Friday, December 7, 2012

In Defense of Professional Football

There is an increasing push in America to ban the sport of football. They claim that the sport is too violent and causes too many injuries - both short term and long term - for people to be allowed to play the game.
I am not in that camp. I love professional football (I am a dyed-in-the-wool Broncos fan), and want the sport to survive and thrive for many years to come. 
There are several reasons for my liking of football. I like the sport because it feeds into my innate desire to see fierce competition and athletes challenging one another. I also like it because millions of my fellow Americans like the sport, giving me an opening to talk with them.
I love football because it is one of the few places in our feminized society where it is acceptable for a man to be manly, where a man is not chastised for his masculinity. (Disclaimer: Rugby is far more manly than football, but it isn’t as popular as football in America.)
Men need places where they can be men. Men thrive on challenge and on struggle. Football provides an outlet for men to be physical, to display their prowess to their fellows, to challenge others.
Places where men can be men are disappearing. American society is hyper-civilized; even threats can get one arrested. And injury is increasingly seen as a greater evil than dishonor;  the code of manhood by which men live is openly mocked and scorned in a world of feminist influence.
I do not discount the dangers of football. Yes, I understand the fact that repeated blows to the head can cause brain trauma. Yes, I understand that concussions are a huge problem in football.  And by all means, the NFL can and should strive to make football safer for its players.
But athletes freely and willingly choose to play the game, knowing the risks involved. The solution to eliminate the problem of injury seems to be more out of a desire to protect anyone and everyone from potential injury - even if it requires the sapping of the soul.
We live in an over-kind society which seeks to protect everyone from any possibility of injury - at any cost, including the neutering of its citizens. Violence can injure and perhaps even kill; but modern society babies its male citizens to death and saps their souls in the process.
Enough with the eternal rubber room! Let men be men; let them challenge each other if they so choose.

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