Monkey Rides Dog at Bengals Game

Written by :
Published on : September 27, 2016

 

Last year, halftime of Cincinnati Bengals games were wild. The sideline entertainment is much different than what you are used to. This isn’t your grandpa’s pep rally. No human pyramids or spirit chants. Instead, there is a monkey dressed as a cowboy. Riding a dog like it’s a horse. I’ll let that sink in for a minute. And yes, the monkey has a little hat on. The lead monkey, Whiplash, leads a monkey team, all mounted on dogs, as they heard sheep off the field. They bounce around and look like tiny, hairy wranglers. This is the new trend sweeping the NFL. Giddyup.

 

First, let’s just say that this is plain bonkers. Whose idea was this? Who first approved it? What was that meeting like? I almost don’t know what to think about it. You can see some video HERE. Initially, I felt bad for the animal performers but both the monkeys and the dogs look like they are having a great time. And the Bengals had to vet this act right? They certainly promoted it. This is from their twitter account:

 


Plus they strap a GoPro camera on the saddle. It’s about time that we start thinking outside-the-box for our mid game entertainment. Who knew the answer was something pulled from the Roman Coliseum. You can almost hear the Emperor demand “make that beast ride that other beast!”

 

Once I made that Emperor joke, I realized that there is no way the monkey wants to ride that dog. No way. Then I did a little more research and found some arguments claiming that this a cruel practice. Where does that leave us? I really want to like the Whiplash show. I wrote an entire praise article until I dug a little deeper and found more than a few places bashing this spectacle as animal abuse. That’s a hard bell to unring.

 

The border collie isn’t really designed to shoulder a hold. Plus, the capuchin monkey (like the one Ross had on Friends) is locked into the saddle and is tossed back and forth as the dog runs around. This bouncing motion could really injure the little dude. The city of Cincinnati has some strange obsession with hurting monkeys and gorillas. #Harambe #NeverForget

 

Monkeys-riding-dogs-herding-goats

 

The act is technically legal but I feel bad for anything strapped to another thing all in the name of a cheap laugh. I want to applaud the comic idea that is trying to be achieved but this needs to stop now. Circus type shows often mean terrible lives for the animals. No animal deserves that. Bring back the nearly unpaid cheerleaders, at least they volunteer for the job. Also, one team should step up and pay the cheerleaders real money. And all things being equal, let some dudes on the cheer squad.

 

In the NFL, we see players sacrifice their bodies in the name of football. They are compensated for those risks with competitive salaries. But these animal performers have no choice. Let’s retire all these barbaric gimmicks. And if Whiplash the monkey needs a home, my door is always open.

 

Bananas.

 

 


Cheerleading in Football: Thoughts From A Year’s Worth of Personal Observation.

Written by :
Published on : July 5, 2016

 

A few weeks ago Rod Wood, President and CEO of the Lions, announced that the team would be adding a cheerleading squad for its 2016 season. Bummer. In an interview with Lions journalist Tori Petry he repeated in several instances that the decision was based on fan outreach, what they thought, and what they wanted. My understanding is that current ascendant/badass owner Martha Ford was not in favor of including cheerleaders in the Ford Field experience, but Wood explained that she consented once the overwhelming data suggested that this is what the public desired.

 

I’m very opposed to cheerleaders in the NFL, though I’m the first to admit that my opinions are more based on personal preference and capriciousness than anything else. It comes down to two factors: the concrete reality of commerce and the more immaterial realms of community and equality. I think by now every serious major-league sports fan has heard some awful story in which the women of a cheerleading team have complained of lousy pay at best, and revoltingly sexist working conditions at the worst.

 

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I’m not totally opposed to cheerleading outright. I moved to Los Angeles because my wife got a job at one of those fancy private high schools where movie stars send their kids. An added benefit of her gig was that I got to attend a few of the school’s football games over the last two seasons. In addition to the boys on the field there were the cheerleaders doing their routines in front of us. Having had little experience with high school football or cheerleading in my youth (hockey and lacrosse were the sports of choice in my neck of the woods, and most of the players, including myself, were involved in leagues outside of school), I was delighted. The bulletproof wholesomeness of the whole thing was heart melting, and the girls on the sidelines really did a great job of pumping us all up. As a jaded, cigarette-smoking, wannabe-intellectual teen I would’ve been embarrassed to be caught anywhere near a varsity cheerleader, but as a sentimental adult I now have a hard time finding fault with it at the high school level. If I had a daughter who really wanted to do it, I’d support her.

 

College is another beast altogether. I went to see a USC Trojans game and the cheerleading experience was something completely different from watching the sweet “aw shucks” innocence of gawky teens. A total one-eighty from the family-friendly high school experience, this display was awash in hormones, and drenched in grodie-to-the-max sex. And it makes sense. Of course all the excitement and spectacle of college ball integrally involves a sweaty mob of horned-up coeds egged on by booze and newfound freedom. The provocative nature of the show fit the tone and milieu of the stadium perfectly, and these young women were clearly engaged in the event, and more importantly, they were fully integrated members within a community. Look, there’s no way I’m going to say I thought it was fully empowering to the ladies, or that it was a righteously feminist performance, but it certainly didn’t feel exploitative or misogynist either. Frankly, it was a lot of fun.

 

 

Which brings us to the NFL. With the notable exception of the Dallas Cowboys, who have successfully engineered their cheerleading program to an elevated level of cultural importance, I’ve always seen pro-football cheerleading as inconsequential to the game and experience. If you’re not the ‘Boys the entertainment factor of cheerleaders in the big show is on the same level as the premium concessions, T-shirt cannons, and in-stadium advertising. It’s depressing to see these grown women decked out in cheesy costumes and garish makeup doing routines during commercial breaks for a mostly uninterested audience. This is no knock on the women who do it. I’m sure it’s a fun gig, but the societal inequality of the whole shebang is so starkly visible when you know that in a league awash in big bucks that the cumulative contracts of all the cheerleaders are probably less than that of the designated long-snapper. There’s no money in high school or college cheerleading, but there always will be in professional sports. I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable with such financial disparity based on sex, especially when I “as a fan” supposedly have some say in it.

 

When I took to Facebook to express my displeasure about the Lions adding this element to the franchise (“by the will of the fans!” as Rod Wood declares ad nauseam) I think a pal of mine said it best. To paraphrase: It’s fine and dandy for NFL teams to have cheerleaders (as long as they’re fairly compensated, of course), but ultimately what we should really be doing instead of putting women on the sidelines, is putting more emphasis on women’s sports in general.

 

 


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