Adult flag football is a great activity for those still fond of high-school based on varsity athleticism and popularity, still angry about high-school based on lack of athletic ability and subsequent invisibility, and those shunned in high-school or otherwise deemed nerds and dorks based mostly on scholarship.
It should be noted the shunned nerds and dorks derive obscene pleasure in rolling up to flag football practice (or any available high-school reunion) in 2021 Aston Martin DBS Superleggeras, 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebodys, or even 2021 Hyundai Velosters; all secondary to fabulous wealth based on actualized options from the purchase or success of their tech startup that now somehow Disney owns.
Flag football is also a great activity for single people, and people who are technically not single, but not married, so philandering has less socio-emotional, mental health and financial consequences. The latter of which is based on – at least locally – the reality that Washington is a community property state, a fact highly-unadvertised by priests and ministers of specific ordainment, or other marriage officiants of vague ordainment through some online course. All of whom, statistics show, are asked less than 2% of the time to verify their legal or not-so-legal capacity to perform matrimonial ceremonies by evidencing proper credentialing, so really they could be phony frauds who just found out about the nuptials online, obtained a believable costume, and are now there for the free food and maybe to bamboozle (ironically) any divorcees in attendance out of the sweet side out of their asset split. Either way, every officiant kind of brushes the details of this Washington State law (which is what we’re talking about as a reminder) under the rug given it means all property, debt and income of both spouses is presumed to belong in equal shares by said spouses so if things go south, the money gets cut in half, thus the term “asset split.” The advertisement of which would devastate the matrimony business.
Flag football is also a great sport for swingers looking for other swinging couples to have swinger sex with. Which likely leads to divorces and asset splits at some point because it has to be simply emotionally unsustainable.
Indeed, flag football is a great way to build community (sexy or non-sexy, depends on the league), get some great exercise, possibly injure an ankle depending on age, realize how hard it is to run a fly route, turn, locate, and actually catch the ball as compared to 20-30 years ago, host a “fun” corporate event, or offer as an “employee perk” like cool young companies do for recruitment purposes or otherwise encourage their people to work 65+ hours a week. (A recent perk we discovered during dutiful fact-checking of this article is a local start-up’s dedication to “Oyster Fridays,” which just sounds like a terrible idea given packing an office with folks who’ve just over-eaten raw shellfish coupled with extensive wine and prosecco pairings – the details and specs of which nobody cares about as they just want to get drunk – when the HVAC doesn’t work that well and it’s an unseasonably warm fall day so the conference room is really quite stuffy likely leads to – at a minimum – disturbing gurgling noises and really weird smells. Or – at a maximum – hallucinations.)
The best time of year for flag football is Fall, largely due to the start of the NFL and NCAA Division I (no Division II here please and thank you) college football seasons and the human male’s proclivity to want to be an athletic superstar powerhouse wealthy tyrant. People who orient to anything but the male gender identity have this same propensity, minus the tyranny. Plus it makes sense on a communing with nature-level; there’s the crisp autumn air, foggy mornings, increasingly dark, windblown evenings, the crinkle of leaves underfoot – many with gross banana slugs underneath upon further inspection – apple cider with cloves and cinnamon simmering in 40 quart outdoor cookers/stockpots at every corner, squirrels running around in bouts of paranoid schizophrenia harvesting and burying tree nut varietals in various caches – not to mention the camaraderie of the flag football team/league, the bonding, the butt slapping, the sitting there waiting, hoping someone buttslaps back, then the getting kicked off the team halfway through the first practice because butt slapping is incredibly inappropriate, which is confusing because professional athletes do it all the time but whatever.
It should be noted that playing modern-day flag football isn’t the fun, frolicking, carefree childhood game you knew in the Fall of 1984. First, sometimes the quarterback will be some good-looking dude all the girls on the team can’t stop staring at. Second, this good-looking dude actually “started” as a Division II college quarterback, and once he overhears all the redundant, disparaging quips ignoring the fact that the Division II classification is a function of the NCAA pairing similar-sized programs in competition for practical reason rather than an indicator of a player’s inherent talent, he’ll quickly suggest the disparager lines up as a split end – which upon a quick and furtive Google search means lining up on the weak side of the formation, whatever that is, – and insist a deep crossing route is in order. Finally, after his victim flashes amazing 22.4 speed during the panicked, confused route running amidst gasping breaths, Mr. Division II throws the ball 35 yards with such velocity and rotational kinetic energy that it almost peels the skin off the poor, misunderstood receiver’s hands then rips the upper torso off the body to the point one wonders if this is possible, and if it is, would the torso have bounced through the end-zone and into the nice lady that lives next to the park’s front yard. Because that guy’s arm is so strong.
Adult flag football is the real deal. Most leagues feature “gentlemen’s,” “co-ed,” or “ex-con” formats, the latter of which is certainly not for the faint of heart. Seasons last 6-weeks, games consist of two 20-minute halves, professional refs of varying gender identifications and attractiveness are provided, as are flag belts, which is secretly a form of bias against those who own their own flag football belt sets.
Games are never rained out so there’s no excuse (very prominently worded across all U.S. leagues, as well as those in Greenland, which makes sense, people can’t live in Greenland and use weather as an excuse to skip a commitment to play outside or go visit their in-laws), and in an effort to support diversity and inclusion while compensating for the bias against flag football set-owners, every third play must involve a female player, female players don’t receive extra points for touchdowns, and one foot must be in-bounds for a reception to count regardless of gender (knowing that women are much more flexible both physically and emotionally than men).
Another commonality between flag football leagues on a global level is their association with booze, er, “sponsor bars” to the degree that this is listed as the primary or (at a minimum) secondary “member benefit” to joining a league, including “awesome deals for pre- and post-game parties at sponsor bars.” Which, upon further investigation, is exactly how the NFL is run, with the bonus of unlimited access to industrial grade painkillers and anti-inflammatories as distributed by multi-national pharmaceutical companies.
Other member benefits include Halloween parties, Superbowl parties, local sports franchise viewing parties, “indy” singles/mingle events which also have viewing parties which is both confusing and creepy, prizes, and of course the potential to win a flag football championship.
Of course the sport has many health benefits: Studies show athletes involved in teams sports tend to have better work ethics, organizational skills, and problem-solving abilities. Even more studies show that “attitude follows action,” meaning physical activities like catching a prolate spheroid shape (polar axis that is greater that its equatorial diameter, this is Lesson One in all football practices) and running for one’s life, or running pass routes but not trying too hard to get open because one is terrified of the quarterback, has positive effects on mood and self-esteem.
If that’s not enough to convince you to join the team we literally just founded this moment – sign up now for the introductory price of $1683.33 – consider the universal human desire to emulate the admirable. Flag football is the sports equivalent of karaoke – providing the chance to mimick those whose work we admire, in public, regardless of skill, talent, experience, advice from peers, or the fact we should be finishing up that project for work that’s deliverable tomorrow but, “ah, the hell with it.” Supposedly there’s also a feeling of identity and community with people alike – not to mention competitive euphoria – but we think all this might be largely due to the pre-game party. And pre-practice party. And pre-team meeting party, team Zoom call party, and team cleat shopping party…
Besides, what else is there to do? Re-watch Ted Lasso? Practice is tonight. Just leave that flag belt at home.