There is much to be explored with the myths of Ares/Mars. What, after all, is football? Is it not perhaps one of the last true martial activities, if you take the word martial back to Roma, and then to Greece through Ares? Football is not molded out of our modern conception of 'war', even though it abounds with contemporary war-like metaphors (bombs, air attacks, blitzes). Mars was the god that had no temple. You showed your dedication and devotion to him through the scars that you incurred in battle, which was, close, intense, fierce, hand-to-hand, ruthless, belligerent competition.
Raider fans, you criminal element of the league, bless you all for your brashness, ribaldry, gruff attitude, and dirty black clothes. Hammer away at the weak, at least in this arena of football. No souls shall survive but the very best. If you ain't died for football, and believe me Raider fans have died more that any race of cats, then you are nothing but dead meat. Eat a steak for me on Sunday, boys & girls. Don't leave off the fat, either. It has the best taste!
I see the game of football as alive. I want the animal that breathes, snorts and spits. Statisical skelatons are great for archaeological arguments. Put me in a parking lot with food and beer and fans of the team the Raiders are playing, that is what I want. That is alive. The game's beginning makes me Pavlovically salivate. The event as an animal, as animated, and as having soul. That is football for me. What other team in the NFL ever had a squad named anything close to the old nickname of the Oakland defensive backfield--
The Soul Patrol.
In the myths of Mars there exists a coupling with Venus. The beauty of the game, its luster, appeal, the gold of victory (Nike, daughter of Mars), the relationship of the martial to the polis. Dionysus participates in football as it is a theatrical entertainment and as expressed through the possessed rages of alcohol.
The Mad Stork used to drive offenses crazy by lining up wherever he wanted or deemed best. Now we will have a whole defensive front driving offenses into tantrums and timeouts. Imagine the worry of a quarterback when he realizes that he has no idea of Chester's whereabouts! We better do the communities of other NFL teams a favor and collect a fund to purchase some "Depends" so their gun-slingers don't soil their pretty little uniforms on national television. Anyone have experience in creating such a fund?
The Raiders were mentors of my childhood. In a world that was blatantly violent they provided me with an imagistic container for the martial part of my psyche. I could let all the rage pour through me on the football field and leave it there when I left. I learned about mythical imagination by watching the Raiders, games such as The Immaculate Reception, The Holy Roller, The Sea of Hands, The Heidi game, and the Ghost to the post. I watched the games in a state of participation mystique.
The Word is brought to you by the Guamanian Raider, Loco Raider extraordinaire. Born in Oakland and initiated in Guam, known as Mep on AOL, he defines a new DSM category for Raider Fanaticism. Please direct all Raider replies to him.
(Don't bother us.)

The Guamanian Raider!
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