Skip to main content

I Just Can't - Why I've Given Up Football


I pretty much quit watching football this year. I know, that sounds absolutely crazy to most sports fans, especially Americans to whom football is more religion that just sport and fandom, but yeah, I just stopped. In fact, the most football I sat and really watched this entire season was the drive in overtime of the National Title game between Clemson and Alabama. 

So, why did I give up football? 

Well, for starters, I was never the biggest football fan. Ranking my favorite sports, it's easily as follows: 
  1. Baseball
  2. More Baseball
  3. Basketball
  4. Soccer
  5. Everything else...
So yeah, quitting football wasn't all that hard. I'll root for the New York Jets from time to time (more reason to ditch the entire football thing from my life) but I've never been the guy too excited about football Sunday. Honestly, my fall Sundays were more so, really football Sundays in watching the MLS. But that's another post for another time.

Over the last couple of seasons (really, years), the actions of the NFL and it's arrogance towards it's fandom really forced me to reshape and reconstruct how I feel towards the league, and the sport overall. It's blatant ignorance towards PEDs and it's coverup and insensitivity to domestic violence and other off-the field matters pertaining to it's players served as the backdrop for my growing dissatisfaction with the league. 


But for me, the main reasoning is of course, the growing evidence of CTE issues throughout the league, and more so, the NFL's previous efforts to cover up the studies, and now, efforts to minimize the truth. It's truly hard for me to compartmentalize the health hazards that come with playing football, and the unnaturalness of the "sport". 

Most people don't care. And some do, but their ties to the NFL override that feeling. Personally, I couldn't find it within myself to continue to support the message or the machine that operates. And for those of you who read this blog regularly, yes, my father's mental condition, and my growing understanding of such mental issues, plays a large role in my convictions. 

And of course, as someone who works in Athletics and frequents journals and studies on the human body, how can I support this? Dr. James Andrews, the world renown physician even chimed in with the following quote: 
"It's a collision sport. If we started a new sport today and we wrote up the rules and regulations and we called it football, they probably wouldn't allow it."
And there are always stories like this. And this. Oh yeah, there is this, this, this, and this too. And of course, there is Bo Jackson and his reaction, because you know, Bo (still) knows - or in this case, he didn't. 
"If I knew back then what I know now, I would have never played football. Never. I wish I had known about all of those head injuries, but no one knew that. And the people that did know that, they wouldn't tell anybody...The game has gotten so violent, so rough. We're so much more educated on this CTE stuff, there's no way I would ever allow my kids to play football today."
All of these stories which are slowly popping up and coming out are held away from the front pages, off headlines, and from key discussions on sports talk radio because of the fear of tapping on the mighty shield of the NFL. After all, it's still king in sport and media here in America, hence this very weekend. I get it. Who wants to take on that fight? 

Look, I'm not attempting to persuade you, or somehow attempt to take down the NFL or football culture. I actually wish there was a way football could be safer. Better tackling, possibly?


I'm just being honest here - I've become way too convicted in my morals, beliefs, and know-how, and have grown very uncomfortable with the culture that the NFL has created in it's lackadaisical informing, harnessing, educating, and solving of the issues facing it's sport. Much of it has been unethical, with plenty being down right inhumane and gross. For what? Money? Entertainment? 

Will I watch this weekend's Super Bowl? I haven't really decided. I'll possibly tune in. Maybe, I'll give it a whirl. I've become the causal fan of the game. But I know for sure, I just can't stomach watching head-to-head contact anymore for enjoyment, or as perceived "skill". And I just can't continue to support a league that does nothing as it produces a culture that presents an unethical product to it's fans, to it's players, and has become socially inept in taking a stand on issues, all in the name of keeping the bottom line healthy. 

I'll give the game a try at times, again, maybe a glance at the Super Bowl, but I can't give it my full interest anymore. 

I just can't. 

Recently Read Posts

Pondering Picture #84

So...lobby money > Lives? 
My heart and yes, even thoughts and prayers - like legit thoughts and prayers - go out to the loved ones of everyone affected by this latest senseless mass shooting. At what point do we really get to the table and look at gun control? Like, for real.

Dear Son, The Beginning

So I decided to start this series because after all, this blog has chronicled my life and my thoughts since I was sixteen years old. And while that is amazing to think about - almost, somewhat crazy to believe - here I am almost seventeen years later as a thirty-two year old man on the verge of having his first child. 
With that said, I wanted to continue that open and honest venture that has been here since day one, and plan to lay out all the thoughts, all of the feelings, and everything in between that will be this venture towards fatherhood. 
I've done similar series in the past such as The Unity Road Writings during my engagement, or even The European Chronicles, tabbing my time through Italy and England. But, this one just feels a little different. A little more personal, if you will, and again, that is rather obvious. [Insert "duh" here].
I have no idea how long this will last, or what will happen, or what I will write about in this open space, but I hope to shar…

"Just Shut Up and Dribble"

Laura Ingraham of FOX News really stepped in it this week. Her comments to LeBron James and Kevin Durant in regards to their political opinions and her direct message to them of "Just shut up and dribble" has caused a stir among many on both sides of the political divide - a divide that seems to grow daily in this nation.
Rather than wait to pen my thoughts, mainly because I was so fired up to do so, I shared took to Twitter (ugh..I know, sorry y'all) on a Subway ride home after seeing her rather ignorant remarks. 
See below for the quick rant:

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 2/18/18

3 Up
1. Aaron Weiss - It shouldn't be hidden or gone unnoticed - Weiss is a hero. The football coach shielded many students during the shooting, and saved the lives of many students. Again, Weiss is a hero, that should not go forgotten in this entire unfortunate situation. 
2. Emma Gonzales - How frickin' cool is this girl?! Her speech this weekend was passionate, it was raw, but most of all, it was filled with empathetic truth. Emma, and the many students recently involved in this shooting have called out our government, and that is so incredibly commendable. Honestly, it is quite amazing to see the political movement of fifteen year olds calling out the President. But this is the new America we are now in. 
3. LeBron James - Kudos to King James on how he handled the situation between him and Laura Ingraham. He could have stooped to Ingraham's level, but instead his refusal to be "just an athlete" is one that is needed to be heard. 
3 Down
1. Parkland, Florida Sc…