Friday, January 30, 2015

Against Football by Steve Almond

I want to start by saying that I love football. There was a point in my life when I could watch any game that was on just because it was a football game. When my wife and I got married, we made an agreement that I could watch all the football I wanted as long as I was doing laundry as well. 

Let me tell you, we had the cleanest clothes, sheets, towels, drapes - anything I could put in the washing machine - in town! Having said all that, I now struggle with football as a sport. 

The violence on the field including sub concussive hits causing chronic brain injuries for players, the concussive hits sustained and delivered and the violence off the field, which the League is only just starting to really address, has made me question what my role as a spectator plays in supporting this machine. 

All of that doesn’t even touch the obscene amount of money involved in the football empire. Most people are able to identify the salaries and bonuses paid to the players a day coaches  but what about the salary paid to Roger Goodell, the TV contracts and the clothing endorsements? It all makes my stomach achieve churn.

Steve Almond’s book looks at many of these issues from the perspective of a fan. It is refreshing to hear the voice of someone like me. Someone trying to reconcile the ethics of watching and supporting such a violent sport with the love of the game. 

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Ms. Yingling said...

Thank you for mentioning this! I love Almond's work and saw him speak about his book Candyfreak. I have never understood football, but many of my students adore it, so this could be very interesting!

tanita✿davis said...

Wow, this sounds fab... a book about being critical of a thing well-loved is a book on how to be an intelligent and thinking person. I like.