Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Fall Without Football

I've decided to stop being an American. I'm not going to renounce my American citizenship like Superman renounced his or Ted Cruz renounced his Canadian citizenship; I'm just not going to watch football or play fantasy football this season. Let's be honest, football is now America's game; fantasy football is something all the cool folks do, and not watching makes one a suspect citizen. I fully expect increased NSA surveillance.

The concussion stories of the past few years have given me pause, and I'm having a tough time justifying watching people voluntarily risk of brain damage for my entertainment. The NFL is taking a few steps but I'm not sure it's enough. I'm not going to go on a crusade. If I visit someone and the game is on, I won't demand the game be shut off. I'm not calling for a government investigation, and I'm not going to make hyperbolic comparisons to Roman gladiatorial combat. I'm just going to try to get through the fall and winter without turning on a game

I anticipate some problems like withdrawal. I have spent thousands of hours watching National Football League games. When I was a young'un I even spent a few hundred hours listening to Monday Night Football on the radio because ABC was not one of the networks our TV antenna picked up. I watched all through college. For the past few decades, it's been a habit to take a pile of work that needs to be corrected, turn on the game, and correct and watch.

Right now, baseball season will get me through most Sunday afternoons. After baseball, season, I expect a few problems. I'm not going to try to replace American football with soccer. I find soccer neither beautiful nor entertaining, and soccer fans grate worse than fingernails on a chalkboard.

I'll  watch Sports Center so that I can talk with the young'uns. Knowing a bit about sports and pop culture has always been part of the job. I may be making a distinction without a difference, but I don't believer that my watching the news makes me responsible for violent crime or Assad's use of chemical weapons; the same holds true for Sports Center. When I watch a game, however, I'm helping provide the advertising dollars that fund the $9 billion industry that cannot avoid causing concussions.

1 comment:

M Larson said...

I tried giving up pop once too, but I only lasted a few days. Maybe you be of stronger will than I.

I did see an interesting interview with AP after the game today and he admitted that he believes that in 20 years football will be very different from what we see today.