Friday, 13 January 2012
Mike Tanier's latest NFL column discusses an artfully constructed Atmospheric Documentary about Arian Foster, a terrific, engaging and interesting player with a life-story so unsuited to this hyperbolic treatment that it makes for 'inherently funny' results.
In seventh grade, Foster’s awful, awful teacher asked the class what they wanted to be when they grew up. Foster said he wanted to play in the NFL, and the teacher asked him to pick something else. Apparently, she should have told him to follow his dreams. In fact, she should have handed him a football, excused him from class, and sent him out to the practice field. His high school freshman football coach did not think he was ready for varsity, and planted him on the bench. Oh, we are awful, awful adults, with our legitimate fears that tweeners who dream of NFL stardom might leave themselves with nothing to fall back on, and that 15-year-olds might seriously injure themselves when playing contact sports against 18-year-olds if they have not developed enough mentally or physically. We are just holding back future subjects of Atmospheric Documentaries with our slavish devotion to common sense and safety ... Luckily for Foster, his father was a college football star in the 1970s, and through the miracle of genetics, Foster grew into a 230-pound running back.
Tanier is, incidentally, an ex-teacher.
Non-sports fans will enjoy the Foster section and also the last section on Ricky Gervais:
Here is a little secret from someone who writes lots of jokes for money: sometimes, we write material that is not that good. The 20th Rex Ryan joke is never as funny as the first two. You tighten the material, you bury the weaker joke between the two strong ones, and you put as much polish on the gag as you can, but sometimes you have to serve a microwave taco of a joke, because it is your job.