Football: Keeping the Game in Perspective

I am probably not the most qualified person to write this post since I detest football. I don’t watch it, Super bowl Sunday is not on my calendar, and I could care less who wins, who loses, or how our local teams rank. So while I have already tuned out a majority of readers with those lines,I will go on to finish this post with those of you that are interested. 
I understand the draw and rooting for a team. I followed our high school team when I was in school. I was a huge baseball fan for a long time and the Braves were my team. I was in the cheering section when they won the World Series in 1995. I still have a sweatshirt from ’95 that I wear every winter. It’s a collectible. However, I never took it too far or let the game rule every other aspect of my life.

Football is a game. It is a franchise in which men are overpaid for entertaining the masses and running around on the grass chasing a ball and beating the snot out of each other. It is an institution in which the snack food companies grow rich and advertisers pay obscene amounts to be seen. The outcome of a game or who wins the Super Bowl has no bearing on the spin of the earth whatsoever. Yet people are enslaved to it like zombies.
The reality of this was made obvious to me a few weeks ago. My husband’s employer throws a huge company picnic every year, complete with free cotton candy, rides, a fairway, shows, and food.It lasts about 5 hours and it’s intended to bring families a day together to have fun. We go every year and have a great time. My husband works close to 60 hours a week most weeks so it is a rare treat to enjoy a Saturday together.
While sitting at the picnic tables enjoying some lunch, I overheard the conversation of the family next to us. This is how it went: 
Mom: “Hurry up and finish eating if to want to go on some rides.” 
Child (about 5 years): “Why? Do we have to go?”
Mom: “Yes. Soon. We need to leave by 1.”
Child: “Why?”
Mom: “Because it is Saturday and daddy needs to get home.”
Child: “Oh. There’s a game today right?”
Mom: “Yes. Daddy wants to get home in time for kick off.”
Dad: “Yeah. Let’s get this family crap over with and go enjoy the weekend.”
Family crap? Really? First of all,  it made me eternally grateful I married a man that detests football almost as much as I do. Secondly, I couldn’t grasp the concept that someone would rather go home and sit in front of the t.v. watching football instead of spending a day of free fun with their family. I mean, I know there are people like this, I’m not naive, but the reality of it broke my heart. 
Mostly, it was the thought that this little boy it’s going to grow up KNOWING that he is less important to his dad than a bunch of overgrown thugs sweating it out over a ball. Secondly, it is pretty easy to guess that the company picnic won’t be a yearly tradition for this family for very long. Third, this guy is going to die knowing the stats of every player on his fantasy football line-up, but have no idea when his kid’s greatest moments in life happen. And finally, he’ll probably push the child to play football (if he isn’t already) until the kid ends up with a game-ending injury or decides to make something of himself in life and quit pleasing his dad by living out daddy’s failed dreams.
Yes, my thoughts do turn to the very worst outcomes and based on assumptions heard from a single conversation. But who here believes for one minute that these aren’t extremely good possibilities? Football has become this guy’s top priority in life, above family, which to me is a grievous sin. 
Football in itself can be a fun game. There is nothing wrong with the actual sport. But people take it too far. You can’t get on Facebook without hearing a play-by-play or seeing stupid images of dogs, alligators, and other assorted animals on steroids dressed in jerseys. Parents put their children aside and indict them into the absurdity of yelling at the t.v. while indulging in artery-clogging snack foods and consuming fermented liquids. People attack fans of opposing teams and it is seen as an unfortunate consequence of a few overzealous fans. Our country and society see football and its players as some sort of gods to be worshipped. It takes over holidays and weekend plans. It is all just too much. 
And the most absurd thing of all is that someone will get mad about this article and tell me how stupid I am because I feel this way about the idiocy surrounding this game. To some extent they’ll be right. I don’t understand it nor do I want to participate in it. My kids will grow up KNOWING that I set aside my own desires and pursuits to spend quality time with them. They will know that they are important to me, and I hope they will put as much value into their families later in life. 
I may not have changed a single priority of any person reading this. But I’m not trying to tell them to give up football completely. I’m trying to tell you that your family should always be your top priority. If they can’t put aside a game to spend time with their children or wives, they have a problem. If life revolves around stats, they’re not LIVING LIFE!
This past Friday night we took our children out to dinner. We spent time laughing, telling stories, and creating memories. Football, baseball, basketball and soccer never once made it in to our conversation. But we got to know each other and had a great time. If that sounds boring or tortuous to you, you need to rethink your life and priorities. 

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Amelia Grace
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 22:16:39

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: