Everybody loves to talk about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady — even hipster rock bands from Texas.
Parquet Courts recently released their new album, “Wide Awake!,” and the record kicks off with a song titled, “Total Football.” There’s a lot going on in the song (which actually is really good), but the part that likely will stick out for many comes at the end, when lead singer A. Savage belts, “And f–k Tom Brady!”
Video of the studio version of the song currently isn’t available, but you can watch a live performance of it below:
(Note: The part about Brady, which obviously is a bit NSFW, comes around the 3:40 mark.)
This song really has nothing to do with Brady. In essence, the track is about a collective group fighting for its rights and/or working toward a common goal without sacrificing personal freedoms — a point driven home by the line, “Collectivism and autonomy are not mutually exclusive.”
So, why all the stuff about football?
Well, it’s probably safe to assume the band was inspired by the ongoing NFL anthem protest saga, of which Colin Kaepernick is the face of (See the lyric: “Have your hurt Caucasian feelings left you so distraught?”).
Furthermore, the phrase “total football” refers to a tactical soccer theory — made famous by the 1974 Dutch national team — in which an outfield player can assume the role of any other player in a team. From Savage’s perspective, the theory can be a metaphor for people from all professions and walks of life coming together to achieve something greater than themselves, without abandoning who they were in the first place.
The specific use of the word “football,” as well other wording and imagery loosely associated with either the United States or the rest of the world’s versions of “football,” really is inconsequential — fun, creative wordplay used to add color to the song’s skeleton. The blasting of Brady, too, really doesn’t mean anything, although one could make the case the band sees the private, often unwaveringly impersonal Brady as emblematic of American football’s approach to freedom of speech.
Or maybe Brady, in all his seemingly impossible-to-relate-to perfection, is just the kind of guy punk rock bands love to hate. Who knows.
Interestingly enough, the song officially released just a few days before Wednesday, when the NFL announced sweeping changes to its policy regarding anthem protests. Essentially, players no longer can peacefully protest on the field during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” or else their team will be fined.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s reaction to the news was, well, exactly the kind of thing that justifies the existence of songs like “Total Football.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images