I went to watch my second college football game this weekend.
Was it fun? Sure. Do I like football? Yeah, it’s ok. Was I troubled by things I observed at the game? Yep. Is it a moral delemma because the guy I’m seeing is a huge fan? I doubt it.
First — the good stuff. It was a beautiful day. And I was spending time with a person I really like, doing a NEW thing. I love doing new things. He knew the ropes in this adventure, had great seats, and it was fun. Really really fun. He made sure I had a lovely day.
Next — the concerns — as with every sport, every where, that every kid plays… adults fuck it up. Plain and simple. These are college kids, going to college to LEARN. One of the things they are learning is how to play football. Saturday the professional coach who is in charge of teaching the defense how to defend failed them miserably. Let me be clear. It is not the fault of an 18 or 19 year old kid that their college team is not a cohesive well oiled unit. They are kids. They have to be taught that skill. Just like they are there to be taught how to hold down any other post college J.O.B. So… do not blame the players when the coaches/teachers fail them. Crowds should not be allowed to boo at college games. They are all just kids doing their best. ITS A GAME.
After that, comes the injuries. I watched three kids go down injured Saturday. As grown men on the field milled around and others attended to them — the mother/nurse in me was screaming internally at the unnecessariness of it all. Injuries over a GAME.
I recognize the Gladiator/Warrior replacement football and most sports are for our society. And you know? If they had actually replaced real wars and battles I might be more enamored of them. But they didn’t.
I suppose some of my friends might be confused — as I am a pretty big hockey fan. But grown men. And for some reason, that seems to make the difference. People may argue there is more violence in hockey, but if you actually go to the games and watch, what I come away with is posturing for the sake of the fans. Flares of temper that quickly burn out without serious injury — usually. Although in all fairness — every sport needs to toughen up their concussion protocols. That stuff is no joke.
I’ll continue to go to football games this fall because, selfishly, I enjoy the company of the man I go with. However, I will send every ounce of good will and protection to all players on both sides. Because they are all someone’s son. And I will pray basketball season starts soon.