending soap opera for no purpose than the perpetuation of petty gripes among the participants. Nothing gets done, because girls don’t care about deeds. They care about attention. Swedish women have turned their country into rape land, in order to get the attention of their men, who have been feminized to the point of no return.

Aristophanes wrote The Assemblywomen in 391 BC. it is a comedic play about what would happen if women assumed control. The women immediately ban private wealth and enforce sexual equality for the unattractive. It reads like an inter-sectional co-convening of the feminist study department at any university. The play was intended to use humor to criticize the Athenian ruling class. It relied on the basic understanding of the female mind and on the widely held understanding that you can never put women in charge.

For thousands of year, people understood the different roles of the sexes. Human societies, for good and ill, were organized on this understanding. Then all of a sudden, the West went crazy. Men stopped playing their role and instead handed off authority to the women. The women have set about politicizing everything and feminizing everything, including the men. They are now forcing their boys to dress as girls and pretend to be women. Everything is political, even the biology of their children

This will not end well.

Combat Sports

Like a lot of people, I watched the big fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor on Saturday night. The claim is it made six gorillion dollars and a bazillion people watched it. As is always the case these days, the numbers are all lies and the real numbers are vastly lower than claimed. The live gate was about what you see from a typical fight, but the PPV was probably much higher than typical. UFC fans are conditioned to view their sport through television and on-line, rather than live.

Despite the fakery, it was a big deal and even casual fans found a way to watch it. The dirty little secret of modern life is that watching these things via a pirate stream is getting easier and more difficult to police. As we saw with the music business, the video rackets are nearing that point where the cost of policing the underground feeds will exceed the value of their product. There are simply too many ways to get around the paywalls and blocking mechanisms. This fight was probably the last big pay-per-view fight will see.

That’s always the problem with artificial scarcity. It works for a while as the laws of supply and demand are universal. Make something scarce, relative to demand, and the prices rise. There is another universal law of economics though. Anything that has value will be stolen or faked. That means attempts to create artificial scarcity will be met with equal efforts to get around those barriers. That’s what happened to the music business and now music is just about free. That’s what is happening with pay television.

Still, the fight proved something that our betters have been telling us was no longer true and than is men still like being men. Fights are never and can never be pink hat affairs, where the girls show up and pretend to be fans. Boxing and MMA are male sports aimed explicitly at men. This fight was a contest between a bigger, younger man versus the older, but vastly more skilled smaller man. Men enjoy seeing that sort of thing. We like competition, but we like comparisons and contrasts in our competition.

During the broadcast, it became clear that the on-air people were instructed to use the phrase “combat sport” rather than the more common phrases. My hunch is the promoters saw the numbers for this thing and see a chance to bring fighting back as a popular sport again. Boxing killed itself with corruption and the UFC has a bum problem, but there is a market for good fights and the UFC is great at selling their product to young males. The contrast is styles between McGregor and Mayweather made it a great show.

If they fused the two sports, dropping the wrestling and tackling stuff entirely, there is a good chance they can create fun shows like this on a regular basis. Imagine if McGregor was allowed to kick and rabbit punch. It probably would not have changed the outcome, but it it would have made it a bit more fair. Change the ring to make the ropes more sturdy, like the cage in UFC, and the boxer has to change his strategy. There is a middle ground where you can create fun and interesting contests that men will pay to see.

The other thing the UFC can teach boxing is how to develop its talent. Boxing was destroyed by the crack epidemic. The urban gyms that worked as feeder systems for boxing were wiped out by the crack wars. The young guys looking for a way out of the ghetto were drawn into the big money of the drug game. Those still looking to go straight were too afraid to go into the rough areas where boxing gyms tend to be located. As a result, the flow of young talent in the US evaporated and so did the fan base.

That’s the thing about MMA, which boxing can adopt. Go around the country and the mixed martial arts gyms are now where the old martial arts places were located. That’s in suburban shopping centers. Middle-class white women are fine letting their boys go to these places as it feels safe and their snowflake is not getting bullied by urban blacks or robbed in the parking lot. Boxing can be sold to the white middle-class again, but in has to be sold on their turf. White people with kids no longer live in cities.

That’s not to say boxing can ever make a comeback, at least to the status it once enjoyed. That world is gone. We live in the age of niche sports. Even mighty football (American) is feeling the pinch. There will always be a market for men fighting one another under agreed upon rules. Boxing and MMA are just that. If the end result is some fusion of the two that is both white-ish and suburban, that’s not a terrible result. Healthy cultures have ways for men to compete, as well as watch and encourage other men to compete.

As to the fight itself, it was a fun show. As I pointed out prior to the fight, boxers are vastly better conditioned than MMA guys. McGregor was sucking wind in the third round and by the sixth he was clearly gassed. Mayweather is a great boxer and he knew exactly how to take apart McGregor. That said, the Irishman had a great plan and executed it well. He showed tremendous heart. He was just beaten by the better boxer, like everyone else Mayweather has faced. Both acquitted themselves well. It was a great show.

Fake News

I think I may have watched a grand total of one NBA game this past season. The games are not geared for middle-aged white guys. The game has been changed over the years to value running and jumping over teamwork and developed skills. The result is that basketball looks a lot like track and field, rather than a skills game. That’s not a moral argument, just a factual observation. I do follow the game through the stat sheet, as it is a good study of human bio-diversity and not just what is on the court.

The other aspect of the NBA that makes it interesting to me is the conduct of the sports media covering the NBA. It is a good model for understanding what has happened to the mainstream media, particularly with regards to politics. The NBA press does very little reporting. There are still game summaries posted on-line and box scores, but those are churned out by interns and robots. The professional NBA journalist does no actual reporting, Instead, he talks about story lines, personalities and other sport reporters.

The recent NBA draft is a good example. Every year the “reporters” claim it is going to be a wild week of trades and deals. Then they spend the week talking about rumors that are made up by other reporters. Those rumors are often just about rumors. It is not unusual to see a story about how it is rumored that a trade was rumored to have been mentioned by someone. Meta-news is news about news. The NBA is now doing news and rumors about rumors. That’s meta-meta-rumor-news, I guess.

The reason for all this is the news media no longer bothers to uphold any of its alleged standards. It was not that long ago that editors required two sources that were actual human beings with a credible claim to know the material. Newspapers might bend this rule, but they never went with copy that contained sources unknown to the editor. That’s no longer the case as editors no long exist in sufficient numbers to police it and the remaining ones simply don’t care. Anything goes so its all fake sources now.

Sports reporters have never been terribly bright or hard working so they have responded to this breakdown in order by doing what comes natural. Instead of working hard to get good stories, they make up semi-plausible stories with fake sources. An NBA trade, for example, will involve two or three people talking by phone. Yet, we’re supposed to believe that some guy at ESPN was then briefed on it by one of the parties. Even more absurd, we’re supposed to believe some blogger “broke” the story. Yeah, right.

The bigger issue though is something that happened in the Jordan years. It has been thrown down the memory hole, but Jordan decided the way to help black sports reporters was to give them exclusive access and deny access to honkies. Guys like Ahmad Rashad and Michael Wilbon were given special access. This made their careers, but it also ushered in the era of access journalism. Players granted access to reporters who were willing to sing their praises in their columns and on TV shows.

Something similar happened around the same time in Washington politics. The Clinton machine was ruthless in controlling the media. They would shutout reporters that did not play ball. There’s always been some of this, as people are naturally going to be nice to those who are nice to them and not so nice to people they see as adversaries. The difference was, the Clinton team turned this into a formal policy and the Washington press corp went along with it. They liked being treated like players so they acted accordingly.

The Bush people could not play the same game, as the Washington media is universally liberal, but they did a little bit of it with operations like Fox and the talk radio guys. Rich Lowry of National Review remodeled the magazine to be a GOP mouth piece for exactly this reason. It gave them access to Republicans. The Weekly Standard largely existed as a public relations vehicle for the Bush family. Much of what has gone wrong with Buckley Conservatism is due to the perils of access journalism.

This is why we see the explosion of fake news. The NBA guys want access or at least the illusion of access. To that end, they tweet out rumors and fake news in the hope of getting a reply from an agent or front office guy. That way they can then shoot down their own rumor or fake news with an actual quote from a real person. “After talking with person X, I can now report that the rumor I reported is false.” Fake news about rumors produces gossip that is eventually addressed by a real person in the news.

That seems to be what’s going on Washington with all the fake news. No one in the Washington media bothered to develop contacts in the Trump team. Instead, they mocked and harassed them through the campaign, figuring they were currying favor with the Clinton people. Now, they have no access so they create fake stories hoping to get a response from the Trump people. In lieu of real reporting, it is provocative fake reporting in the hope of gaining access to real people in the Trump White House.

Now, that’s not to say it is all innocent. Clearly, the major fake news organizations are fully converged, as Vox Day would put it. They are so in the tank for the one true faith, they now resemble a UFO cult. The point of their fake news campaign is to discredit the Trump people. Still, this is the logical result of access journalism. When the path to fame and glory is getting exclusive access to a powerful person, it is no surprise that the media has now turned itself into a PR firm for the rich and powerful.

Media Blues

My consumption of sports news is about as limited as possible for someone who still follows sports. I scan the baseball news once a week. I’ll scan ESPN and CBS Sports. I say “scan” as most of it is just made up clickbait stuff. The actual  news stories are so poorly written that they are not worth reading once you have gleaned the news nugget. Most sports “journalists” try hard to sound like hyper active teenagers, writing for an audience of semi-literates. We are a long way from Ring Lardner.

As a result, I took some pleasure in the howling and moaning from sports media as ESPN made some small cuts to their on-air talent. Of course, the media covered like it was the end of the world. ESPN cut 100 people from an 8,000 person workforce. Most people reading this have lived through layoffs where ten percent of the labor force is cut. The ESPN cutbacks are trivial, unless you are a media snowflake convinced you are part of a secular priesthood. Then it is the sign of the apocalypse.

What’s surprising is that operations like ESPN have an audience at all. Their “news” converge is mostly jock-sniffing and their created content is so out there on the Progressive fringe, it borders on madness. The people watching sports and following sporting news are men. Most normal men are uninterested in Progressive lunacy. They watch sports for a break or they simply have no interest in other subjects.

The last thing they want to have to suffer through is feminist free verse poetry celebrating lesbianism.

Beneath the bi***h of buzzer, beneath the crowd’s sputtered swear

and bellowed worship, beneath the joint gasping of sweated air as

tree trunk women hurtle fiercely from east net to west, just beneath

the rampaging pummel of their feet on the hardwood and the hurting

screech when they stop short, pivot and slingshot back, beneath

the hissed invective when the wrong swoosh happens, or doesn’t,

beneath vendors who heartlessly hawk the stupid slap of sugar, spirit

and salt, beneath the huge held breath of halftime and the rattling hips

of tambourines, beneath shouts of the beautiful tangled names of

women, beneath the bladed blasts of whistle that signal stop and start,

Poetry is defined as having meter, rhyme or a point. You have to have two of three in order to qualify as verse. What feminist poet Patricia Smith writes has none of those things. There’s no such thing as a “bitch buzzer” and the words conjure no images so the phrase is nonsensical. A “stupid slap of sugar” is supposed to mean what? Who has ever been slapped, stupidly or not, with sugar? The entire word jumble is the sort of thing you would expect from a high school girl, who thinks she is clever. It’s not even doggerel.

The rest is actually worse, if that’s possible. At some point, writing of any kind is so bad it is just terrible. There’s a bottom to terribleness and this junk is there, with all the novels that begin with “it was a dark and stormy night.” It is no surprise to anyone that poetry is dead in America and creative writing is on life support. It’s also no surprise that feminists are terrible writers in addition to being batshit crazy. The question is why is this crap on a sports site? Why would anyone consider such a dumb idea?

What’s happening at ESPN is not unique. Fox News has decided that the way to remedy their high ratings in the cable news wars is to blow up the station, install a gaggle of blue haired lesbians and become a shitty version of the worst rated cable news channels. All over the mass media, it appears the plan is to drive away as many viewers as possible, by offending some and boring the hell out of the rest. That’s thing. Most of it is just boring, not so much offensive. Feminist beat poets are not offensive. They’re stupid and dull.

It’s tempting to go for the reductionist answer and assume it is just proselytizing paid for by the billionaires who own the mass media companies. There’s some of that, but the real issue is that people making editorial decisions are strangers. They don’t know the sort of people who read the sports pages or follow their favorite team. We’re just economic units, who are “out there” on the other side of the walls, so they don’t spend much time thinking about what the typical male sports fan finds interesting about the sporting news.

The people who thought that weird feminist poetry slam was a great idea, probably thought it was a great idea. They have heads full of “theories” about female athletes and “theories” about the twenty people that bother to watch women’s basketball. They just assume everyone is sitting around agonizing about how their vagina defines them. There’s no one in the room willing or able to tell them that feminism is a mental disease and they should be getting professional help, not reading nonsense like this.

The future is female,

we hear,

but the past —

the past is also female.

 

The past is our beginning

and the future —

is also where we start,

where we come from.

 

Poetry is a new language.

It is our oldest language.

Before today’s tautology we spoke in tongues,

we painted images on our walls,

we told stories that meant less then than they mean today.

Women’s Sports

The other day, Steve Sailer had a post about the WNBA and various ways to make the sport more attractive to sports fans. I pointed out that the main issue is spatial awareness, as men are more abstract in modeling their environment, while women are more concrete. Knowing where the herd is going to be when going on a hunt is different than remembering where the berries are when going on a pick. The part of the brain, which controls the perception of speed and the mental ability to rotate 3-D objects, is larger in men as well.

Anyone who has tried to watch women’s basketball understands that it is terrible in just about every way imaginable. Basketball is about speed, jumping and obviously shooting. Fans go to NBA games to see freaks of nature, who can leap from the top of the key and dunk the ball over some other freak. The women’s game is described as low and slow, meaning the style of play is pretty much the opposite of what fans of basketball want to see. The girls look like they are nailed to the floor most of the time.

Of course, in a sane world we would not demand that girls do all the same things men do, but we no longer live in a sane world. Even with the lunacy, there used to be popular TV sports for women that got good ratings. Women’s figure skating used to be a big deal, often put on against football and basketball. The logic was that men would watch football and their wives would watch skating, which was usually the case. Twenty years ago figure skating had better ratings than the NCAA basketball tournament, head to head.

Skating used to be a ratings monster for TV, but that’s no longer true. Today, not even the big events get on TV. Not only have ratings collapsed, but interest in youth figure skating is at an all-time low. Something similar has happened to gymnastics. It used to be that everyone knew the name of the top female gymnasts. Every Olympiad there was an American ready to take her place in the long line great female gymnasts. Today, Simone Biles would have to rob a bank in order for people to know her name.

You can even extend this decline in women’s sports to tennis and golf. The former was huge into the 90’s, but it has fallen on hard times. Women’s golf was never wildly popular, but golf junkies would watch the big events. The big stars were known to casual fans. Tennis still has the William’s sisters, but their popularity is based solely on their value as props in the culture war. Golf has no stars that anyone can name. The top US player is Lexi Thompson, whose name in a google search generates less than a million hits. Sandy Leon, a backup catcher, generates 17-times that number.

Now, all of these sports can point to various reasons for why they have fallen off the map in our culture. Figure skating and gymnastics has been plagued by weirdos and a culture that makes beauty pageants seem mild mannered. Women’s basketball was never popular and sports like golf and tennis have been in decline for a generation. There’s also a demographic issue. Popular female sports tended to be popular with boomers, who had kids. As the Boomers age off, their interest in these things has declined.

Even so, there’s no getting around the fact the female sports are at their lowest in terms of spectator interest. It could indicate a decline in women participating in competitive sports. It is impossible to get reliable numbers on this as the Title IX crazies are worse than the climate change nuts when it comes to fake data. Youth participation in sports has been in steady decline for decades so perhaps the declining interest in sport among the young is showing up first in the least popular spectator sports.

There’s also the possibility that biology is returning serve in the multicultural war on reality we have witnessed the last few decades. Women are wired to compete with one another in order to gain the attention of men. Our competitive sports are designed by men for men. It could simply be that the long war against femininity is coming to a bad end for the culture warriors. The girls would rather watch other girls be catty with one another in a TV drama than watch sweaty lesbians fight over a ball.

That would not explain the the decline in things like figure skating and gymnastics, but perhaps those were just early casualties in the feminist war on reality and as the fever breaks, these sports will make a comeback. These things also go in cycles so as the more reactionary Generation Z reach adulthood and start having families, perhaps sensible activities for girls will make a comeback. This is something you notice when looking at the social media of young alt-right types. They appear to be attracted to more traditional sex roles, despite the howling from their parents.

Back To Black

There is a word in German, fremdschämen, which roughly means to be embarrassed by seeing stranger say or do something embarrassing, like be drunk in public or behave foolishly on television. The notoriously shy Finns have the word myötähäpeä that means roughly the same thing. The “second-hand shame” concept is probably something that is exclusive to northern Europeans, but I don’t know. I do know that whenever I watch good whites crash into the reality of race, I feel myötähäpeä.

That came to mind reading this story that was posted on Tyler Cowen’s blog.

Asian-Americans also have a huge advantage in building a fan base, although this is driven almost entirely by Mr. Lin, who is the 27th most popular player despite being the 80th most prolific scorer. Of the 30 most popular players, he is one of only two men who has never played in an N.B.A. All-Star game. The other is Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers. This initially made no sense to me: Mr. Thompson averages fewer than 10 points per game. But then a friend explained the likely reason to me: Mr. Thompson is dating Khloé Kardashian.

What should we make of the edge in support that black players get? It is of course possible that someone will find an alternative explanation for this correlation, but let’s assume that my analysis of the data holds up and that being black is a large advantage today for N.B.A. players trying to build a fan base. How should we interpret these results? Is it a bad thing or a good thing or nothing?

IF the results were reversed — if white players got a big edge in support — this would clearly be bad news. There is strong evidence that black Americans are discriminated against in many crucial areas of life — jury decisions, police stops, job interviews, dating sites, presidential elections. If African-Americans were discriminated against in building a basketball fan base as well, it would show that white privilege can even show itself in one of the arenas in American life in which blacks have had tremendous success.

But African-Americans getting a boost in support? What should we make of that? I view this phenomenon as good news in at least two ways. I think it’s great that members of minority groups who face discrimination in many aspects of their lives show strong support for other members of the group. And it is also encouraging that many white fans will give some extra support to the country’s most successful minority athletes.

Notice the line “if white players got a big edge in support — this would clearly be bad news.” Then a little later the line “I think it’s great that members of minority groups who face discrimination in many aspects of their lives show strong support for other members of the group.” The writer suddenly finds himself bobbing around like a cork on a sea of uncertainty as everything he knew about whites and blacks is now suddenly invalidated by reality. Watching the poor slob stagger to the finish filled me with fremdschämen.

The commenters on Cowen’s blog mostly sought to dodge the central issue of the story, which is that blacks shamelessly practice racial solidarity, while whites do not. That bit of reality contradicts the narrative of modern American life, which is that the great struggle is against white racism toward blacks. Obviously data that shows that whites not only harbor little animus towards blacks, but favor blacks over their own, turns the world on its head. Throw in the fact that blacks are wildly racist and suddenly life is not worth living.

Thirty years ago I worked with a black guy in Boston who was a Laker fan. He was a Laker fan for the same reason all black basketball fans were Laker fans, regardless of their home city. The Lakers were the black team opposing the white Celtics. Plenty of whites cheered for Magic Johnson and plenty of whites rooted against both teams, but blacks everywhere cheered for Magic Johnson and the Showtime Lakers because they epitomized black basketball and opposed the very white Celtics.

Before my time, blacks rallied to Mohamed Ali versus Joe Frazier mostly because Ali was flamboyantly black, but also because he was anti-white. Frazier being favored by whites only added to it. The truth is, blacks don’t really like white people very much. It’s not a Malcolm X hatred, but the consequence of ethnic solidarity. Black people prefer blacks over whites. They see whites as the rival gang, the other team, so they always root for the black guy over the white guy.This is perfectly normal.

Humans are tribal so we side with those in our tribe over those outside our tribe. It’s a basic survival strategy that worked pretty well until recent. American whites no longer seem to possess this quality. A couple of generations of propaganda against racism has made most white people so allergic to anything that resembles ethnic or racial solidarity, most whites instinctively prefer those outside their group. It’s why a black sports star will get so much support from white fans, even if he is openly hostile to while people.

Progressives are baffled by this mostly because the central narrative of their cult holds that the great struggle is against white racism directed at the noble black man. Poor Seth Stephens-Davidowitz started his project sure he would find proof of the “systemic racism” he learned about in school during story time. Instead he stumbled onto a horrible secret that may haunt his dreams forever. Or maybe not. Being in a cult means having the ability to process disconfirmation and still maintain belief in the one true faith.

Bar Fights

In my life I have seen some excellent bar fights. Most bar fights are not very entertaining, as one drunk throws a punch at another drunk and it quickly turns into a wrestling match, usually with the two combatants knocking over some chairs and tables on their way to the floor. Once in a while though, you get a good one where the two drunks have the ability to stay upright and the willingness to trade blows. These are the ones that usually start inside, but go outside where they “can settle it like men.”

I once saw a guy setup like Bruce Lee, indicating he was a martial arts guy. He performed a perfectly executed round house kick. His mistake was that the other guy was not a martial arts guy so he ducked and then hit Kung Fu so hard with a right cross that his grandchildren will have headaches. Martial arts man hit the ground like he had been shot and that was the end of it. The crowd went back inside, leaving Kung Fu to search around for what went wrong. When I left he was gone so I guess he lived.

I’ve don’t have much respect for martial arts as a fighting tactic. When I was a little kid, of course, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Then one day an older boy, known for having a black belt, challenged me to a fight. I shot a single leg take down and then broke his nose in an unnecessarily aggressive cradle. When my father was told of my villainy, he bust out laughing. I learned that you can turn a fight into a wrestling match, but you can never turn a fight into a Karate match. It takes two to karate. That’s why my father put me into wrestling, instead of karate.

I thought of this when I read that UFC star Colin McGregor wants to fight boxer Floyd Mayweather. My guess is that it will never happen, but you never know. There are a lot of UFC fans willing to pay good money to see it. Given the two men’s ability to gain attention with their showboating, I bet they could get a $200 million box office for  a fight. I’d probably buy it, even though I know McGregor would end up in the hospital or graveyard. I like freak shows as much as anyone and it would probably be hilarious.

That’s the thing with UFC. It is a modern freak show. They take tough guys and make believe they are highly skilled fighters. The martial arts stuff is a nice touch, because it distracts people from the fact these guys are just tough guys. They are allowed to use the tactics popular in bar fights, like tackling the other guy and kicking him in the groin. The organizers filter out the guys that are not entertaining and they hype the hell out of the events. It’s great marketing, particularly to young males.

That does not change the reality of the situation. McGregor is an excellent bar fighter, but Mayweather is a highly trained professional boxer. Even under the rules of the UFC, he would beat McGregor senseless in the first minute. My bet is the class of fighter you see at armory fights would beat the best UFC guys. The difference in skill, speed and strength is just too big. To even the odds, the rules would have to be altered heavily in favor of the bar fighter so it becomes a wrestling match, rather than a fight.

That reality is why this fight will never happen. The people running the UFC are too smart to have their best star humiliated. They spend too much time developing and marketing their stars to let one of them get beaten up by a real boxer. That would reveal the truth of it too plainly. Most UFC fans get that they are watching bum fights. They just like the back stories and the carnival of it. They can suspend their disbelief as long as all of the fighters are about the same in terms of skill.

My hunch with the UFC has always been that it is choreographed, like professional wrestling. The Kimbo Slice debacle has not been repeated and that tells me the organizers learned their lesson. A lot of people came away from that experience thinking it was just all hype and no real competition. Ever since, they have tried to keep the matches competitive looking, in order to keep up appearances. Whether they go beyond that to make the shows fun is open to debate. Given the age, my bet is they put their thumb on the scales.

Even if it is all on the level, the people running the UFC did not become billionaires by being stupid and it would be very stupid to have their top star beaten senseless by Floyd Mayweather. That’s why it is highly unlikely that it ever happens, at least not as long as McGregor is under contract with the UFC. Even a $200 million payday would not be enough to risk a billion dollar business. It’s much better to let fans pretend that these bar fighters are real fighters.

Progressive Minstrels

When I was a kid, the big deal in sports news was Joe Gilliam, the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Gilliam was the first black quarterback to start a season opener after the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, which is when people date the start of the modern NFL. Gilliam was benched eventually and never got another chance to start in the NFL. There was grumbling that his demotion was because he was black, but his poor play and drinking problems were the real reason. Still, even then, the default was to blame whitey.

What this means is that for my lifetime, the sporting press has been hunting for the great black quarterback. There have been plenty of black quarterbacks, but none have been elite or counted as greats in their era. The closest was probably Warren Moon, but he never won anything. Recently, there’s been an effort to make Cam Newton and Russell Wilson the black Joe Montana, thus proving that white people are Hitler. The trouble is the former is not very good and the latter has no interest in being anyone’s Sambo.

Steve Sailer has a convincing argument as to why black quarterbacks in the NFL tend not to be elite passers, and therefore non-elite quarterbacks. Oddly, the proof of this is a white guys, Tim Tebow. In high school, he was used as a quarterback because he was big and could run. In college, he was used the same way in Urban Meyer’s single-wing system. He had no career in the pros, because he was a terrible passer. If he had been turned into a linebacker in college, he would probably be in the NFL now.

That does not change the Cult’s desire to find the black Tom Brady and now they think the have found their man.

For Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, the hyperbole has turned into reality. Those who gushed over him in the preseason, lavishing over-the-top praise, have found those compliments to be just and warranted.

As the fourth-round rookie has led Dallas to a 10-1 record and taken franchise quarterback Tony Romo’s job, he has earned it all. So while respected trainer Tom Shaw used to whisper the comparisons he saw between pupils Patriots QB Tom Brady and Prescott, he now no longer feels compelled to keep quiet.

“I had Tom Brady coming out of college as a rookie and then the first seven years of his career,” Shaw told NFL.com over the phone on Wednesday night. “And I had the opportunity to work with Dak before the draft. What I noticed about Dak was, this guy had the same desire, work ethic, the same traits as Brady. Nobody wants to be compared to anyone else. But he was the hardest worker, guys gravitate towards him, he was the first one there…”

This urge to make Dak Prescott into Tom Brady in black face is perfectly consistent with Progressive thoughts about black people. They don’t really like black people very much. They like the idea of black people. Progressives have an image of the idealized black guy, the Magic Negro, that they believe will fulfill the prophesies about race in America. Barak Obama is about as close as they have come to finding their Big Foot and he did not usher in the end times. Instead he was a mulatto Jimmy Carter.

That’s the thing with Progressives and race. They don’t care about blacks as people. They see black people as something they can sacrifice on the Progressive altar, in order to get grace. American sportswriters will now be competing with one another in piety displays, showing their wonderfulness by how much they swoon over Dak Prescott. Whether or not the kid has any interest in being their Magic Negro is immaterial. He does not get a say in this as he is just a prop anyway.

Dak Prescott appears to be a level headed young man with no interest in changing his name to Hamilton or dancing on a string for the Progressive media. But, the Left has a way of getting their man, which in these cases means turning the object of their affection into a white-hating public nuisance. Colin Kaepernick started out as a sensible young man enjoying early and unexpected success in the NFL. Now he is the symbol for what has gone wrong with the NFL. Fans cheer for him to get hurt.

John Derbyshire called Hamilton a minstrel show and it is a good label for it. In fact, Progressive race mongering over the last half century has been a long live action minstrel show. Instead of whites in black face, Progressive deploy blacks to play the roles chosen for them. Blacks are just props used by good whites to distinguish themselves from bad whites and, at times, spite those bad whites. If real black people actually benefit, it is an unintended consequence. It’s something Hispanics should bear in mind.

Football

I’ve always been a sportsball fan. I’ve joked that I’d watch ant wrestling if they put it on television. My sports passion does not manifest itself equally across all sports. I’ll watch the international kick-ball tournaments, but I have zero interest in European league play or the MLS. Baseball is a sport I listen to, more than watch. I’ll often put a game on and read a book, paying attention as the situation warrants. American football is a TV-only sport for me. The same is true of hockey.

For me, Thanksgiving weekend is one of the best sports watching weekends of the year. I’m not a big fan of the NFL anymore, but I enjoy the Thursday games. The big draw is the college rivalry games. Friday and Saturday are packed with old fashioned grudge matches where the records don’t matter. The players on both sides are fueled by a good old fashioned hatred of the other guys. You don’t have to be a fan of the teams to enjoy the games because you know they count.

My guess is I love the rivalry games because I played sports as a kid. As a freshman in high school, the week we played our arch-rival in football was almost overwhelming. Freshman played on the freshman team, but we still played our nemesis at the end of the year. All week the older boys reminded us of what it meant. By the game, all of us wanted to kill the other guys. The only thing better than facing your enemy on the ball field is walking off the field triumphant.

In Dublin, I struggled to explain American football to the locals because they could not grasp the brutality of the game. In my first rivalry game, I hit a kid so hard I heard the air escape his lungs. He was left gasping for air like a fish. To play football requires a reckless disregard for your physical well-being. That’s the thrill of it as a player. Add in the rivalries and the traditions and it is as close a young man can get to being a gladiator. Wrestling and boxing are the only comparisons.

Anyway, watching all of the rivalry games is good fun for me and I look forward to it every year. What struck me watching the games yesterday is that football is no longer a sport played in parts of the country. That’s obvious when you look at college ball. There are no good teams in the Northeast. Penn State would be the one exception, but Western Pennsylvania is more Midwest than northeast. There’s also the fact the players they recruit are from the South and Midwest.

If you look at New England, which is the most feminized part of the country, the high school football is laughably bad. No major colleges recruit the region. Their local colleges are not very good either. The one exception is New Hampshire, which is good enough to make the play-offs, but just barely. The rest of the colleges range from really terrible to just terrible. Boston College is the one major college program in New England and they are one of the worst major college programs in the nation.

Looking at the top division, the Power Five conferences, you have Boston College, Syracuse, Rutgers, Maryland, Pittsburgh and Penn State. Their combined record against their FBS opponents is 21-and-35. That includes the two teams that get most of their players from the Midwest. No one in Western Pennsylvania thinks of themselves as Northeastern. Net out those schools and the Northeast is 7-and-29 this year. That’s about as bad as it get in the college game.

This is not just a college phenomenon. In the South, high school football teams have to cut players because they have so many boys trying out every year. In New England, they struggle to field teams and the players all play both ways. I know parents in New England that would not allow their boys to play football because it was too rough. There’s also the firm belief that anything girls can’t do must be immoral so it must be stopped. The result is a dying sports culture.

It’s not just that the men in these Progressive strongholds are wimps. There’s also a demographic issue. New England is the nation’s oldest region. Whenever I go to Boston, I’m always struck by how old it is. There are loads of students around the colleges, but outside those areas it is mostly older people. It’s also mostly white people too. New England is honky town. Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire are the three whitest states in the country. Massachusetts is 8% black.

I’ll also note that the war on football via the concussion issue started in Boston. The hysteria over concussions has all the trappings of junk science, driven by fanatics, rather than facts. Blows to the head are never a good thing, but these people are claiming football causes ALS, which is quackery on stilts. My guess here is the Cold Civil War is at the root of this. Football is a Southern sport now so that means the neo-Puritans of New England must try to ban it as immoral.

Given how things happen in America, my guess is football is headed for the same end as boxing. Once the vinegar drinking shrews of New England decided boxing was bad, boxing slowly disappeared from the public sphere. I grew up seeing pro fights on daytime TV. Now you have to buy fights via pay-per-view, as if it is pornography. The best fighters these days are not Americans because American parents will not let their boys go to a boxing gym.

Of course, the future is not written. We may be at peak lunacy with places like New England. The rest of the nation loves football and loves the masculine traditions that surround it. Watch Alabama – Auburn and you see girls being girts and boys being boys, just as their parents and grandparents. No amount of preaching by prim-faced lesbians from Boston is going to change that reality. But, I used to think that about other things that have been banned by the Left.