Swamp Rabbit was getting on my case for not being a football fan.
I’m a fan of the players,” I said. “It’s the NFL I hate — the overpaid commissioner and the spoiled rotten billionaires who own the teams. I hate the way they suck up to the U.S. military and bow down to Donald Trump when he waves the American flag at them.”
Swamp Rabbit wasn’t listening. “You live in Philly and you don’t even like the Eagles. I saw what you wrote about them.”
“Au contraire, rabbit. I wrote that Eagles fans get carried away when the Eagles win. They act like holy rollers at a revival meeting.”
I added, “But I like the Eagles, especially since Trump disinvited them to the White House because he knew only a handful of them would show up.”
Swamp Rabbit dissed me some more. I shouldn’t get sports mixed up with politics, he said. Sports-watching should be an activity that brings people together instead of dividing them along political lines.
“Tell it to Trump,” I said. “He said players who knelt during the playing of the national anthem were unpatriotic, even after the players explained they were taking a knee to protest police brutality and meant no disrespect to the country. Trump made an issue of it because 70 percent of NFL players are black, and he knew calling them unpatriotic would play well with his racist supporters.”
Swamp Rabbit scowled at me. “Football ain’t politics. It should be a place you go to escape politics.”
“There’s no escaping Trump,” I said. “He seeps into everything.”
I told Swamp Rabbit about the airborne toxic event in Don DeLillo’s novel White Noise. A big black cloud descends on a small town, causing fear and suspicion. People exposed to the cloud develop symptoms — sweaty palms, deja vu, etc. — but it’s unclear whether the symptoms are caused by actual exposure to the cloud, or by exposure to news reports about the cloud.
“Trump is like an airborne toxic event,” I said. “Thanks to the media he’s everywhere, spreading fear and suspicion, even when there’s no reason for people to feel those things. Even when the subject matter is only football.”
“The media should ignore the guy,” Swamp Rabbit said. “Maybe he’d just go away.”
“I don’t think so, rabbit, but dream on.”