NFL is Paid to “Salute the Troops!”

How many of you sat around last Fall watching the NFL games on Sunday – or Thursday, Saturday or Monday? Or maybe you were in the stadium watching the grand spectacle – America’s form of Team Gladiator?

I did.

How many of you quietly cringed through the now practically mandatory “Honor the Troops” portion of the show? That part before the singing of the national anthem or the half time show – the part where everyone must stand while some members of the military in camouflage march out, bands play, giant flags are stretched across the field, a fly over of jets,”our boy’s”  faces on the jumbo-tron to be honored by a round of applause. Hands clapped for our heroes between bites of foot longs and a swig of beer by apathetic half drunks in the stands.

military football nfl

Now I don’t have anything against the individual soldier or veteran – I am one.

Most likely he or she is a decent human being. Either poor or extraordinarily brainwashed, the man or woman paraded in front of the crowd is. none the less a pawn of the corporate – security state.

But hey Toritto! They are heroes! They are being honored by a grateful nation!

Well not exactly. That’s what the NFL and the military wanted us to believe.

Seems the Defense Department was paying NFL teams to sponsor these events. Approximately $5.4 million was paid to 14 NFL teams for what amounted to  little more than publicity stunts.

It was of course, all done in secret – both the military and the NFL wanted us to think these events came from a heart felt patriotism. How do these guys sleep at night?  I wonder how those guys and gals that were so “honored” feel about it now?

Greedy billionaire owners of 14 NFL teams had their franchises take the money – tax payer money, paid in secret with the sole purpose of deceiving us.

Just another business “arrangement” between the corporate state and the military to (a) feed on government money (our money) and (b) brainwash us – especially our young men.

We love the term “hero” because it makes us feel good – and it shuts soldiers up. Once you’re called a hero it’s hard to think about putting your weapon down. Military bureaucrats feed off the term because it discourages dissent.

Hoo raah!

The military considers these  “events” a good recruiting tool.  I guess putting up a bill board went out with Mad Men.

We’ve now learned that these spectacles were even more phony than originally suspected.

Shame on us.

PS – My home town team, the Tampa Bay Bucs didn’t take any money.  On the other hand they are not a good enough to bother paying off.


I’m a ghost of the ghost of my former self
from a time we poked fun at the foibles of men
laughing at Bilko and Navy McHale
recognizing schemers without fail
even in uniform.

Not so anymore.  No need to dwell upon it
No longer are we part of them
We’re on the outside looking in
for every one of them’s a hero.

Parade you on the football field
slaps on the back, cheerleaders flirt;
 in the owner’s box (like you belong)
passed around like a favorite bong.

 while lawyers cheer between the punts
corporate types and soccer moms
all want a piece of a teenage grunt
making fifteen grand a year.

then pack you off on another “tour”
fighting wars we can never win
You think that they would know by now
you only joined ’cause you were poor

still the madding crowd is down
they “honored” you but the home team lost;
A playoff game they’d hoped to host
while you were off to God knows where.



About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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3 Responses to NFL is Paid to “Salute the Troops!”

  1. sojourner says:

    “How many of you quietly cringed through the now practically mandatory “Honor the Troops” portion of the show?”

    I will not watch anything having to do with this type of corporate mind control and recruiting. And they’re doing this even more so with college sports, especially football and basketball. It’ sickening!

    It is the corporate heads, their elite bosses, and their “elected” stooges and families who should go to war, since they start them, and they are the only ones benefiting from them!

    No disrespect to you, Frank. And I am sincere! Your stories break my heart. Most of us cannot understand what you went through, I certainly cannot.

    I was classified 4F, and so escaped this hell. But not totally. I lost a friend in Vietnam, and other friends, who had managed to survived, came home mentally and emotionally destroyed.


  2. I have long been wary of the glorification of violent contact sports and the glorification of the US military. Both have always smacked of crass boosterism to me. Even when I was young, they left me with the sense of being manipulated – though it would take decades for me to recognize exactly what their agenda was.


  3. Pingback: Football, Patriotism and Colin Kaepernick | toritto

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