All hail the new sport Motorball

Ryan Houk

Column writing isn’t easy. Far from sitting around, watching too much TV and working only one day a week, it also involves actually having to work one day a week. Tough job, true, but somebody’s got to debauch it.

Take, for example, this week gone by. There was a lot going on in the news, and any ordinary journalist might make the mistake of poorly prioritizing what you ought to know. Soldiers kidnapped in Iraq? Too political. Episcopalians picking a female bishop? Far too Anglican. Eleven cousins in L.A. removing their stomachs to avoid catching cancer? That’s just way too easy.

But Ben Roethlisberger losing a game of heavy-metal chicken to a grandma in a Chrysler New Yorker? That’s column solid gold.

Just so we’re all up to speed, the starting quarterback for the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers was riding his way-too-fast motorcycle, sans helmet, when a 62-year-old woman cut him off just before finding his head in her windshield. Roethlisberger – who wears protection on the field but not on his 200-mile-per-hour jet bike – broke his jaw and some other random face bones, but was otherwise miraculously unharmed.

This means three things.

One, the Browns are screwed. If Roethlisberger can take a sedan to the grill and keep coming, our defense seems somehow lacking.

Two, some little old lady from Pennsylvania succeeded in sacking a man that most of the NFL post season couldn’t touch. She’s receiving death threats now, if you’d like to form an opinion of Steelers fans.

And three, we as a nation are finally ready to change the face of football. How? I’m glad you asked.

Big Ben wants to ride without a helmet? Let him. While we’re at it, let’s lose the helmets in football too. They didn’t wear them back in the day – why do they need them now? It’s just wasted franchise money that could be better spent on other changes.

As far as the sport being more aggressive than it once was, thereby necessitating the helmets, I retort: Ben Roethlisberger collided face first with a Chrysler and walked away from it. The helmets go. In fact, all the pads go; they only slow the players down.

On to change two. Since there are no more helmets, we’re going to need tougher players. Even though the Europeans do fine without protection, this is America, and people are sue-happy. That is why, starting now, if you can’t take a car to the face, you can’t play football. I’m sure you’re talented, but we just can’t use you. Try professional wrestling.

Then there’s change three. Now that we have the toughest players on the planet and no pads to weigh them down, I say we cater to super Ben even more. Make the whole game take place on motorcycles, cover the field in black top and stretch it to a mile long. The quarterbacks won’t be able to pass very far, but think of the lateral possibilities. Think of the tackling.

Next, we light the pigskin ablaze, change the name to Motorball, and market it to NFL and NASCAR fans alike. And when they’re all geared up in their living rooms – with their beer, their chips and their multicolored jerseys – and they’re waiting for the first game to begin, that’s when we hit them with the final thrilling twist.

That’s when we release the mountain lions.

Ryan Houk is a junior English major and columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].