Out On A Limb

American football is legalized mayhem, a license to hurt people. An outlet for pent-up aggression. Played in modern day Roman Colosseums. And let’s go there… it should be called something other than “football.”

So many appear to love to play it. Is it just boys being boys, the testosterone flowing, the thrill of competition, the need to survive and emerge as the top dog ruling the day? Strategy, gladiatorial inferences, battles in the trenches, trash talk and bragging rights and dramatic intro music… the whole presentation is way over the top.

Still, I enjoy watching a good contest and admit to not being able to turn away from seeing someone deliver and take a good clean hit. Not a leading-with-the-helmet hit– those perpetrators should be banned from the game and fined a billion dollars.

Anyway, what does this say about us? Is it just who we are? Do we have a naturally occurring lust for violence? As long as the subject is being raised, why is boxing such an attraction? Why hasn’t it gone the way of dog or cock fighting? I know some consider it an art form, but that seems like a stretch to me. Helluva way to make a living. And don’t get me started on MMA.

I guess if you need an outlet for pent-up rage, have a chip on your shoulder and an insatiable need to prove yourself, along with wanting to put food on the table, there’s a line of work for you. And if you can emerge with all your faculties when you retire, if you don’t have a career-ending injury or brain damage or you die, you can probably live a pretty nice life afterwards.

Actual football is another story. I guess there are lingering effects from too many headers, but… the beautiful game, indeed.

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