Thursday, February 03, 2011

Why Americans Fail at New Year's Resolutions

In a word: football. How am I supposed to quit smoking, cut back on drinking, ease up on the fatty snacks and grease-soaked goodness when there's a game on this weekend? All those things are as much a part of football as spoiled quarterbacks soliciting unwilling young women for sexual favors. The playoffs are in full swing as the new year begins and you expect me to abandon my season-long tradition of downing a shot of tequila when my team scores? You expect me not to go outside and light a cigarette in frustration when my team does something stupid? Or not go outside and light a cigarette in celebration of my team doing something awesome? Or not crack open a beer to get the taste of tequila out of my mouth? Or not have a cigarette with that beer. And there's half a beer left here; be a shame to drink it without some wings, pizza or nachos. Oh crap, there's more nachos here and my beer's gone; better open another.

Whoever invented the New Year's resolution could not have envisioned a nation whose vices went hand in hand with its national sport. We blame "the Holidays," for our ruined diets and excesses, but our real Holiday doesn't come until early February, when we can unite as a nation around one game. We aren't Christians, Jews, Muslims or atheists during the Super Bowl; we are Babylonian drunkards and gluttons, gathered at the arena's vomitorium so that we might purge ourselves and make room for more wings and beer.

So if you've already failed in your attempts to become a better you, don't blame yourselves, Americans. You belong to a unique place that worships a spectacle the rest of the world will never understand, try though they do. You're a football fan, even if you don't understand the game. The Holiday calendar still applies. Drink like a Greek God. Eat like a Roman Senator. Monday is the start of a New Year.

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