Saturday, February 05, 2005

Football: A Conflicted View From Within

As we lead up to the Super Bowl, I am going to be posting some of the more interesting passages I have read about football. I love the sport, but it raises all kinds of socio-political issues. What does it say about us when the Super Bowl is a bigger event than most presidential addresses? Where do these men that we love to watch smash into each other come from? Why do we hate those among them who are more than a quiet number on the field who doesn't disappoint us?

The following is from an excerpt from a 1969 Philadelphia Inquirer interview with St. Louis strong side linebacker Dave Meggyesy (as read in Paul Zimmerman's A Thinking Man's Guide To Football):

"Football is just short of war for some of those people...Its like the old Roman sports. Throwing the bomb -- blitzing -- now what the hell does that mean? If society changes like I hope it will, football will be a dead issue. The people will be able to get their hostilities off in a healthier way.

The top football players are psychos. They are very unhealthy people., but society views them as some of our healthiest people. When you have men perpetuating violence in sports, in television or anything of that nature, you can't call that sane. You can't call people who do it sane. You can't call me sane."

Some truth there, and, yet, I love it so.


Blogger Henry Baum said...

I'm with you. I know it's wrong, but I like it. Mainly I can't stand the fans, but there is elegance in throwing a forty yard pass to a pinpoint location, mixed in with all the violence.

There's that great George Carlin routine comparing the language of baseball and football. In football, they go to the End-Zone, in baseball, they go home...

12:11 PM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

I think the violence of football is more a part of the game, but in any sport there is violence rooted in emotion and competition. I remember when I used to play soccer back in the early teen years, I heard some dudes on the other team say they were going to "get me" during this one playoff game. I thought they were just trying to psyche me out. They proceeded to fuck me up every chance they got (tripped, elbowed in the face, ankles stepped on, etc.). It got worse when we went up by 3 goals in the second half. I couldn't walk right for a week after that game.

2:12 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home