My Not-So-Secret Shame: I Have Lost Interest In Football


Yeah, I’m not going to watch the Super Bowl this weekend. I have no rooting interest, the halftime show is pop drivel and I’m not a fan of the untrammeled capitalism that actually has made a separate sport out of watching (and rating) the commercials.

But let’s get down to brass tacks. It’s not just the Super Bowl. Football is a stain on American life. Football is popular because it works well on television, has the constant stops and starts that feeds our ADHD culture and it lends itself so easily to gambling. Football promotes a culture of violence, mindless conservative patriotism and corporate avarice. The league and its team owners revel in its success in breaking the players union–all the while it has refused to seriously address the horrible brain trauma and disability that the sport inflicts on the players–coincidence? I think not.

In fact, all the prior offenses against our society that I accused football of in the preceding paragraph all pale before the brain injury issue. Just this week, another deceased NFL veteran (Mosi Tatupu) was revealed to have suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the brain damage that players with too many shots to the helmet must deal with. I can no longer sit and watch a football game, cheering the jarring “big hit.” We are cheering for the intentional infliction of tragic physical harm upon another human being.

Players diagnosed with CTE have committed suicide, murders and physical abuse of spouses and children. Players just in their 40’s and 50’s have the physical disabilities and dementia normally associated with the infirm elderly. It is neither humane nor civil to revel in this carnage.

I’m not a person who dislikes sports. But I can no longer tolerate watching football. Watching what has happened to Muhammad Ali was what made me give up watching boxing. The same has happened with football.

Three weeks ’til Red Sox spring training–that’s the sports headline for me this weekend.

One thought on “My Not-So-Secret Shame: I Have Lost Interest In Football

  1. Wow… well, I haven’t gotten there with football yet, but I definitely have gotten there with boxing… to a degree. I used to be manic about boxing; all of it. Now… well, I’ll admit I want to see what happens in the Paquaio – Mayweather fight but I can’t think of any other fight or even any other names.

    As for football… I’m not troubled by the commercialism or much else. I am troubled about the concussion issue, mainly because the NFL knew about it but kept it to themselves, and now that it’s out in the open it’s like they’re fighting it every step of the way. I mean really, the NFL, especially NFL teams, could afford at carry ex-players health care forever, although most players would probably afford it also.

    At this juncture players know what can happen and they’ve made their decision. I’m not a major football fan but I like my teams. So I’ll still watch Syracuse Orange and Dallas Cowboys football games, and I’ll still watch the Super Bowl (mainly for the commercials…) and limit my viewing to those few times. I can definitely see your point though.


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