Monday, December 08, 2008

Young Belinda And The Old NFL Camelot

I don’t know much about what goes on behind-the-scenes at the NFL.

But if some NFL insider ever wrote a book chronicling the transformation from the old NFL to the new NFL, that’s a book I’d like to read.

I’d like to know how the NFL transformed itself over just two generations from what it was as the old NFL—professional athletes who looked up to and tried to emulate phenomenal performers like, say, Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett—to what the NFL has become today, the new NFL—a corporately financed extended gang of divas, cement-heads and thugs where erratic, would-be journeymen like, say, Donovan McNabb and Adam Jones are looked to as career and character templates.

I suspect an NFL apologist would say that no business could maintain, today, social standards comparable to what they were forty years ago because society, today, is profoundly different from what it was forty years ago.

This reasoning is not overly persuasive to me.

The world of professional sports is not an emergent world, driven by forces of nature outside of anybody’s control. The NFL is built on players who come out of the college football system. And the college football system is built on decisions made by the staffs of our country’s colleges.

If the NFL needed and/or wanted players of character and skill—hell, if the NFL needed and/or wanted players who could all read and write—then the corporations and alumni and grant organizations would make those needs and wants known to the decision makers in academia.

I strongly suspect the NFL is getting exactly the kind of players the NFL wants. I strongly suspect the NFL has become exactly what it wants to be.

Why any organization would want to be what the NFL has become, however, is a very good question.

Tom Landry at Wikipedia

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This is the finished version of the pencil rough I put up last Wednesday. [Unfinished Cartoon #1]

I thought of the caption while I was doing the final pencil corrections, before adding color.

I like this cartoon, but I like it mostly because I’m interested in the topic, the change between the old NFL and the new NFL. Because I did the drawing first, there was no explicit link between the image and the caption. And the caption didn’t suggest to me any particular color scheme, not even an indoor or an outdoor approach to shadows.

I kept the color very simple. This is all just Crayola crayons on top of the pencil rough, there are no colored pencils or pastels of any kind here.

Sooner or later I’m going to have to bite the bullet and start using acrylic paint and brushes. And I’m guessing that sooner or later I’m going to switch to dip pens for the captions.

This was just pencils and crayons and a maker on bristol board.

Even as I type this I’m thinking that as much as I’d like to polish things up a bit by using acrylics and a lettering pen, I really like—I mean I really like—the simplicity of creating something using just pencils, crayons and one marker on paper.

Who knows what the future holds?

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