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

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 11/12/17

3 Up
1. Aly Raisman - Following the bravery of Mckayla Maroney and others in the #MeToo campaign, Raisman has stepped forward as the charges pile up for sexual abuse by former USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar. By the way, shame on USA Gymnastics for continuing to allow this culture. I shudder to think what else lies in the world of Gymnastics. 
2. New York Times - In a world where journalism - real journalism - is becoming harder and harder to find, The Times continues to break stories left and right, and did so again this week with the Louis CK piece. I think we all are tired of journalism wrapped in identity politics, and yes, even "fake news". 
3. Kristaps Porzingis - Obviously, you all know how much I love the Unicorn. But seriously, how enjoyable is he to watch? And barring injury, he can only get better. Melo, who? 
3 Down
1. Sean Hannity - Seriously, I don't even know how this guy sleeps at night. And really, I'm not even sure what kind of person follows thi…

Pondering Picture #82

I snapped this photo in midtown Manhattan following a meeting with believe it or not, various professors from my alma mater of Cazenovia College. It was tremendous catching up with them all, especially considering it's been ten-plus years since I've seen them. 
Sometimes, honestly, it's almost like I forget I spent four years in upstate New York. And when I am reminded of it, often I am amazed in how a such a small town helped prepare me to tackle the big city, New York City - my home. 
Life is crazy.

Dome Pondering Movie Review: The Big Sick (2017)

What is it about?

The true story of Pakistani-born, Kumail Nanjiani who falls in love with Emily. After she becomes ill with a mysterious illness, Kumail must come to grips with various truths and culture clashes he's been avoiding. 
Who is in it? 
Kumail Nunjiani - Kumail
Emily - Zoe Kazan
Holly Hunter - Beth
Ray Romano - Terry

WWE Battleground 2014: Usos vs. The Wyatts, and Well, Just Get Ready For SummerSlam!

I really didn't have much interest in WWE Battleground last night. It just felt like another WWE PPV with another new name that really didn't have much meaning other than stamping another event with a pointless description until SummerSlam. And to be honest, the recent string of WWE TV hasn't been the most entertaining in my eyes. Maybe it's just me, but I haven't been excited. Just meh. WWE just seems to be spinning their wheels a midst the doldrums of complacency and pitching the WWE Network every chance they have. 
Nonetheless, WWE Battleground wasn't all that terrible in my eyes. Here are some quick thoughts from last night's event: