Monday, September 13, 2010

Watching Football, Feeling Conflicted [updated]

Ok, football (American-style, that is) is an incredibly violent sport.  The stories over the past year or two about concussions have definitely put a dent in my enjoyment of the game.  I saw part of the Eagles-Green Bay, where a linebacker hit someone else hard with his helmet, producing a concussion.  I thought he was gone for the game, but he came back for a few plays at least.  And then gone.  How did he ever make it back onto the field after all of the stories and new policies is beyond me.

But that was perhaps a distraction from the fact that Michael Vick was being cheered for giving his team some energy and momentum after replacing the starting QB, Kevin Kolb, who had been ineffective before getting his own concussion (and the NFL really wants to move to 18 regular season games???).  And, of course, this Vick is the same one who was deeply involved in dog-fighting.  I still find it problematic that he could come back so soon, despite some prison time.

Of course, this very violent sport (and the non-violent ones) also has plenty of other folks who commit serious crimes or at least accused of such.  Pittsburgh is going to have to deal with their QB, Ben Roethlisberger (my first attempt at his lastname produced a spellcheck that came up with Misbegotten!), who seems to be a serial harasser, borderline rapist. 

Kind of hard to tune this stuff out and just enjoy the strategy and athleticism.  I wonder if, at some point, it will get to be too much.

Update: I have only started reading the discussion among various folks, including an ex-football player, at Slate.  They consider the concussion issue immediately and then the discussion moves on from there.  Interesting stuff, proving there is way too much stuff to read and listen to on the web.

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