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Mr. Wrong

A Hunger for Games

Football qualifies as a blood sport, and I am unenlightened enough to consider Super Bowl one of my High Holidays.

I am generally against blood sport involving animals, but that is only because I happen to be living in a Modern Era, where we are all better-educated about being nice to dumb animals.

I’m not gonna lie, if I lived in the days of Ancient Rome, I would totally be down in the front row for all that barbaric stuff like fighting lions versus wolves, or a hippo against a buncha hyenas, or chimps versus baboons, etc. Here’s a list I found on the Internet at a site called tribunesandtriumphs.org, listing animals “shown” at the Roman Colosseum:

List of Animals shown at the Roman Colosseum

Wild boar, Bulls, Bears, Deer, Stags, Dogs, Wolves, Goats, Antelopes, Buffaloes, Snakes, Camels, Donkeys, Jackass, Hyena, Giraffes, Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Cheetahs, Panthers, Elephants, Crocodiles, Jaguars, Chimpanzees, Apes, Baboons, Hippopotamus, Rhinoceros, Crocodiles

So your Ancient Romans were so fucking bored they’d sit around and figure out ways to make these animals fight each other, never mind that the top of the card featured actual humans fighting animals, and each other, for the general amusement of The People, but to look on the bright side for the animals, they would feed Christians to the lions, right? So there was a little Animal Power payback going on, not to mention some fun surprises in the lion dinner menu, but anyway, come on, this is History, you know?

The Ancient Romans also gave us the system of Roman Numerals, without which we would not have Super Bowl, the annual pinnacle of one of America’s most violent sports, where it turns out lotsa guys who played the game have serious brain trouble now, from getting concussions and just plain getting their heads shook up over and over again, and a lot of these guys are ending up with bad brains, only you can’t see the smashed-in noses and ears like boxers have, because in football you get to wear a helmet.

I think football qualifies as a blood sport, and I am unenlightened enough to consider Super Bowl one of my High Holidays. Personally, I used to think all they needed do to fix football was go back to soft helmets and cut way down on the body armor and pads, like with rugby, where they do all kindsa tackling and stuff, and they don’t even wear helmets, but not really, according to this thing I saw on some British Internets:

Rugby injuries could be linked to early onset dementia, warns scientist.

“[H]igh impact sports such as American football, ice hockey and rugby are beginning to lead to problems later in life normally suffered by former boxers.

But let’s get back to the dumb animals, OK? If I lived in Ye Olden Days in England or someplace like that, I would certainly be getting in on the bear-baiting betting action or whatever fucked-up animal fights they had going, like a monkey riding a pony versus a pack of dogs, horrible, I know, and I do not approve of that stuff now, but I’m just saying, back then, I’d be there every Sunday, probably, and I’d have Thursday Night Animal Fights chiseled in on my Ye Olde TiVo.

Here in The Future, we still have the dog track and the horse track, and they’re not fighting each other, the dogs or the bangtails, but I went to the dog track and saw how the greyhounds live in cages, and that made me sad, not sad enough to prevent me getting a bet down, but I haven’t gone back. I still go to the horse track, though, and lotsa people still think it’s not very evolved for us as a society to be making animals do stuff for our entertainment, especially when a horse can break a leg out on the track and then get assassinated if it looks like it won’t tolerate rehabilitation, you know?

The other day, I read this thing in the newspaper, the New York Times, about people who take their dogs out in the city to kill rats.

The hunts are conducted something like a country fox hunt, but in an urban setting. Members say it allows their dogs — mostly breeds known for chasing small game and vermin — to indulge in basic instinctual drives by killing a dozen or two dozen rats each time they are let loose.

“We don’t make a huge difference in the rat population, but the dogs have a lot of fun,” said Richard Reynolds, a main organizer of the group.

Har! Yeah, sure, pal, you take the dogs out to have fun, but you can’t say you might be having some fun watching your dogs kill rats?

If you live right here in the city of Baltimore, America, you can probably see where I’m going with this, eh? Some guys got busted the other day for holding a whole bunch of Pit Bulls, as in for fighting Pit Bull versus Pit Bull, so what we should do is re-channel that energy into something that would serve the Community, namely, take a chunk outta the Rat Population, right? Let’s turn all this Pit Bull action into rat-killing action, right? I know the Pit Bulls aren’t criminals, but they still need to be Rehabilitated against fighting other Pit Bulls, right? Can we get the dogs trained to kill rats? And then of course let’s figure out a way I can get a bet down on the action. Maybe at the new casino we could have a rat alley for wagering?

Kindly CONSIDER LISTENING TO JIM AND JOE’S TOP-RATED PODCAST, featuring Joe Macleod and Spitballin’ columnist Jim Meyer, AT BACKOFTHECLASSGUYS.COM, also available on the iTunes. EMAIL wrongcolumn@gmail.com.

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