|Preserving the Egg of LifeObviously, Football is a syndrome of religious rites symbolizing thestruggle to preserve the Egg of Life through the rigors of impendingwinter. The rites begin at the Autumn Equinox and culminate on thefirst day of the New Year, with great festivals identified with bowlsof plenty. The festivals are associated with flowers such as roses;fruits such as oranges; farm crops such as cotton; and even sun-worshipand 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 conventionof "The Oval" is repeated in the architectural oval-shaped design ofthe vast outdoor churches in which the services are held every sabbathin every town and city. Also every Sunday in the greater centers ofpopulation where an advanced priesthood performs. These enormouschurches dominate every college campus; no other edifice compares insize with them, and they bear witness to the high spiritual developmentof the culture that produced them.Literally millions of worshipers attend the sabbath services in theseopen-air churches. Subconsciously, these hordes are seeking an outletfrom sexual frustration in anticipation of violent masochism and sadismabout to be enacted by a highly trained priesthood of young men. Footballobviously arises out of the Oedipus complex. Love of mother dominatesthe entire ritual. (Notre Dame and Football are synonymous).The rites are preformed on a green rectangular area orientated to thefour directions. The green area, symbolizing Summer, is striped withominous white lines representing the knifing snows of Winter. Thewhite stripes are repeated in the ceremonial costumes of the fourwhistling monitors who control the services through a time perioddivided into four quarters, symbolizing the four Seasons.The ceremony begins with colorful processions of musicians and semi-nudevirgins who move in and out of ritualized patterns. This excites thethousands of worshipers to rise from their seats, shout frenzied poetryin unison and chant ecstatic anthems through which runs the Oedipustheme 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 onlywith hurting the Oval by kicking it, then endeavoring to rescue andprotect the Egg.However, the procedure is highly stylized. On each side there areeleven young men wearing colorful and protective costumes. The groupin so-called "possession" of the Oval first arrange themselves in anegg-shaped "huddle," as it is called, for a moment of prayerfulmeditation and whispering of secret numbers to each other.Then they rearrange themselves with relation to the position of theEgg. In a typical "formation" there are seven priests "on the line,"seven being a mystical number associated not, as Jung purists mightcontend, with the "seven last words" but actually, with sublimationof the "seven deadly sins" into "the seven cardinal principles ofeducation."The central priest crouches over the Egg, protecting it with hishands, while over his back quarters hovers the "Quarterback." Thetransposition of "back quarters" to "quarterback" is easilyexplained by the Adler School. To the layman the curious postureassumed 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) theinstinct for destruction of anything which lies in the path of Eros.Moreover, the "pleasure-pain" excitement of the hystericalworshipers 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 ofthe members of the triad who endeavors to move it by bodily forceacross the white lines of Winter. This procedure up and down theenclosure, continues through the four quarters of the ritual.At the end of the second quarter, implying the Summer Slostice, theprocessions of musicians and semi-nude virgins are resumed. Afterforming themselves into pictograms representing alphabetical andanimal fetishes, the virgins perform a most curious rite requiringfar more dexterity than the earlier phallic Maypole rituals fromwhich it seems to be derived. Each of the virgins carries a wandof shining metal which she spins on her fingertips, tosses playfullyinto the air, and with which she interweaves her body in mostintricate gyrations.The virgins perform another important function throughout the entireservice. This concerns the mystical rite of "conversion" followingsuccess of one of the young priests in carrying the Oval across thelast white line of Winter. As the moment of "conversion" approaches,the virgins kneel at the edge of the rectangle, bury their faces inthe earth, then raise their arms to heaven in supplication, prayingthat "the uprights will be split." "Conversion" is indeed adedicated ceremony.