Why eco liberal yoga feminist spiritual types watch The Super Bowl, too.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Feb 3, 2011
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Update: this is from last year, but holds true this year. Ignore the Shorty Awards bit…we won the most votes second year running. ~ ed.


This is my weekly editor’s letter, an introduction to our Top 10 blogs of the week email newsletter—a great way to follow elephant without getting overwhelmed (as opposed to, say, twitter or Facebook, where we’re verrrrry active). ~ ed.

Why elephants love football.

I grew up playing, and loving, baseball and basketball.

I’d skipped a grade, which sounds nerdy (and is) and vaguely impressive but mostly just sucks—I was short and big boys picked on me and girls thought I was cute…in an uninteresting way, and teachers showed favor in seriously uncool ways and I was too slight to play varsity baseball but not allowed to play with those my own age.

Being a little guy, I didn’t focus on football. Being raised by a single mother who loved Winfield and Magic but regarded football as a brutish, inelegant gladiatorial event didn’t help.

But I watch the Super Bowl. I’m American, and American football is the epitome of a great part of this great nation. It’s corporate and sexist (even toward its own) and brutal—players don’t play long and die early—but it’s also full of the sort of stories and matchups of character and strategy that would incite a bard to tell of new epics.

We covered a bunch of Super Bowl stories last year, and the year before. You know: PETA’s sexy, rejected ad, or ways to host an eco-responsible house party. This year, thanks in good part to William Harryman, our interns Krystal and Joe, and a former NFL player, we’ve raised our coverage to a new level. Mostly. You can find all our coverage here.

So while I’ll watch The Game again, this year, I’ll miss out on the best part—the subtle and important things that you get when you follow a sport. But I’ll partake in the layman’s ritual of eating and drinking a bit much. I’ll do so at the HQ of a successful solar company, which happens to be called Namaste, and New Era, a non-profit that works to get young people involved in politics. I’m honored to serve on their board, and elephant has enjoyed working with their leader Steve Fenberg and his merry band on many events over the years. We’ll be live blogging and tweeting, (hashtag #elej as always).

Football may not be appreciated among feminist eco spiritual liberal types. But it should be. Because “our” America and “their” America are all just pieces to the puzzle of this one nation—a melting pot that, to this day, is big enough to tolerate dissent and diversity.


Favor: The Shorty Awards announced they’re running through the 11th. We would have won, barely. Now we’ve got to hold on and widen our slim lead. Winning the Shorties—”Twitter’s Oscars”—will put us on the map in a way that our grassroots, independent enterprise can’t otherwise afford. Many, many of you have voted already, with my thanks. If you’re on twitter, and haven’t voted, please do so. Just copy, paste and tweet:

I nominate @elephantjournal 4 a Shorty Award in #green because…[then say WHY for it to count]

Yours in the Vision of Enlightened Society,

Waylon Lewis


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


8 Responses to “Why eco liberal yoga feminist spiritual types watch The Super Bowl, too.”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Waylon Lewis and Jackie Park Albaum, Red Fox. Red Fox said: Why eco liberal yoga feminist spiritual types oughta watch The Super Bowl. http://bit.ly/gcDSsU […]

  2. Joe Sparks says:

    We need to intelligently revise competition in the direction of men's being of assistance to each other. Transform or eliminate all sport activities which involve men brutalizing each other or themselves. Expose the connnection between the ruthless competitive mentality presently encouraged by the sports industriesand the preparation of young males to kill or be killed in war. The sports industries are directly exploitative of, and damaging to, the men who participate in them. They actively exploit men of color as profit-making devices for professional tam owners and sports-equipment manufacturers. Sports are presented as "the way out " of poverty for many young males, ignorning the development of the complete person in deference to the athletic performance, taking the "best" and discarding the rest.

  3. jcmeyer10 says:

    Joe, I appreciate your last point because it is a shame when the best option in a situation is not school but drug dealing or becoming a pro athlete.

    Regarding the sports as a way to prep young men to kill in war is a bit of a stretch. There are so many positives to sports that you are making such a generalization while also ignoring the positives. I learned discipline, sharing, awareness, empathy and many more lessons along the way that I had to reply to your post.

    Regarding the exploitation, these men are being paid millions of dollars to play this game and receive a college education. They know exactly what they are getting into, as many have stated before, especially football players. Now you are treading into waters of Marxism, because companies in general exploit it's workers, of all races. Rarely are people payed what they are worth to a company and it seems sports are about as close as it gets.

    Thank you for your post Waylon, I really enjoyed it and think you made some great points. Joe, I hope you can take my words from the place from which they were written and that is of respectful debate.

  4. Joe Sparks says:

    I appreciate your thoughtful perspective on men and sports.
    Sports in themselves can serve many beneficial, rational functions. They can encourage men ( and women) to use their bodies in powerful, dynamic, vibrant ways. They can provide "safe" opportunities to challenge one's fears around abilities and perceived limitations, and to act on the basis of power. They give us opportunties to see men being courageous and inspiring. They can be an attractive, safe channel for exercise and the development of skill, an environment for making new friends, and a way to express a sense of community and cooperation.
    However, sports have been saddled by the oppressive society with an intense burden of " competition" which tends to put every male in the position of being a potential antagonist to every other male. This situation has been exposed as a training ground for preparing young males for their roles of killing or being killed as soldiers in war and preparing males to participate in the class society(in which they are expected to compete with each other for economic survival and advancement).

  5. Renee says:

    I am an old Boulder 70's hippie, female, possibly not spiritual enough to post here, but liberal, feminist, etc…and I would like
    to point out that I work with 4 women who fit the description above ( yoga, etc.) who are the most competitive, cutthroat, intense folks I have ever known – and my father was a football coach and my husband played 3 major college sports and I have lots of friends from the old days who still work in professional sports. And this is not just in sports (a friendly run, a quick hockey game) but also in meetings, driving, eating – it never ends, and brings them massive amount of joy. The killer instinct is alive an well in Boulder. The men don't own it.

  6. […] and the Packers will clash together in an epic duel. Personally, I will be hanging out with Waylon and blogging about the game. Legendary is the only way to describe it. So for a quick preview of […]

  7. […] back pull gently to open the heart. I’ve heard this called cactus arms, although I prefer the football reference… Utkatasana- field goal! Credit: […]