Footballz Talk Podcast, Week 1: Live Through This

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Illustration by Aaron Hadley Dana.

It was, in retrospect, always something of a sham. Something/everything would be shitty in the world at large, but right around this time there would at least be that semi-defeated party-conversation laugh-line/actual office icebreaker thing, "at least the NFL season has started!" And so, the implied conclusion went, we can stop talking about gamer culture or the possibility of foreign wars or militarized and multiply problematic policing or whatever. Yes, the NFL was never all that unproblematic in its own right, but it was at least not sickeningly cynical at best and actively a force for objective evil/window onto weeping and unbandaged societal wounds at worst, right? Ha, yeah: about that.

Of course, actual NFL football games remain pretty good, and the only reason anyone even half-countenances any of the numerous other nauseous unacceptabilities that threaten to overwhelm the fascinating and surprisingly fragile thing at its center. The NFL season is not yet a week old, and yet there's still this sense of weariness and a great and overwhelming sense of important things out of balance. The games are as close to a cure for that as anything, but at this point, they're also a relief, if not exactly a simple one, from all the other awful things the NFL just keeps on being, and doing. So, that's good! The Lions and Giants, playing football on your television!

Much of what TD and I talked about, in the interview that will air at halftime -- and which was recorded last Wednesday -- is that heavy, shitty stuff. The great Dave Zirin, sportswriter at The Nation and apex-level scourge of awful things, who will join our heroes in the fourth quarter, will likely talk about all that as well. But there's also a game, and the games can be fun, and damn it we need this. We need this.

Listen to it here (or at

And chat it up as needed:

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