Contact Sports – An Excuse to Rage

Take me out to the ball game; take me out to the Park. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks. La, la, la, etc. etc. Football, baseball, basketball, just American as apple pie the good old boys will tell you. Maybe to some, but myself, I prefer my pie without a kick or head butt! A certain amount of contact has become expected and considered the norm for the game of football. Frankly, the fact that the term “contact” is used to describe the physical aspect of football and other contact sport games lead me to believe that the public has purposely closed their eyes to the true nature of these sports. I find nothing sporting about kicking, hitting, shoving, head butting, or spitting!

I have learned all I care to know about the game of football. However, quite a few years back, I had decided that maybe if I learned a little more about the game I might enjoy watching it with my significant other, who I might add, calls himself an NFL Sickie. I was thinking about the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” philosophy, since he spends every living, waking, breathing moment consumed by sports. So, I spent an afternoon watching a football game with my brother, interrupting him every few minutes with one stupid question after another. His answer to this particular question, I will never forget. I asked, ” Once the guy has been tackled and down on the ground, isn’t the play over?” He answered, “Yes”. Puzzled, I asked, “Then why does the rest of the team pile on top of the guy”? He answered, nonchalantly, “So he doesn’t get up, to hurt him”. It was the end of any more football lessons for me. I began ranting and raving about how disgusting I thought it was, and he proceeds to tell me, “It’s just intimidation”. My significant other concurs; it’s all about intimidation. It’s called war. I call it an excuse to kick the crap out of somebody and get away with it!

With all the so-called concern expressed for kids these days and what is and is not proper influence, it escapes me why we hold up sports figures as role models for children. I just don’t get it. In the grand scheme of things, how important is it to be skilled at throwing a ball into a hoop, or hitting a ball out of a ballpark, or kicking a ball between goal posts? Other than the entertainment value, what effects do these skills have on society? Entertaining and amusing the masses is a lofty goal when it is done without beating the hell out of someone and calling it intimidation. Speaking of ridiculous terms, how about this one, “unnecessary roughness”. What a joke! Why not just say fifteen-yard penalty for kicking your opponent while he was down!

It may or may not be fair to use a recent news item as an example of how violence in sports breeds domestic violence, but I’m going to do it anyway. It seems an angry football fan stabbed his girlfriend forty times and killed her during a football game. What was his motive? She ran out of beer during the game. However unfair an example that may be, statistics show that domestic violence is significantly increased on football Sundays. In the words of the infamous Archie Bunker, I say case closed!

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