Thursday, October 18, 2007

The brief existence of Elgin Clark

Elgin Clark did not at first like American football, but he liked to think that he could appreciate the strategic nature of it.

There was, he had always thought, something inherently and particularly American about the sport. Maybe it was that he felt that they used sixty or seventy men to do a job that could be done by less than half as many. Or perhaps it was the fact that an American football game was, to him, eerily reminiscent of the earliest American Civil War battles, which were attended as though they were sporting events by socialites and their families.


In a tactical, practical,
personal, political,
evolutionary, primitive
power is information.


Zuhair said...

I feel like Football is the most like modern warfare, when compared to other sports. There are two generals, who spend time consulting other officers to determine each play or tactic on a case by case basis, with very little room for inovation.

Other sports however, like basketball, feature generals, but also soldiers who exemplify a great amount of intuition. Therefore, even if plays are called off the field, each time the ball changes hands, there's almost full autonomy on the part of the player holding the ball. Kind of like soldiers in ancient battle, where great generals also had great soldiers, like Achilles who basically had free range on what they wanted to do.

Which is why I like other sports far more than football.

ivanfincher said...

A called play may be obviously futile once the snap is taken, but the soldier will often carry out his orders in the face of certain failure.

A called play in basketball, hockey, soccer is often a list of things that aren't going to happen once the whistle is blown or the puck is dropped.