Football is in the news right now for all the wrong reasons. Ex-player deaths, bounties, and injuries. In the past 24 hours I’ve read articles defending the game and others decrying it. I find this interesting because of my own interaction with football.
Up until 2010 I considered myself a big football fan (it was a distant second to baseball, of course). I am an Eagles fan. During the early part of the 2010 season Eagles’ players suffered numerous concussions. The tipping point for me was seeing Stewart Bradley convince the medical staff he was okay, then crumple to the ground as he tried to walk back onto the field. It made me feel sick. It also made me look concussions in the NFL. One of the things that stuck with me was the 2006 suicide of 44-year-old Andre Waters, a player I grew up watching and admiring.
When I watched Gladiator the first time I was struck by the crowd. The people derived pleasure at the fear, suffering, and death of other people. I wondered to myself: How can a person be that cold?
The NFL isn’t the same as the gladiator games. The players are getting paid to play. They know the risks. But it still feels morbid to me. When I watch football I see people damaging their brains. The pleasure is gone.
This isn’t supposed to come off as self-righteous and judgmental of those of you who love football. Every job and form of recreation bears some risk. Over time our bodies break down, whether we abuse them or coddle them.
Seeing the NFL in the news brought my waning interest in the sport to mind, so I thought I’d write a post about it.
I love baseball.