Americans love football. This is no secret. We spend TONS of money on football merchandise, paid streaming services, game tickets, gambling (the various methods would astound you), ugly interior decorating choices, and old fashioned general idolization of football teams and players. That dollar amount is only rising each year, and it makes me wonder how our ecominny can be so bad, when we’ve clearly got that dizzough to spizzend.
FIFTEEN BILLION DOLLARS.
That’s how much was spent on super bowl weekend last year. That’s a $6 BILLION increase over the course of the previous 10 years. Money that we claim to need, but are willing to throw away, for the sake of entertainment. That’s not to say I don’t have my share of frivolous spending, but FIFTEEN BILLION DOLLARS.
Just to give you a little bit of a basis for comparison, I’ll give you some examples of what $15B could otherwise pay for (as referenced in an article I read, regarding the $15B requested for our dumb president’s Dumb Wall of Manliness and Big Dick Swinging Power):
- 7,500 miles of new roads (from New York to Seattle, two and a half times). Are we in the early 1900s? Do we have to still negotiate paving some fucking roads to drive on?
- 388,600 college degrees (for 4-year students). I mean, or we could just relieve student loan debt, and stimulate the shit outta this economy. That’s something else, though.
- 21,500 families of 4, eating $180 in groceries per week, for 75 years. As much as I would love to see this as a benefit, I can’t help being torn over the fact that we have a disgusting amount of food waste in the US each year, and more food certainly can’t be our solution.
- 150,000,000 ounces (or nearly 5 tons) of dank bud from my medicine man. It should go without saying that I won’t disclose his name, but rest assured, we get the diggity-dankest cannabis there is. We’re only known for a few things here, other than the Patriots, and we’re just as successful in the flower field as we are on the football field.
- 10 years of police force in Chicago, or roughly 3 years in New York. Of course, this could also buy 5 billion boxes of hot cocoa, which would be much more valuable to our current president.
- 45 new VA (veterans’) hospitals. Then again, the government would have to start giving a fuck about veterans first, and we know that’s not something, so that will never happen.
- 27 years of Planned Parenthood funding. Hahahahaha, oh man, we must have entered the “jokes” section of this list, because that was a good one.
Oh, here’s something that Americans can get behind: $15B would pay for 12 Big Macs for every American!
As stupid as that whole thing sounds, it’s not even what I consider to be the dumbest part. The most embarrassingly “oh shit, I’m the same species as them” moment I can think of, is when someone tells you the length of something… and then follows it up with “That’s equivalent to the length of thirteen football fields!”
Why are we turning things into football measurements, as if they’re a baby that’s 72 months old?
First of all, can you even picture in your mind what thirteen football fields looks like?? I’m pretty sure you can’t, because even taking into consideration that it’s an abstract idea, you’re not going to come back with, “Oh, wow, that does end up being quite long; I see what you mean about the extreme length of that mass grave you were talking about, now that you’ve put it into a perspective I can understand.”
And that comparison is thrown around, willy nilly, in mathematics, science, and a host of other statistics – AKA, things we should be taking seriously. And while we’re on the topic of official scientific methods and terminology, I’d like to sidetrack, and demand to know who gets to say if the length of the end zones even counts, when considering the length of “a football field”? Why is it even a question? The end zone is technically a part of the field, as it aids directly in the scoring of points. Big part of the game, right there.
Or maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know the specifics, and I secretly don’t give a shit. My point is, why are we perpetuating this cycle by dumbing things down, putting them into terms that “the lay-person” can understand? Why can’t the lay-person just try to think a little bit harder about what is being explained to them, instead of expecting that it will be turned into a football analogy later on?
Seems reasonable enough, but this is America: Land of the Foot, Home of the Ball, and sports trump everything else. We have to cater to the masses (them asses) with our comparisons, and Americans overwhelmingly want to use football fields as the standard of measurement. America is so big, it’s 47,168 football fields wide, from coast to coast! It would take 80 of us, lining up our Big Macs from end to end, to make up a football field, and another 16 of us in the end zones! That’s a lot of people on our team!
That’s another thing I can’t fuckin’ stand, and I hear it every single time someone talks about football (which, around here, is the Patriots, because we’re in New England, and we only have one football team for all of us, but it’s the only one that matters, isn’t it buddy? Sidebar: this thought is much funnier, when read in the voice of the slack-jawed turds that live around here). They want to tell you who “we’re” playing this week, and what “we” have to do to reach “our” goal, and who “we” have that’s strong, and how far “we’re” gonna go!
Stop it. You’re not part of the team. You’re part of the fanbase, which means all you have to do to reach your goal is spend your money on football shit so players can get paid, and spend your time watching the games so networks can get paid. You’re not playing anyone but yourself, if you think otherwise.
Over 100 million people (ahem, I mean, “team members”) watch the Super Bowl now, and for many of those viewers, the measurements on the football field are the extent of their exposure to measurements, period.
But it’s never used in the opposite way: nobody ever says “That football field was huge! It was like, if you lined up 11 London buses!”
And so, I am here to offer you some alternative uses for the football field standard of measurement. Here goes.
“That football field was so long, if you stood it up, it would be the height of 8 and 1/2 telephone poles”
“… it was like 6 and 1/2 semi trailers long”
“… it was 5 bowling lanes long”
“… it was like, if you let the statue of liberty lay down, with the torch arm stretched out”
“… it was like, if a giant sequoia grew to its full potential, and then fell over, right next to another sequoia that only grew to about 20% of its full potential, and they ended up laying end to end. It was like that.”
“… it’s like… you know the Chicago Water Tower?” “Yeah, I know it. why?” “Well, it’s like two of those, stacked up, but sideways.”
“That football field was long.” “How long was the football field?” “Picture this: 9 brachiosaurs, laying down, sleeping.”
Next time you hear someone tell you “The runner then finished the race, limping a distance of 6 football fields, despite her broken leg,” you will have your choice of comparative imagery to choose from.