2.25.2007

the NFL enters foucault territory

not content to dominate the sports cultural and economic landscape in the US, the NFL is now attempting to dominate language. as i mentioned earlier, the NFL has trademarked the word "Super Bowl" and aggressively protects that trademark by doing things like sending cease and desist letters to churches who are having super bowl parties. however, they've taken the next step and are attempting to trademark the phrase "the big game".

of course, on the surface, this as dumb as donald trump trademarking the phrase "you're fired". i argued for trump, and i'll argue now that it just makes no sense to me to allow people or entities to trademark phrases that are already a part of the vernacular. also, from a business point, it seems to be a slap in the face of fans. i can at least kind of understand the trademarking of super bowl, since bars and such can make money off of the intellectual property of the NFL by advertising a "super bowl party"....which sounds a lot more fun than "a final game of the NFL post season party". which is what bars end up doing anyway.

but from a meta-perspective, this is a bit of evil genius by the NFL. think about it, if they are able to control the phrase "the big game" and make it only apply to football, it essentializes "the big game" to only apply to football. game 7 of world series or the NBA final can no longer be referred to "the big game". what this does is marginalize the other sports, while reinforcing the idea that football is the only sport that matters. as foucault will tell you, language matters, and clearly the NFL understands this point and is doing their damndest to apply this concept in their attempt to take over the world.

link via deadspin

p.s. yes i know i'm a douchebag for bringing in foucault into this.

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