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Why the football madness?


creekland
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I'll admit it.  American football has never interested me.  I can't name any players.  I can't name all the teams.  I occasionally watch what my Alma mater does/did, but usually in scores the morning after rather than watching the game and only because by being in the Corps of Cadets we had to go to all home games.  I haven't watched a Super Bowl - ever - and just found out it's coming up this Sunday.   I don't give a hoot about commercials either.  That's just me.

 

But why, considering all the recent talk of permanent brain injuries from it and other assorted lifelong health issues major players have from a young age, why is it still so popular?

 

I don't get it.  I'd never let my kids play it (and didn't).  Why do some parents WANT their kids to have this risk, esp with "the higher they go, the more risk they have?"  There are other sports that are less dangerous.  Why football?  Why the obsession with the Super Bowl?

 

Fill me in so I can try to understand.  (No condemnation - I'm just trying to understand it.)

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I'm with you, Creekland. I can get the idea of sports obsession generally. At times I've enjoyed following some sports. And I grew up with sports fans. There's a whole sense of belonging, following a season, a story, rooting for specific players, knowing the statistics, etc. etc. That all makes sense to me. And I know that I don't understand the ins and outs of the sport of football because it's the one sport my father had almost no interest in. He'd put something weird from the Olympics before football. Like, I'm sure he watched the Superbowl, but it was so not his game. Thus, I have no understanding of it. But I get that others do and that it's just as intricate as sports I do understand.

 

But now that we know how dangerous it is... I really, really don't get it. Like, the glorification of it, the putting your kids into it. Ugh. Every sport has risks, but even the closest contender for injuries to football is miles behind it.

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I don't exactly get it either, as in - I don't have a love of football.   I know a lot of people who do.  My in-laws live for their alma mater's football games.  

 

But, that said, it's just a sport a lot of people happen to like.  It can be exciting to watch.  People enjoy figuring out the strategy before a play is executed. People like watching the physical effort and skill required to play well.  If people played (or grew to enjoy watching) in high school and/or college, they will likely carry that love on in their life.  For a lot of people, there are good memories involved with football. 

 

Anyway, I do think Ali is right.  Fewer kids are signing up for it.  Soccer is becoming much more popular in my area.  

 

I won't miss football.  I am sad that the popularity of baseball is waning, though.  :-/

 

ETA: re: my inlaws' love of the sport - we figured out one day that one of the ways our family (my husband, myself, and kids) disappointed them is... my son was never on a football teams, and my daughter was never a cheerleader.  Now that's some sports love for ya.    :-)

Edited by marbel
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My love for the sport has decreased as more of this info is available.  :0/

Part of it, also, has been moving away from my home team, Denver, which makes it harder to follow because the sports news is on the sports page, not on the front page, where it belongs.  :0)  It was really fun growing up in a town that was pretty much united in rooting for the team.  

 

But in the past 20 years, there have been a lot of changes in the game itself, and in the "personal celebrity" focus (rather than team-building), and there's a lot of info about personal injury coming out, and a lot of the stars from when I was a kid are showing the personal damage resulting from the sport...and it's just not as much fun anymore.  

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I watch football but would hope any grandchildren I have would not play the game.  My son in law played both in high school and SEC college for one year and he did get concussions.  We watch college games and very, very occasionally an NFL game.  I like soccer and hockey better because they have constant action but I usually only watch hockey live.  Football has action in little bits but I like seeing strategy and physical achievement.  I hate baseball-  I find it very, very boring.

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I love it, and we have a SB party for our youth group every year, but honestly, I think we are all in denial of how bad a sport it really is. I think we are the last generation who can even remotely claim ignorance and it will be defunct in 50 years. Why so long? $$$$ plain and simple. My hope, however, is that thrre will be new technology invented that will take the possibility of brain injuries away so people can play safely.

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One other thing I forgot to mention is that football is absolutely made for TV.  Continuous action sports like hockey or soccer are much better live, but football is as much fun on TV as it is live.  They have made it that way intentionally.  I think that is part of the reason for the fandom.  

 

Baseball is a lot more fun live, as well.  You sit in the sun, drink beer with your friends, or read a book if you want, and if you get bored, there's always a game to watch.  LOL.  (I loved going to the minor-league games in Colorado, and to the Rockies games as well.)

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We watch it. I remember it was a huge deal in my family, growing up. I did not start liking it until my oldest began playing. He played in high school. Then my daughter began marching,my nephew played, and now another one is playing. We live in a small southern town, so Friday night fall football is huge here. Huge.

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I do like football over some other sports.  Baseball is my favorite though.  My kids wouldn't be any good at football anyway, so I'm glad I don't have to make that decision.  Also, along with the injuries football is a lifestyle that you have to really be all in about and we are just not that way.  

It is thrilling seeing good strategy,  a great pass or great run to touchdown.  Also, the tailgating aspect is really good wholesome fun.  Basically a fancy picnic with your friends with football on the side.  I really like soccer and hope US players can earn more money here, but the penalty kicks for tie breakers ruin the game for me.  I really can not stand it.  However, both my older kids did a few years of soccer and it was fun and great exercise.  I'm sure my little one will play soccer too.  

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The noisiest college sports fans I have encountered are people who did not attend the particular university of their fandom. I have never understood that!

 

I understand how sports provide distractions.  But the violent passions that some people feel for certain teams baffle me.

 

Regarding football, I have never understood the appeal either.  Most of the men I know with knee problems blame football.  Yet they'll cheer their boys on??

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I  have never understood why sports in general has such a following and why on earth the players are paid so highly.

There are some pretty exciting advances in science yet the scientists are not as highly paid nor as glorified.

I don't get it.

 

You and I are similar.

 

Don't look to me for an answer. I don't understand the entire concept of watching sports. (I was actually thinking about this while skimming over the "I don't get Star Wars" discussion.)

 

I thought of it while at school and seeing some students on the team.  I don't want to ask them (perhaps making them feel bad), so thought I'd ask here.

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It's fun to be fans of teams that consistently do good. Grew up in New England so Go Pats! Inherited Green Bay Packers from fil. We are also sec fans. I don't know if I'd have interest if I grew up in other areas or if Dh's family weren't all SEC grads.

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I don't think the ins and outs of a particular sport matter. People are raised to love football.    Or they go to college where football is a big deal  all over the culture (and they are "go-alongers").  Or they get to like it as a way to bond with coworkers over fantasy football.  It's those emotional / cultural connections that make any sport really important to a person.

 

I lived 50 miles outside Pittsburgh. Every Sunday during the season, you will see jerseys and jackets and hats for the Steelers everywhere.  At the grocery store or a museum or restaurant, you will see many people wearing yellow and gold. Little kids. Store clerks. Granddads. Rich. Poor.  It's a little surreal. But of course it's not about the sport. It's cultural.

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Beats me.

 

You know the whole Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction incident some years ago?   They had all kinds of people writing to complain.  So my husband wrote to the network to tell them he was offended by the fact they show football and that it should be censored.  :laugh:

Edited by SparklyUnicorn
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Egg-shaped ball - what's up with that, people? The thing doesn't even fly straight

When one guy is down the rest pile all on top of him. Looks like jungle gym...??

When it says, 3 minutes left on the clock, it's actually an hour and a half???

 

:leaving:

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I've never liked football. Dh used to be a fan, but not anymore. He got disgusted by the fact that just about every time you opened the sports section, there was another player getting arrested for domestic violence, child abuse, s*xual assault, murder, and other assorted ugly crimes. 

 

We would never let our kids play football, either, because of the concussion risk. I remember when I took my oldest ds for his first day of kindergarten, the teacher was all excited over how big and tall he was, and said he was going to be great for the high school football team in the future. Um, sorry lady, no way!

 

I am a huge hockey fanatic, however. I love the fast pace, the hockey culture, just everything about it. I watch upwards of 100 NHL games every season.

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I am not a fan. I actually don't enjoy watching sports at all. Even when I have my own child participating in something, I'm really only interested in what they themselves do, not in the team.

 

DH played football growing up. He was talented and recruited for college, where he played for a year, I think, before deciding to quit to have more time for his studies. He likes to watch his local college and NFL teams on tv and will watch the Super Bowl. But he hasn't drawn our kids into watching it with him. It is something that he grew up loving, and he still does, but in a quiet, personal way. He'd prefer to watch the games alone instead of going to a viewing party.

 

Some people like football for the community experience -- going to the games in person, tailgating, hosting or going to parties. It's a social experience for them.

 

I always said I would never want a child to play football. DS11 started to insist that he wanted to play, but I was resistant. DH was not really in favor of it, either, but was not as negative about it as I was. We found a way to compromise by signing DS up for flag football. He enjoyed it for a couple of seasons and then lost interest. I'm glad that he got it out of his system without being on any tackle teams.

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Count me in with those who said they don't get it.

I get doing sports - I don't get watching other people do sports.

As for the societal obsession, which in the end is what sells the ads: beats me. I don't have the gene.

This. All of it. Beats me as to why it is so popular and I was raised in a sports loving home where both sets of parents still tune in weekly to watch our regional team.

 

I always went out to roller blade or read a book during that time slot.

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We enjoy watching sports with friends. It's just a fun way to hang out.  We go to our local minor league baseball games, love watching the local pro hockey team that feeds into the Blackhawks, and we love SEC football.  Last year we went to Mizzou to see our favorite SEC team and the Mizzou fans were so gracious.  We were welcomed, sat alongside Mizzou fans and we each congratulated the other's team when they made a good play. Same camaraderie we found when we went to a Packers game. It's just fun.  

 

Football is making an effort to be more safe for the players but the jury is still out on whether it's enough. 

 

I cannot watch boxing at all...now that I can't stand. 

 

Super Bowl- just a fun way to spend an evening. Good food, friends, and a game.  I don't consider us fanatics enough to have it considered madness, though.  But I grew up in Atlanta so I am happy the Falcons are playing (though I would have enjoyed Green Bay just as much!)

Edited by Annie G
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So, are we talking about real football ? Or American football ?

 

Real football is a world game. It's also awesome. I also love it, the first time I've ever loved sport in my life. I can tell you who's where on the Premier League Ladder, lol. 

 

But - no tackling. Is that the issue with the American kind ? 

 

Yes, in my OP I mentioned American football to distinguish it.  And yes, it's the rough tackling that makes American football so dangerous - head injuries that hurt the brain are common and joint issues in early adulthood plague many.  Personally, I wouldn't want those issues for myself or my kids.  We do things that some consider dangerous (flying on airplanes or helicopters, scuba, etc), but statistically... football carries far more danger IMO.

 

I don't watch all that much soccer either - just the Olympics and WC games (as many WC games as I can anyway, not just when the US is playing).  My kids played soccer and hubby coached their team, but I'm not a big TV fan in general so don't take the time to sit down and watch much of anything regularly.  The events I watch only come around every 4 years, so I can make something out of them.  

 

This. All of it. Beats me as to why it is so popular and I was raised in a sports loving home where both sets of parents still tune in weekly to watch our regional team.

 

I always went out to roller blade or read a book during that time slot.

 

My mom and sister were and are avid fans - knowing players, teams, etc, though mom is more into college than pro.  Sis does both.

 

My dad never had an interest.  I guess I got his genes when it comes to sports.  I went outside and wandered the woods or rode ponies or read rather than watch sports (or most TV).

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Dh and I watched our yearly dose of football yesterday... The Bad Lip Reading NFL. (warning for weirdness and profanity)

 

I have (no joke, because it feels like I'm a parody of a certain sort of woman typing this out for real) a meeting of a feminist book club during the Super Bowl.

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DH just came in the room, so I asked him why he loves football. He said he loves the game, because he used to play it (which I mentioned in my post above).

 

Okay, I said, but what about people who didn't grow up playing the game but are big fans of watching it? Why is that?

 

"Because it's awesome!" he said.

 

So there you go.

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In the past, Bill has been very vocal in threads about kids and football.

 

Pro or con?

 

I mean, I thought about writing a comment saying something to the effect of, "I knew we had a kinship, :coolgleamA: " but upon further reflection, if he's pro... my brain is off with it's knowledge!  (For that I would blame radiation after effects... ;)  )

 

On a more serious note, I firmly believe that everyone gets to choose for themselves what they like, follow, and/or participate in, but I can't relate to those who want their kids in that sport with the knowledge we have now.  To me it's sort of like giving a kid a cigarette and saying, "Here, try this," (which also happens in some families, but leaves me wondering why - with today's knowledge - anyone thinks that's a good idea).  To each our own.

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I don't think the ins and outs of a particular sport matter. People are raised to love football.    Or they go to college where football is a big deal  all over the culture (and they are "go-alongers").  Or they get to like it as a way to bond with coworkers over fantasy football.  It's those emotional / cultural connections that make any sport really important to a person.

 

I lived 50 miles outside Pittsburgh. Every Sunday during the season, you will see jerseys and jackets and hats for the Steelers everywhere.  At the grocery store or a museum or restaurant, you will see many people wearing yellow and gold. Little kids. Store clerks. Granddads. Rich. Poor.  It's a little surreal. But of course it's not about the sport. It's cultural.

 

I don't know about in general, but this certainly wasn't the case in our house. DH and I didn't grow up in sport loving households, but we watch our team play every Sunday. Our parents didn't (and still don't) watch it, our high school didn't have a football team until our junior year, we went to nerdy colleges where nobody cared about sports (our teams were the "Engineers" and the "Tartans" :lol: ) we don't particularly talk about it with others, and DH has never shown the slightest interest in fantasy football. It's really just the three of us hanging out, watching the game (and half the time DS is reading a book, or in bed). 

 

We've drifted from sport to sport over the years (it used to be baseball, then basketball, and it's been football for quite a few years now). I don't know why, but I just really enjoy watching football. I'm non-violent, hate confrontation, and would never ever let my child play football, and yet... I enjoy watching it. I find it entertaining. 

 

But I'll agree, all the new information that has come out, and the constant stories about what the players are doing off the field, has definitely given me pause. We're New England Patriots fans, and they're a lot of fun to watch. The quarterback is amazing, and keeps breaking records, and just seeing some of the crazy catches and plays is a good time. But I keep thinking in the back of my head, once Brady retires (assuming he ever does ;))... maybe it's time to move on. 

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I love football. All of it. The spectacle, the personalities, the game. I think it is the most true team sport that we watch. Everyone needs to do their job on the field or the ball does not move. I think that is what a lot of men learn as teens playing in high school. Do your job. Do it right, do it well, people depend on you. I think that is one of the great lessons of football.

Yes, I know that those lessons can be learned elsewhere and in different ways. But the men I know who played football want their boys to play to learn those lessons too.

And ime, concussions happen in nearly every contact sport. Here, hockey leagues require a baseline neurological exam before the season starts. Hockey, basketball, soccer, lacrosse. Those are the big concussion sports here. Also, horseback riding, gymnastics, mountain biking, and even one on swimming ( running into the wall on backstroke). Sports can be dangerous.

 

People who love their sport and are professional (or almost--like NCAA athletes) will do their sport regardless of the danger to themselves. Having just watched the wonderful finals of the French Open, it was glorious to see the athletes, all of whom have endured serious injury, and will likely reap the whirlwind of those injuries in old age, play excellently and with passion. I see that in people I love and I respect it, even if I don't understand it.

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I used to be a huge fan of football. When we first got married dh was the football widow, not me. I'm not sure how I lost interest. I think it was that while keeping up with a very active toddler (at the time undiagnosed adhd) I just didn't have time to watch games. By the time he was old enough to be on his own more I just got out of the habit of watching football. The more I hear about brain injuries, the more I'm glad that I'm no longer interested in it. I didn't find That Mitchell and Webb Look until long after I lost interest, but this video about sums it up for me now. It's not about American football but the sentiment is the same. Like you I do check my alma mater's scores occasionally, especially when I know they were playing the big rival.

 

 

 

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Highly pro. It's one of the few areas where I disagree with him. 

 

It's good that I waited with my response then - and put both options in.   :lol:

 

After reading all the replies, I'm wondering if whether one likes watching sports or not (and which sports) has a genetic factor of some sort.

 

I agree that playing sports is a whole different thing as one is more active in that.  Which sport one chooses is probably based upon availability and similar genetic factors as above.  (Similar to wondering why someone likes a certain color shirt and someone else does not - just an individual deal.)

 

We did choose for our kids, opting for soccer (through 8th grade) and Chess (8th - 12th grades).  Once in college they were on their own and did some intramurals, etc., but that's not much different than pick up games of various sorts here.

 

Of course, we hiked and rode ponies and scuba and such things too - but none of that competitively - just for fun.  We raised competitive show ponies (still do, just slashed our numbers way down), but we, ourselves, didn't show as my boys really weren't into it.  (I did in my youth - college.)

 

It's all been in interesting discussion.  Thanks for giving me some insight to think about - and again - not one iota of condemnation from here toward any of those who choose to watch tomorrow's game - or hopes their kid will someday be in that spot.  Hubby and I have already decided we're ordering Chinese and watching Jason Bourne (movie on DVD).   :coolgleamA:

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Pro or con?

 

I mean, I thought about writing a comment saying something to the effect of, "I knew we had a kinship, :coolgleamA: " but upon further reflection, if he's pro... my brain is off with it's knowledge!  (For that I would blame radiation after effects... ;)  )

 

On a more serious note, I firmly believe that everyone gets to choose for themselves what they like, follow, and/or participate in, but I can't relate to those who want their kids in that sport with the knowledge we have now.  To me it's sort of like giving a kid a cigarette and saying, "Here, try this," (which also happens in some families, but leaves me wondering why - with today's knowledge - anyone thinks that's a good idea).  To each our own.

I totally agree with you -- I am so glad my ds never wanted to play football, but even if he had, both my dh and I were in agreement that we wouldn't have allowed it due to all of the safety concerns.

 

As Kathy already mentioned, Bill is in the "highly pro" camp, and when I saw your thread, the first thing that came into my mind was, "Where's Bill?" What can I say; Bill's a memorable guy! :D

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My first boyfriend in college had played football in high school and was adamant that any children of his would never play football.  My kids played soccer.  None of them ever got a concussion.

 

On sad news.  in a neighboring town a former Alabama player from Bear Bryant's 1961 team and who played in the NFL for a little bit committed suicide this week.  I turned to my husband and said, "football claims another victim." and he agreed since this guy was a defender and I am sure he got concussions.

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My first boyfriend in college had played football in high school and was adamant that any children of his would never play football.  My kids played soccer.  None of them ever got a concussion.

 

On sad news.  in a neighboring town a former Alabama player from Bear Bryant's 1961 team and who played in the NFL for a little bit committed suicide this week.  I turned to my husband and said, "football claims another victim." and he agreed since this guy was a defender and I am sure he got concussions.

 

It's really sad when I hear about the suffering of former players. It's especially so for the older ones who played before many of the long term effects were even known.

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I'll admit it. American football has never interested me. I can't name any players. I can't name all the teams. I occasionally watch what my Alma mater does/did, but usually in scores the morning after rather than watching the game and only because by being in the Corps of Cadets we had to go to all home games. I haven't watched a Super Bowl - ever - and just found out it's coming up this Sunday. I don't give a hoot about commercials either. That's just me.

 

But why, considering all the recent talk of permanent brain injuries from it and other assorted lifelong health issues major players have from a young age, why is it still so popular?

 

I don't get it. I'd never let my kids play it (and didn't). Why do some parents WANT their kids to have this risk, esp with "the higher they go, the more risk they have?" There are other sports that are less dangerous. Why football? Why the obsession with the Super Bowl?

 

Fill me in so I can try to understand. (No condemnation - I'm just trying to understand it.)

Same here. As a 4H leader who never attended state, I am obliged to a friend level of rivalry with Michigan. It can be a little bit fun. My brother is a football fan and totally Maize and Blue. So if the score indicates State beat Michigan, my son's and I can be dutifully relied upon to at some point in the season plant Spartan pennants in his yard, or toilet paper his car with green crepe paper as well.

 

And beyond that nothing. Living in Michigan I am aware that the Lions STINK! LOL.

 

That's it. Nothing more.

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I should add though that we love kayaking, swimming, hiking, and skiing...not competitively but really enjoy the activity, and we do watch skiing, snowboarding, rowing, etc. when the Olympics is on...tunnel bear for the BBC of course because the American media drama taking the place of seeing events is really aggravating.

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My first boyfriend in college had played football in high school and was adamant that any children of his would never play football. My kids played soccer. None of them ever got a concussion.

 

On sad news. in a neighboring town a former Alabama player from Bear Bryant's 1961 team and who played in the NFL for a little bit committed suicide this week. I turned to my husband and said, "football claims another victim." and he agreed since this guy was a defender and I am sure he got concussions.

He was at least 73, this was definitely related to football? Edited by kitten18
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I lived 50 miles outside Pittsburgh. Every Sunday during the season, you will see jerseys and jackets and hats for the Steelers everywhere.  At the grocery store or a museum or restaurant, you will see many people wearing yellow and gold. Little kids. Store clerks. Granddads. Rich. Poor.  It's a little surreal. But of course it's not about the sport. It's cultural.

 

I haven't experienced that same level of devotion in any other city I've lived in. Sure, some people have Texans jerseys, but it's not like the whole city dresses in blue and red on Sunday. I think this is partially because all the Pittsburgh teams are black and gold: the Pens and the Pirates as well as the Steelers. In Houston some teams are red, some are orange and the Astros have flipped back and forth. It's just not the same as having all your teams color coordinated.

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