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2012-366 Day 256 – Football

“Why do I have the feeling that one day people will look back at football like we look back at gladiator combat? #concussions” – Me, Twitter, 2-10-12

Of course, being American, I’m referring to American Football here. There may be some danger in Soccer, but it’s certainly not the same animal (I was going to make a crack about flopping here, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it). With all of the information coming out about the dangers of football finally jibbing with all that we’ve seen over the years, I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to justify following it. While this may not be a problem for the brand in general at the moment (I’m certain they would not miss just me), there has become a real weight to these objections and a growing body of medical research as well.

Football was my third favorite sport to watch a couple years ago, and then fell to fourth once hockey (and specifically the Kings) found its way back onto my radar. Not having a professional team in Los Angeles (unless you count USC . . . oooooh, burn) and only maintaining a loose fandom with Denver due to my living in Colorado during the summers (which worked quite well for me at the end of the 90’s, but, until Tebow last year and Peyton this year, was paying diminishing returns). Being a fan of UCLA didn’t help much for finding good football either.

All of these factors would likely have made it easy to walk away from football for good, and I may still do so, but then the Bruins of UCLA started playing under their new coach, Jim Mora. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t know what to expect when the game started (versus expecting a loss in the past). Watching the Nebraska game, with it’s back and forth first half and triumphant second half, was very exciting. Even the Broncos, with their game against Pittsburgh, came around and played a great game. I found myself cheering the Bruins on and temporarily forgetting my misgivings.

Thus I find myself with one of Jess’ favorite terms, cognitive dissonance. That is, the holding of two opposing ideas at the same time. Thus my misgivings for football as a sport versus the desire to root for my traditional teams as they have become exciting again changes the fan experience. I think that this is a change that a lot more people are going to have to deal with in the near future, and one that both the college and professional ranks are going to have to address.

So as one casual fan teeters on the brink, I can certainly envision a future void of football if changes aren’t made to the fundamental structure of the game. Hearing all of the heartbreaking stories about those who have gone before and the damage their bodies and minds have suffered in the name of entertainment, it certainly does hark back to the gladiatorial games of ancient Rome, with a slow death rather than a quick one for the participants. For now I will continue to watch, but I am prepared to walk away if the game doesn’t move towards becoming safer for its players.

Weight: 227 Loss: 13 lbs – Running Yearly Mileage: 291.7 miles (+6 miles)
Fitocracy Level: 25 ID: disciplev1

Posted in Matt 2012-366, Matt General. Tagged with , , , , , .

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  1. M said

    HMO, the hitting and bodily violence is half the reason that people are such big fans. You could you get the job done by playing flag football, but no one is pulling for that.

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