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“… New Mexico State … dons the futility crown in college football, its last bowl appearance [having been] in 1960.”

Or, as a commenter on an article about New Mexico State University’s football team puts it, “I will never understand fans from these terrible academic/athletic schools that need to have their teams competing on the highest level just to have their brains beat in.”

Let NMSU stand for dozens of American universities allowing themselves to bleed out as institutions for the sake of big-time football.

Let us once more, on this blog, attempt to understand the masochism that insists – against the simple sanity of one’s own university president, and a state senator – that hurling your expensive team against opponents who will always beat you by ten, twenty, thirty, forty points is a good thing.

I don’t want you to think that anyone from NMSU actually goes to these games. I mean, a few people do, but for most in the NMSU community, group psychosis apparently has its limits. Most people there prefer not to purchase pricey tickets in order to watch the players for their school get their brains bashed in.

At the same time, though, enough NMSU people want to get seasonally excited about new coaches and paradigms and shit that they refuse to let the president and the state senator divert football money toward, uh, education. An anti-intellectual school in an anti-intellectual state, NMSU’s thing is to sit on its ass being stupid while its team gets brained. Our purpose is to figure out why this is.

It’s not the spectacle of the brain bashing itself, since few attend the games. If attendance were good, our problem would be solved: We love gore, and the NMSU football team guarantees it. But people avert their eyes.

Since total massive loss is equally guaranteed, could a campy delectation of failure itself have set in? Are the denizens of NMSU Wildean rascals…?

No. They are sincere, ever-hopeful, dog-like fans.

Here’s the best I can do. The Buddha speaks always of compassion, and what’s going on at NMSU is a communal exemplification of this primary virtue. The hopelessly broken – ever freshly broken – body of this football team exteriorizes for an entire community the first noble truth of human suffering. The team is a precious sacrificial vessel through which, ritualistically, NMSU attains not intellectual but spiritual enlightenment.

Margaret Soltan, July 9, 2013 10:54AM
Posted in: sport

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4 Responses to ““… New Mexico State … dons the futility crown in college football, its last bowl appearance [having been] in 1960.””

  1. MattF Says:

    Reportedly, there was an alternative proposal– sacrificing virgins to Huitzilopochtli– but…

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    MattF: The old joke about finding one goes here.

  3. charlie Says:

    A year ago, I would have agree in total with your post. Now, I question the description, “anti-intellectual” state. After witnessing what has happened in WI and New York, in terms of k-12 educational policy, I don’t know if we have ANY intellectual states. Having lived in NY, CA and currently, OR, states which supposedly have a high percentage of college grads, I wonder what many of these people studied or accomplished at university. I simply cannot understand how putatively rational, educated people can get bat shit crazy over college sports. Are their lives so meaningless, that they find comfort in seeing roided up young men bash themselves into concussive states? Is it the need to party, to relive an overrated college experience? Are they hoping to get laid again? Someone tell me what is so important about college football that significant amounts of money need to be wasted on this nonsense???

  4. University Diaries » What do you want to know about New Mexico State University? Says:

    […] from which decent people avert their eyes. Tens of millions of dollars in athletics debt… no one goes to the football games… no money for academics… and except for this guy and a few others […]

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