I love to watch American Football; professional, college and high-school. I think it is the ultimate spectator sport.

However, it is also a brutal violent game in which one of the primary objectives is to injure or maim the best players on the opposing team so badly that they are unable to remain in the game. For that accomplishment the perpetrators earn the cheers of  their fans and gleeful approval from teammates and coaches. The penalty, if any, for such vicious and loutish behavior is usually the loss of 15 yards of field position. Not bad at all, from a cost-benefit standpoint. It is bad enough that ordinary collisions in the conduct of the game can cause serious injury.

Further, the game has progressed (or regressed, depending on one’s point of view) to a point where in order to compete participants must put on significant weight and muscle mass. It is shocking to see high-school and college players whose bodies have not fully developed  carry 250 to 300 plus pounds, with obscene muscles, accompanied by huge sagging bellies. Coaches who encourage this and educators who condone it are in my view guilty of child abuse. With the physical dangers inherent in this violent contact sport and the potential for lifetime health problems caused by severe abuse to developing bodies, I wonder how  parents can justify allowing their children to play the game.

It bothers me that I so enjoy watching this game.


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