The football field is place where men can still be men. In fact in it’s required. Despite the pink that floats around in the early part of the season for breast cancer awareness, manhood is still the order of the day in professional football. Those who perform the best get to start each game and they earn the most. Starting or playing the most minutes or earning the biggest pay check is matter of talent and effort. Not seniority or influence. It doesn’t matter if your father or uncle was Roger Staubach, George S. Hallas, or Paul Tagliabue, unless you inherited their ability to play or coach, you get the same opportunity as every other football player. Prove yourself. Or you’ll ride the pine or get cut from the team. A meritocracy is worth celebrating.
I don’t care what they say to each other in the locker rooms or after practice. I’m sure there’s a lot of foul language and what might sound like threats to outsiders, but it’s how men encourage each other to perform better. Outsiders shouldn’t look upon it without understanding and attempt to pass judgment. If you can’t handle the name calling, then you run faster, catch more passes, or make more tackles. Or you quit and find something else to do.
In championship sports, you show gentlemanly courtesy and congratulate the looser for playing hard before you celebrate the winners and you never publicly denigrate them. Unless they did something hugely stupid, or for some reason played a reeeeaaaallllyyy bad game.
Yes, fans are getting out of control, with fights and riots. That’s a matter for local police and sheriff’s departments.
Yes, players are getting out of control. That should be a matter for coaches. When Tom Landry coached the Dallas Cowboys, it didn’t matter how well you performed on the field, you had to be a gentleman off the field or you didn’t play. Sometimes the second string players got to start, so Coach Landry could prove a point. But the Cowboys never missed the playoffs back in those days. If the coaches today, upheld small rules like curfews, and behaving respectably in public, we wouldn’t have players thinking they could get away with barbaric behavior like running dog-fighting rings or committing felonies.
So, yes, I will admit that I’ve lost interest in recent years, with thuggish behavior off the field (Hernandez, Vick). And I long for the days of yore when men like Roger Staubach (Catholic) and Danny White (Mormon) could be very religious and they didn’t take the criticism of a Tim Tebow or an RGIII (Robert Griffin III). And those who weren’t religious weren’t looked down upon, either.
But I still think the league can be cleaned up; re-invented, if you will. And I still think the Championship is worth celebrating.
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