How did this sport even get invented?|
You would never be able to come up with an insane Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome game like Buzkashi if there were women around. You've probably noticed that women have a strange dislike for stupid dangerous stunts, especially when it involves an dead animal. Your girlfriend would never let you ever touch her again if she knew you spent the afternoon fighting over a decaying corpse from the back of a horse. But in Afghanistan, the uneducated ninja-pajama slaves they call women aren't even allowed to LOOK at buzkashi. It's a national law. That means there is no female sensitivity holding the world of Afghani sports back, and as you know from your childhood, when guys are alone they create impossibly cool games. For example, my brother and I spent elementary school coming up with ways to combine baseball with full contact kickboxing. When there were no girls around, we invented sports like Everyone Jump Off the Roof and Light Mike on Fire. Once girls entered our lives, it was all over. Because after the age of 12, the only time you ever completely get away from women is the one afternoon where your health teacher takes you away to a seperate screening room and shows you the horrible things that can grow on your penis. And that's no time to be inventing sports.
Sports leak into non-sports culture all the time over here. Athletes show up in our movies, TV shows, and last week they even showed up in my damn food when a can of soup and I TACKLED MY HUNGER WITH REGGIE WHITE!!! Advertisers are always cleverly showing us how soup or auto parts draw direct parallels to the heroic world of athletics, and it's always been my childhood dream to play professional sports and then retire to help everyone find the best deal on kitchen appliances. To give you an idea what that's going to be like, when I'm stealing second, I can't be distracted by worrying about my muffler salesman stealing from me! Does this kind of thing translate into Afghani culture? I can't imagine a battle-scarred old man holding up soap and a goat body saying, "Greetings to both the Afghanistan television owners, Abdar and Murib. When I lean from my horse to grab dead animals, I am very happy I use Palmolive silky-conditioning dish soap. The festering pile of goat meat? She likes it too! Now fools, let Palmolive change the way you feel about handling corpses... or die!"
Above: A classic American ad for the OJ Simpson approved Dingo cowboy boots.
Below: A recent Afghani ad for the country's most popular Buzkashi products.
I think the worst job you could have in Afghanistan, besides goat or woman of course, would be Buzkashi radio announcer. How would you begin to announce a sport where everyone is dressed the same ramming into each other in the middle of a swarming blanket of dust? The best you could do is count the number of hands and ears that fly out of the crowd. And that's just the beginning of the problems you would run into. In sports, whenever an athlete loses his life, broadcasters take a reflective moment of silence. It's a rare occurance here, but one game of Buzkashi could kill two, maybe three hundred people. You'd have to broadcast an extra day just to finish all your moments of silence. So by the end, the broadcast would have been you confusedly screaming into a falafal-covered microphone for twenty seconds followed by seventeen hours of respectful dead air. Which I'm sure would get you immediately sentenced to the firing squad by the harsh Afghani FCC regulations.
I'm assuming since some of them have lived to adulthood, that children don't play Buzkashi. It wouldn't work as a children's sport. No adorable mascot would last more than a week before it was stolen by its own team and made into an emergency game ball. And the injuries that plague the sport wouldn't do anything to help academics. You wouldn't want to be the Afghani kid that has to explain to his parents that he can't make it to his close quarters knife-fighting class because of a broken face bone. And what's worse, from what I wildly guess about Afghani culture, if you take an incomplete in your third grade long range firearms course, that stays on your permanent record and makes it almost impossible to get into a good puppy exploding graduate program. You'll be just another 35-year-old stuck in Grenade Assault Night School with the rest of the deadbeats.
Where I come from, if you're wearing the same funny hat as 200 other people, you'd god damn better be a nun, in the navy, or defending your turf in an 80's street gang movie.
Buzkashi couldn't survive in America. We have committees of professional wusses that complain that board games about little league baseball is too violent. By the time we started playing Buzkashi, we'd have already added hundreds of safety rules and hired genetic engineers to invent some way to breed padded goats that have handles. We'd dress it up for higher TV ratings, and eventually it would be theme-costumed teams of armored fitness models on roller skates passing a dead squirrel to each other with their mouths. Buzkashi is never going to make it over the minefield-decorated Afghani border, and until you can fit 900 horseback riders and a dead goat into a bomb shelter cave, it's probably not going to be around much longer in Afghanistan either. Which is bad news. Because after the fall of the Buzkashi industry, all the goats looking for new jobs is going to do nothing to reduce the number of emails I keep getting from BARNYARD ANIMAL TEEN SLUTS.