1st Edition

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk Flags, Football, and the NFL’s “Foxy” Patriotism Problem

By Lisa Ferguson Copyright 2024

    This book examines how the game of football and militarism have historically overlapped due to their shared celebration of strength, might, and besting a clear and definitive foe. Nevertheless, since September 11, a variety of staged patriotic vignettes dominated most NFL broadcasts, giving the once easy and unforced union a stilted feel. That the War on Terror became a fixture of modern- day Super Bowls was easy to portend; what was more difficult to predict was the imprint it would leave on U.S. citizens and American politics. Ben Fountain’s award-winning novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, reveals what passes for patriotism in a country that has reduced the sober and stark reality of combat to pageantry and production for the crowd back home, leaving our troops to unwittingly play the part of entertainers, destined to be sexualized just like the cheerleaders and dancers so frequently performing alongside them.



    1.  Hut Hut, Ten Hut:  A Bromance Blossoms
    2. They “Misunderestimated” Him:  George W. Bush, the Mastermind 
    3. “Honey, We Got a Big (Sexy and Patriotic) Storm Comin’”
    4. Does This Trauma Make Me Look Sexy?  When PTSD Fits as Snug as Skintight Fatigues
    5. Debbie Does Dallas Cheerleaders Serious Damage
    6. Guns, Pom-Poms—It’s All the Same as Long as You Slay
    7. “Get in, Loser, We’re Going to the Danger Zone”

            Conclusion:  “Help us, Tom Cruise!”:  The NFL Drafts Maverick




    Lisa Ferguson received her Ph.D. at the University of Alabama and taught for several years at Polk State College and the University of Kentucky before moving with her husband and children to Tennessee. She writes about the treatment of gender in war fiction, and her articles have appeared in the Journal of Research in Gender Studies, the Journal of War and Culture Studies, and War, Literature, & the Arts.  She’s also a former cheerleader, who married a former soldier.