Banner Illustration by Aaron Hadley Dana.
Football is a forward-thinking game, and it isn't. Systems change and become progressively more intricate, the game becomes more specialized and quantified and finely parsed, but then it is also still run by dour mustachoied steakheads according to some seriously dusty century-old prejudices and dipshitty machoisms. The game moves forward, it gets faster and meaner and richer, but it is very important to the NFL that things stay the same—that the palyers stay the cattle and the owners stay the ranchers, sure, but also that everything remain in some basic way as it was. It's a connection to history every bit as deep as the We Do It Old-Fayshioned Style voiceover in a Coors Light commercial, but it is stubbornly held. And there is something to be said for roots, honestly, when the alternative is the tireless and metastatic now.
This doesn't mean that we should assume the Kansas City Chiefs are making a sort of nostalgia play in not having quarterback Alex Smith throw touchdowns to his receivers—that they see that sort of showboat frippery as precisely the sort of modern (read: post-Truman Administration) fad that's dragging this country to hell. It is unwise to assume anything where Andy Reid is concerned, except that there are melt-style sandwiches involved. But tradition, history, organizational culture—these are the sorts of things that come up when the Green Bay Packers are playing. There is history all over this game, which is after all a rematch of Super Bowl I.
So it makes sense that our heroes at the Footballz podcast are doing a throwback episode of their own. Tonight's broadcast will be the equivalent of one of those one-bar facemasks on a football helmet. It will be live from scenic Ridgewood, Queens. Mac returns after a one-week absence, and he and TD will do the podcast without the aid of any outside influences, except for their own wits and music during the commercial breaks. This is podcasting as it would have been done ca. Super Bowl I, had anyone had any idea that such a thing was possible, which they absolutely did not. Just some good, old-fashioned smashmouth podcasting.
As ever, the show will begin streaming just a little before kick-off. You can listen here, or at footballz.org.
And, also as ever, you can chat it up here, or at the Footballz site.
Enterprising types who would like to pick themselves up a stylish Footballz Podcast patch should get themselves to the Footballz Facebook page, where a "Like" and a witty caption on the photo that will appear before kickoff can make you a winner. Of a patch. You are already a winner, of course, as a member of this nuclear family of Listening To Something Other Than The ESPN Audio For Monday Night Football. It's not flashy. But we've been doing it this way for some time, now, and it just works.