Scholars call it “hegemonic masculinity,” a fancy phrase defining the traditional male ideal as being stoic, tough and aggressive. The body is an instrument of violence in this rationalization…The football helmet… is not just a form of protection but… a mask that… encourages [players] to unleash violence on their faceless opponents…
With injuries already sustained, Andrew Luck has guaranteed himself a post-football life of pain. I admire him for defying the scorn of hegemons and fans by choosing to spare his body further insult.
ESPN has… pulled its “Jacked Up” recurring segment that spliced together neck-snapping, spleen-splitting hits… [and a montage ] in which the two teams’ helmets collide in an explosion of kinetic lightning.
(Michael Serazio, “Why Andrew Luck’s Retirement Was So Shocking,” NYTimes, 8-27-19)
And I salute ESPN for dialing back “its packaging of pain as pleasure.” It may be that American football can yet save itself from going the way of boxing as mass entertainment.
(c) 2019 JMN