Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Treat Our Troops Better Than Sports Stars

He is not wearing a helmet.

It was recently brought to my attention that soldiers make less than football players. By “recently,” I mean “every day,” and by “my attention,” I mean something closer to “preaching to the choir.” I believe if you substitute those in you’ll get a sentence almost as ugly as the war in Afghanistan.

What really came to my attention for the first time was how much the Military Industrial Complex would like turning wars so profitable that purple-heart winners were essentially pro-athletes. It is an enormous industry that creates riots almost as dangerous as sports. One imagines the leaders of the Military Industrial Complex would love to institute a draft, especially if they got the first-round picks.

That’s how we wind up paying our boys in uniform better, my fellow pacifists. College recruiters, high school recruiters, even talent scouts sniffing around middle school paintball games. NBA 2K13 and Madden? Pfft. Call of Duty already outsells both of them, so wait until we have rosters of real soldiers with stats updated every week. You’ll have to negotiate with the families of KIAs as to whether you can keep their likenesses online, but it can probably be written into their SBP.

It begins with better television access. If there’s Monday Night Football, then surely we can have the Wednesday Night Warzone. Three hours to storm an Al Qaeda training camp, filmed from the safety of satellite and helmet cameras. You can’t let the terrorists win – because if they do, they get a monetary bonus. Nobody likes a suicide bomber with gold teeth.

And teams! You’ve got the Army, Navy, Marines – they were the sixth team of SEALs, after all. If ratings drop, pit them against Blackwater, or any of our allies in the War Against Terror. Intra-conference wars should be expected in a regulation season. A station – much more commercial than the Armed Forces Network – devoted to arm-chair quarterbacking the peacekeeping mission in Sudan or Darfur or wherever Congress says we can send soldiers once it means creating jobs in the entertainment industry. We’ll get more weeks than the NFL, and unlike the current wars, newscasts won’t feel the need to gloss over losses or skirmishes abroad. It’ll be part of the Sports Round-Up.

We’re talking merchandising on every piece of equipment our soldiers need, and endorsement deals out the ass. Parents will never have to fear their enlisted kids are underarmed again, because companies will be killing each other to supply the teams. Every marine will get a signing bonus just for putting on a Halliburton micro-weave vest. They’ll be annoyed by the amount of gear they have to touch, don and sign – most of which they won’t use, but instead hand over for charity auctions. You know, to drum up cash for good causes.


  1. The economics doesn't work the same for soldiers because their employer (the Government) isn't aiming to profit from the business of war (making). If they were, they would be seeking to reduce the headcount requirement to absolute minimum and subsequently demanding highly trained candidates who can fly over enemy territory with their bare arms and punch the daylights out of any dictators their employers deemed no longer fit to exist.

  2. I am in agreement with Shopgirl, except that I believe sometimes wars are fought on an economic basis. Oil anyone?
    I also hiss and spit at the amount of money our sporting heroes (not my choice of word there) are given, while any number of worthy causes go begging. Worthy causes like health and education. I seem to have started to climb up on a soap box. Sorry.


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