4GW Football Synopsis

As I have mentioned before, Fourth Generation warfare is key to my recent thinking about gridiron football and the war metaphor, since I feel that the latter has evolved in the same stages as the authors set forth for modern war. However, this begs the question of how football will reflect fourth-generation (ie. "asymmetrical") warfare, since by definition it is a symmetrical game.

What I think is key to note here is that the rate of change for football has been much faster than the rate of change for military strategy (this is anecdotal, based on the author's theory of modern military strategy and my personal observations of football). Put a different way: Lind's first three generations of war take a couple of hundred years to become manifest; football, on the other hand, is only about a century and a half old, and most of the change in the game has come in the 100 years since the introduction of the forward pass — it has modeled first, second and third generation warfares in that time.

These different rates of change are now converging at a point where medium and model, or football and war, converge: the NFL, with the pulsing electromagnetic radiation of worldwide television distribution, is now part of the military effort, an invaluable weapon in the new cultural wars, of which infowar is an increasingly important component.

Postscript, as CBS sends it to the Heinz Field public address announcer: "Ladies and gentlemen, please rise to honor America and to honor freedom."


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