Preserving the Egg of Life
Obviously, Football is a syndrome of religious rites symbolizing the
struggle to preserve the Egg of Life through the rigors of impending
winter. The rites begin at the Autumn Equinox and culminate on the
first day of the New Year, with great festivals identified with bowls
of plenty. The festivals are associated with flowers such as roses;
fruits such as oranges; farm crops such as cotton; and even sun-worship
and appeasement of great reptiles such as alligators.
In these rites, the Egg of Life is symbolized by what is called
"The Oval", an inflated bladder covered with hog skin. The convention
of "The Oval" is repeated in the architectural oval-shaped design of
the vast outdoor churches in which the services are held every sabbath
in every town and city. Also every Sunday in the greater centers of
population where an advanced priesthood performs. These enormous
churches dominate every college campus; no other edifice compares in
size with them, and they bear witness to the high spiritual development
of the culture that produced them.
Literally millions of worshipers attend the sabbath services in these
open-air churches. Subconsciously, these hordes are seeking an outlet
from sexual frustration in anticipation of violent masochism and sadism
about to be enacted by a highly trained priesthood of young men. Football
obviously arises out of the Oedipus complex. Love of mother dominates
the entire ritual. (Notre Dame and Football are synonymous).
The rites are preformed on a green rectangular area orientated to the
four directions. The green area, symbolizing Summer, is striped with
ominous white lines representing the knifing snows of Winter. The
white stripes are repeated in the ceremonial costumes of the four
whistling monitors who control the services through a time period
divided into four quarters, symbolizing the four Seasons.
The ceremony begins with colorful processions of musicians and semi-nude
virgins who move in and out of ritualized patterns. This excites the
thousands of worshipers to rise from their seats, shout frenzied poetry
in unison and chant ecstatic anthems through which runs the Oedipus
theme of willingness to die for the love of mother.
The actual rites, performed by 22 young priests of perfect physique,
might appear to the uninitiated as a chaotic conflict concerned only
with hurting the Oval by kicking it, then endeavoring to rescue and
protect the Egg.
However, the procedure is highly stylized. On each side there are
eleven young men wearing colorful and protective costumes. The group
in so-called "possession" of the Oval first arrange themselves in an
egg-shaped "huddle," as it is called, for a moment of prayerful
meditation and whispering of secret numbers to each other.
Then they rearrange themselves with relation to the position of the
Egg. In a typical "formation" there are seven priests "on the line,"
seven being a mystical number associated not, as Jung purists might
contend, with the "seven last words" but actually, with sublimation
of the "seven deadly sins" into "the seven cardinal principles of
The central priest crouches over the Egg, protecting it with his
hands, while over his back quarters hovers the "Quarterback." The
transposition of "back quarters" to "quarterback" is easily
explained by the Adler School. To the layman the curious posture
assumed by the "Quarterback," as he hovers over the central priest,
immediately suggests the Cretan origins of Mycenaean animal art,
but this popular view is untenable. Actually, of course, the
"quarter-back" symbolizes the libido, combining two instincts,
namely, a) Eros, which strives for even closer union, and b) the
instinct for destruction of anything which lies in the path of Eros.
Moreover, the "pleasure-pain" excitement of the hysterical
worshipers focuses entirely on the actions of the libido-quarter-back.
Behind him are three priests representing the male triad.
At a given signal, the Egg is passed by sleight-of-hand to one of
the members of the triad who endeavors to move it by bodily force
across the white lines of Winter. This procedure up and down the
enclosure, continues through the four quarters of the ritual.
At the end of the second quarter, implying the Summer Slostice, the
processions of musicians and semi-nude virgins are resumed. After
forming themselves into pictograms representing alphabetical and
animal fetishes, the virgins perform a most curious rite requiring
far more dexterity than the earlier phallic Maypole rituals from
which it seems to be derived. Each of the virgins carries a wand
of shining metal which she spins on her fingertips, tosses playfully
into the air, and with which she interweaves her body in most
The virgins perform another important function throughout the entire
service. This concerns the mystical rite of "conversion" following
success of one of the young priests in carrying the Oval across the
last white line of Winter. As the moment of "conversion" approaches,
the virgins kneel at the edge of the rectangle, bury their faces in
the earth, then raise their arms to heaven in supplication, praying
that "the uprights will be split." "Conversion" is indeed a