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OP-ED: The RPO Menace is the most serious threat to football (and America) today

Communists may be all over the place these days, but they won’t be found anywhere near Northwestern’s football staff.

NCAA Football: Duke at Northwestern Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The most satisfying part of life is waking up and learning out the coach of your favorite football team said something incredibly insightful and well-reasoned to members of the media. The press conference, within which aphorisms come tailor-made for the blogosphere to consume, is the ideal public forum to discuss very important issues facing the United States of America. Just take North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, who set the tone for this year’s press conferences at ACC Media Days:

“I fear that the game will be pushed so far from what we know that we won’t recognize it 10 years from now. And if it does, our country will go down, too.”

These wise words from Fedora were directed at CTE and concussions, but yesterday Pat Fitzgerald has bravely taken on the other, more immediate threat to football and national security.

“When you look at the tape at the linemen are three, four yards down the field. It’s communism, it’s the purest form of communism. To have a lineman 2.3 yards down the field, that’s legal, but when he goes 3 yards, then it’s illegal,” Fitzgerald said. He couldn’t be more right. The rise of the run/pass option (RPO) and its obvious Marxist undertones has infiltrated every level of American football, the most important expression and cultural outgrowth of American society yet known. The typical joys of existence that more radical people enjoy—family, friends, and ice cream, for example—pale in comparison to appreciation of football and football-related rhetoric. Those radical pleasures are fundamentally based in the idea of teamwork and togetherness, concepts which are basically Communism by another name, just like the RPO.

For the uninitiated rubes who might be confused by Fitzgerald’s statements, let’s tackle the obvious. Frankly, there’s nothing more Communist than giving a platform for ineligible receivers to get ahead in life. That’s just not okay. Any congregation of people in an illegal setting, whether it be a few offensive linemen or a cell of guerrillas in the mountains of Cuba, is a sign of Communist infiltration into a society. The historical parallels are endless. Take the example of Red China, a travesty that would’ve been avoided had Chiang Kai-Shek and the Kuomintang not been distracted from crushing illegal downfield congregations of Maoist rebels by a Japanese invasion. From the very beginning of the 20th century, free market countries have had to be on the lookout for groups of volatile people looking to advance the cause of socialism. Pat Fitzgerald is right to be afraid of these devious linemen who illegally join forces downfield to allow the insidious spectre of a competent offense to arrive in Ryan Field. Duke’s use of the RPO on Saturday, as Fitzgerald so eloquently put it, was the purest form of Communism. Even if Northwestern must lose every game from now on, we should never give the RPO enough respect to even attempt to defend it properly.

It’s unsurprising that Duke’s David Cutcliffe, who went to Alabama, a school literally nicknamed the Crimson Tide (can you get any more Communist than that?) was enticed by the Leninists. But Fitzgerald’s statements cast light on a bigger problem now that the RPO has taken over all levels of football. The NFL (a Marxist profit-sharing organization, mind you) cannot stop talking about the RPO on every single broadcast. After Leninist demagogue Doug Pederson cheated his way to a Super Bowl with the Eagles last year, it became clear that Communist ideology has risen to the very top of society. Of course, according to the rules, Fitzgerald is right. That’s because capitalism and free-market principles depend upon rules and regulations moderating society. By breaking those rules in any fashion, you are not just doing something fundamentally un-American, but also embracing the Reds.

Skeptics will argue that by giving the quarterback the “choice” to select a run or a pass given the situation is actually more capitalistic than the preplanned economic instructions that are given by most play-callers, but this is missing the point. The quarterback is not in an illegal position. The offensive linemen are in an illegal position. Also, the offensive linemen are the biggest players on the field, which means the Communists are turning our most powerful weapons against us. You must watch out for this distracting talk about choice and “the social safety net” and focus on the real problem, which is that Northwestern’s secondary had no idea what they were doing in the second quarter. If that isn’t the purest form of Socialism this side of “Social Security” (It has social in the name!), I don’t know what is.

In short, be wary of run/pass options. Cease your support of ineligible receivers. Stop the RPO Menace. Back Pat Fitzgerald, a true American (and stop complaining about Northwestern’s offense).