Saturday, August 25, 2018

Evanston: signs of the times; less American football

        A friend has just sent his son to college.
        His son has gone on a full e-sports scholarship.
        My friend’s son is going to be on the school’s video gaming team.
        His father tells me his son is really good at video games.  I expect that he is and feel the generations gap.  Not singular.  I am halfway between being this young man’s grandfather and his great-grandfather.  I had no idea that e-sports scholarships exist.  No reason why they shouldn’t.  I am glad the young man is getting a free college education and that my friend is not having to pay four year’s tuition.  He is a sailor and as I observed you can buy a fine boat for that. 
        Game on.

        On sale at the National Football League Arizona Cardinal’s stadium is a $75 burger weighing 7 pounds/3.17 kilos.  It includes five beef patties, five beef hot dogs, five bratwursts, twenty slices of American cheese, eight slices of bacon, eight chicken tenders, twelve ounces of french fries, and a guaranteed heart attack.
        This is reported by NEWSWEEK.  Not reported is if one has ever been bought.


        American football season began tonight with a college game televised on ESPN.  I did not watch and I will watch less football this year than in the past, and not just because in the next few months I won’t have access to television.
        When I can I probably will watch college football, but little NFL football.
        There are three reasons for this.
        I dislike the showboating.  After almost every play in the NFL someone struts or demonstrates for the television audience after usually routine plays as if they had made a tackle or run or catch for the ages.
        Too many football players are thugs.
        Competitiveness and aggression are part of every sport, but American football rewards extreme aggression on the field which often naturally continues off the field.  
        Many professional football players are not thugs.  But in my observation more are than in any other sport, other perhaps than ice hockey which I do not watch at all.
        And most of all the movie, CONCUSSION.
        I am not against football because it can cause concussions and result in brain damage.
        I believe that it is a quite reasonable choice to choose a short life of fame and possible wealth rather than a long mediocre one, but until Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian pathologist, established the link between playing football and brain damage, football players were innocent victims, as prior to about 1960 cigarette smokers were innocent victims.  Now football players are, as are cigarette smokers, aware victims and not entitled to sympathy.
        CONCUSSION turned me against the NFL because of the way the league reacted to Dr. Omalu’s findings.  The league acted just as big tobacco companies did to the first findings that their product causes cancer.  The NFL denied, promoted alternative fake ‘experts’ and sought to discredit Dr. Omalu personally.
        In other words, the NFL, which is a very big business, acted like a big business and used all their wealth and power to try to protect profits rather than accept the truth.
        Despicable.  And as I have written this I have realized that it is time that I leave the thugs, both players and owners, behind.