“So long as they (the Proles) continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance… Films, football, beer and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.” ~ George Orwell, 1984
Few things in American culture exemplify the fractured status of the collective psyche quite like the popularity of the National Football League (NFL). The NFL has become a de facto symbol of American freedom, while in reality it performs the function of the Roman circus, keeping the distracted from the extortion and crimes of state.
The NFL is sponsored by major corporations and by the U.S. Armed Forces. The games played in multi-billion dollar subsidized stadiums have become patriotically charged events, where spectators conflate fighting for freedom with watching games for entertainment. Men are told to pick a team and go to war for that team. Fans of different teams are mortal enemies. Military planes conduct fly-bys overhead, and participants are apparently expected to stand for the national anthem.