Saturday, February 4, 2017

My run in with football.

I am about to say something wholly un-American. 

I hate football.

I find the game violent and mean and brutal and a money-making behemoth to such an extent that it, like the Rockefeller-oil-monopoly, has destroyed all else in its path.

That said, I went to a small high school. There were under 100 kids in my graduating class. And as a 6-foot-tall 16-year-old, I was cajoled by various coaches and 'cool' kids that I absolutely had to join the football team in the fall of 1974.

I have always been, I don't know how this happened, prodigiously blessed with what I now call 'old man strength.'

Maybe I'm just too stupid to realize that I can't do something, like carry an air-conditioner from 1982 up four-flights of steps, lay down an 11'x14' carpet by myself, or even easy stuff like rotating a queen-sized mattress.

So, when I joined the football team, I quickly became an anchor on both offense or defense. Even though, I freely admit, I did not know what position I played.

I was confused by football names--I still am--like tackle and guard. Basketball names I get, and of course, baseball names. But football names bear no inspection. If everyone is supposed to tackle, why do you name a position tackle?

I solved that problem by lining up two over from Klauber on offense and next to Stahlin on defense. Had either of them been injured, I'd have not known what to do.

In any event, our small high school mustered a team in that misbegotten season of just 30 players, so many of us played both ways.

After our first game, and our first loss, five of those players were injured. After our second game and our second loss, five more went down, including me who, having gotten into a fist-fight, had broken my often-busted proboscis.

After our second loss, a team meeting was called by the coaching staff. (A coaching staff larger than my elite school's English department.) Should we, or should we not continue with our season?

It would have been considered ignoble of me to vote "discontinue," heresy bordering on cowardice in the macho code of pissant football.

But despite a 17-0 vote to continue the season, the coaches canceled our remaining eight games and I silently celebrated.

In college, I thought briefly about trying out for our woeful squad--a sure way to find myself canoodling with co-eds--as a punter. I could always kick a ball a mile. But I quickly found out that punters, too, had to tackle and hit people, so I   abjured.

Tomorrow's game, Super Bowl 9000 or something, is on a fascist-owned and fascist spouting television station. 

I therefore refuse to watch it.

My friends will overlook the network's misogyny, racism, climate denial, Koch-addicted, Trump-creating, Hannity-hatred-spewing ethos and will watch the game, as if it's any better than attending a Kraft durch Freude meeting in Germany in 1938.

I had had enough of football in the fall of 1974.

My nose has gotten better.

Football's only gotten worse.

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