Sunday, November 21, 2010

Football as Life

I like football; I don't love it, but I enjoy watching it. It is colorful, operatic, even balletic.Whatit also is is the most self-satisfied sport one can stumble across. Never mind the volcanically over-heated commentary that accompanies the most trivial event in the game, it's the philosophy that  playing football is, if not the best, the only way to learn about Life.

That's the type of comment that makes you want to underscore deeper insight into what happens to all these brains after getting whacked so many times.  Yes, football - like almost every team game - teaches you that working together is very helpful. And that hard work usually leads to success (but not always; guys on teams with 1-11 records work hard too, and where did all that whomping get them?)

What it also trains you is to follow direction and leadership explicitly, usually without question. And, of course, that violence is the road to salvation. The former is almost anti-American (then again, these days what exactly IS American is not quite clear), while the latter is so American that it almost defines us as a people.

In some parts of our country, the weekly game is the only thing that lifts a dreary life to a higher level.  That's A Good Thing. But what it is not is a life-deepening philosophy.



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