Footballz Podcast, Week 14: Two Against The Falcons

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Illustration by Aaron Hadley Dana.

It's worth considering that, for all the cynicism of its conception and typically thumbheaded execution, the NFL's "together we make football" campaign is not all the way wrong. It is clearly meant as a thing that it clearly is not -- a brutal business that goes out of its way to show how little it cares for or about anyone playing it or consuming it beyond the potential value that can be extracted therefrom, pretending that it has feelings -- but it is not false. A football game watched alone is, for the most part, not much fun. Here, as everywhere we humans endeavor to do things, we come up with ways to make ourselves care: we find our fantasy teams or spots at the bar or fan communities or goofy Twitter pun-community, and, yes, together we make football something more than the denatured, brand-blasted bone-gruel that the NFL endeavors to sell us. It is not just the best way, but the only way that this all works, and that we can read any meaning or fun onto it.

It helps that the game itself is so interesting to watch, but this is not a thing that we could do, or would even want to do, without each other. It is a challenge, at times, even this way, but it is one that we can surmount together. Footballz, while also a podcast about the various obscure remixes cluttering Mac and TD's iTunes, is a monument to how this works -- like-minded people getting together to talk over and improve and otherwise elevate/ignore a Monday Night Football game. It's a thing we make together. Except tonight.

Tonight, our heroes will take on the ultimate challenge. There will be no halftime interview. There will be no fourth-quarter call-in. There will be only our heroes, two men against the sheer assaultive force of four quarters of Atlanta Falcons football. It will help that this game also features the Green Bay Packers, who have looked like the best and most entertaining football team in the universe the last few weeks, and the risibly DIVISION-LEADING Falcons are at least marginally less moribund than they looked for most of the season. But this is still a long haul for two people, alone -- hours of football and nothing but, or nothing but each other and Jon Gruden's snap-into-a-Slim-Jim diction and whatever the football game gives them. We should, as ever, hope for the best for our friends. We can, as always, listen here or at

And maybe tonight, as these two set out to make football together, we should get in the chat and help them out. This is not an easy thing to do alone.


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