A new national pastime

Our nation’s greatest sport is American Eagle, and you’ve never heard of it because of a conspiracy perpetrated by rich white men.

Shocked? I’ll give some background.

Like many American boys and girls, I went to a summer camp that I think is unique from and better than all other camps. Boys at my camp play American Eagle, a sport that beautifully mixes athleticism, strategy and violence. Indian dancing ceremonies at my camp are held in a council ring, which has the secondary purpose of being an American Eagle stadium.

The ring is made of thick logs and rises 20 feet in the air, with five layers of bleachers. The only entrances to the ring are two openings at either end and the spaces between the bleachers. The goal of the game is to enter the council ring without being tackled by the Eagle. One boy is chosen as the Eagle and he has to tackle boys before they enter the ring. If they are tackled, they become Eagles as well, with the same purpose as the original Eagle.

Surrounding the ring is a forest, where the boys hide and formulate elaborate plans to get into the ring. These range from collectively rushing the Eagle to climbing up the ring and getting a concussion by leaping inside. This goes on until everyone has been tackled. The last boy taken down is the Eagle for the next game.

If it seems like American Eagle is like any other violent, irrational boys’ camp game, you’re missing the point. If it were a run-of-the-mill game, it wouldn’t have such a presumptuous name.

In fact, Eagle is a microcosm for all things good about America (bear with me). It celebrates the underdog, in the form of the Eagle, and it rewards perseverance and hustle.

Finally, Eagle is a celebration of youth. The obvious connection is that it is played in one’s youth. Beyond that, Eagle celebrates the ingenuity of the young. Give kids a forest and a council ring, and they’ll make a game. Just as a tennis ball and a garage provide hours of fun and millions of games, so too does Eagle show the genius of America’s youth.

“But Pete,” you say, “if Eagle is so great, why is it played only at your camp?” It is not played all around America for the same reason that Jesse Ventura is a governor and Carrot Top is a celebrity: conspiracy.

Five men run the sporting world: the commissioners of the four major sports, and Vince McMahon (this is reminiscent of “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” except these men don’t hate Jews, just soccer). These five men get together to squelch the uprisings in American sports that might loosen their foothold in the sports community. (They just let Vince in for laughs. Bud Selig struggled to keep a straight face while saying, “XFL? That’s a great idea.”)

Undoubtedly these five men know about American Eagle, and fear it. It has more unbridled violence than hockey, pro wrestling and football together, and it is more purely American than baseball. If Eagle existed nationwide, other sports would fade away.

This is why I write this article: to expose the world to a conspiracy worse than ones involving French figure skating judges or JFK, and to give Eagle its due. People might initially miss the sports they have loved, but they would get over those growing pains.

The possibilities…

Imagine the potential for a world dominated by the Eagle. Company picnics would no longer have softball or horseshoes; instead you could apply a linebacker-style hit on your boss and show off for that hot co-worker. Or the greatest idea in sports yet: Rock and Jock American Eagle. It would pit stars like Spud Webb, Bryan Adams and the fat *NSYNC-er against one another in a match commentated by Bob Uecker and Bill Murray. The surprise of the year comes when Calista Flockhart tackles Puffy for the winning tackle and they’re later seen at the Emmys.

If Eagle entered the mainstream, some things would have to change. Notably, participants could wear pads and helmets (wusses), and the nations’ stadiums would have to undergo major renovations. Wrigley Field would become a forest of quaint saplings and a charming council ring; the Eagle would never tackle anyone, but spectators would be drunk and happy. Huge sequoias in the forest would block everyone’s view of the Eagle tackling everyone but one guy on the other team. Veterans’ stadium would remain a concrete blemish filled with terrible fans who boo Santa Claus. Some things never change; but the sporting world could, with a little effort. Long live Eagle.

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