It’s football season again, and for me, that means coming back to one golden tradition: watching Blue Mountain State. This was a show that used to air on Spike, and it’s inadvertently very red pill. It follows a college football team, but the show is more about the team than about actual football. The college and lifestyle are very exaggerated and hedonistic, but there’s a fundamental philosophy lying underneath. Despite its relative obscurity, it’s become something of a cult classic. The first two or three episodes are a little rough, but after that the show settles into its identity.
Spoiler alert: spoilers below
Note: I only have seasons one and two on DVD, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen season three on Netflix. So for this article, I will only be discussing the first two seasons (which were better anyway).
The main character is the second-string freshman quarterback Alex Moran. He comes to college with his best friend Sammy Cacciatore, who becomes the mascot. The other two most constant characters are team captain Thad Castle and coach Marty Daniels.
Thad is your stereotypical dumb jock. He’s unstoppable on the field, he gets all the pussy and drugs he can find, and he’s functionally illiterate. However, unlike most of our culture’s depictions of jocks, he’s has a strong sense of virtue (“virtue” is from the Latin for “man” and is related to our word “virility”). He’s loyal to the team and is willing to sacrifice his personal safety either to build morale or to help a fellow teammate, even if he doesn’t like that teammate. But neither is he completely selfless. Thad still wants what’s best for him, but he realizes that often involves making others’ bests happen. This is best shown in the episode “Ransom.”
The team is very hierarchical. Most of the players know their place in the team, and they are okay with that because they realize respect is given in measures as to how it’s earned. Players who deviate from the hierarchy are ostracized, but most of them eventually learn to abide by the rules. Once they find their place in the pyramid, they realize it’s anything but oppressive and so find comfort in it, or at least they understand the importance and rationale. If a player remains self-seeking, it causes harm to both him and the entire team. The patriarchy in the show is self-sustaining. Again, watch “Ransom” for the perfect example of patriarchy gone right.
Indeed, the nerds in the show are on the lowest ring of society, and although the team is generally nice to them, they are still considered not quite male. The nerds, for their part, are extremely submissive and egalitarian, just like women. Although I was more of the nerd and certainly not the jock in high school, I find it extremely refreshing to find someone in society finally shaming grown men who play dress-up and watch children’s movies.
But one is not given a large amount of respect merely for being a man. Sammy is friends with the players and vaguely connected to the team through being the mascot, so they allow him to attend their parties. However, in no way is a male cheerleader given the same honor as the boys duking it out on the field of war. His lack of respect is usually manifested in everyone forgetting his name and just calling him “Mascot.” In fact, Sammy is so low in society that he gets laid most when he’s wearing the mascot costume (see episode “Piss Test”). But again, Sammy usually doesn’t mind because he realizes that he is there as a guest. He finds his way to weasel around and get what he wants despite his low position, while still showing proper respect.
Love and War
The games really are seen as war. George Orwell said, “Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting.” This is definitely manifest in the show. Several episodes revolve around teams trying to sabotage or demoralize each other before the game even starts. This wouldn’t make any sense by the adage, “It’s just a game!”, but in Blue Mountain State, sports are about pride and dominance. The players go to war for much the same reasons as people always have. And if they win the game, there is a bounty of women to be had.
The women in the show are shown in a variety of archetypes. Strong and independent women are always scheming and selfish. They rarely change their ways, and their actions cause massive destruction either to themselves or to those they care about. One episode, “LAX,” has a woman teaching a group of aristocrats the red pill for women truth about how a man will be less accommodating once a woman gives him sex.
Previously the women would give sex to their lacrosse boyfriends to get what they wanted, but the players would cheat on them anyway. But as soon as they cut off the pussy faucet, the men imploded. Then the prisoner’s dilemma is manifest when a single third-party woman decides to sleep with the whole lacrosse team, completely undercutting the women’s strategy. You see them all giving the middle finger together.
One character, Craig Shilo, is an all-star freshman running back. He could easily get any girl he wants, but he’s so blindly infatuated with his manipulative girlfriend that he’s constantly worried and stressed. One time, after being assaulted by the lacrosse team, he tells her in front of the whole team, “I’m so glad I have you looking out for me.” Immediately the team captain starts shaming him, as is proper. As you have already guessed, Craig later finds out that his virgin girlfriend has been having sex with several people in socially deviant ways.
What about love? Is it all a choice between cheap sex and ball-cutting girlfriends? No, there is a beautiful love story in season two. Sammy’s younger sister Mary Jo comes to college to be a cheerleader. She’s in love with Alex, and he in some part is in love with her, yet he’s always been a coward. Not only does he choke on the field, but he can’t even bring himself to admit he wants to be with her. Eventually he does admit this to himself, but even then he doesn’t want to pursue her, making all sorts of weak excuses. Gradually he works up the nerve, and at the end of the season, he publicly rejects a threesome with the other cheerleaders to make love with his childhood friend.
In the first episode, Coach Marty Daniels asks the team, “Where do we come from?” “From our father’s balls!” He then explains that we didn’t just dropped out of the womb like a jellyfish. I’m not sure if that’s a red pill issue, but I found it anti-feminist and absolutely hilarious.
One character spends an episode screwing up on the field because he doesn’t feel loved enough. The coach and his therapist finally call him a pussy, which gives him enough anger to overcome his psychosomatically-injured arm.
Only a virgin is able to end a war on campus because of her high sexual value. Slutty girls, on the other hand, are a dime a dozen. They are interchangeable and generally unintelligent. The term “attention whore” is quite literal in this show. A player makes a remark that most girls are like Yoko, but the truly dangerous girl is the rare Linda. She’ll make you so happy that you’ll lose all your edge and become weak.
As I alluded to above, some of the morals in this show are a bit suspect. However, that’s part of the charm, and it’s so exaggerated that I doubt the writers were endorsing all of them. Get a group of your red pill buddies together and give this show a chance. My favorite episodes are “LAX,” “Debra,” “There’s Only One Second Best,” and “Ransom,” but it’s best to watch them in order.