Friday, October 19, 2012

NFL Thoughts

I ask myself (so you don't have to) how I can be an NFL fan despite all the injuries and other related scandals. Well, I'll answer it.

1. I must be clear that I am a fan of the National Football League, not football itself. I have actual disinterest to antipathy for high school and college football. NFL is a job; football for HS and college is a dangerous and even nihilistic perversion of institutions of learning. Colleges and HS should be about education and not sports. The only silver lining - so I've heard - is that sports are fund-raisers for the school... but there's a reason why we've outlawed child labor.

One can argue that the NFL relies on HS and college players to feed the team rosters. I counter-argue that if nobody played football until they were an adult, and were playing it as a job (with risks-benefits) and not the virtual-servitude of NCAA, then it'd be fine for me. Let kids play basketball until graduation and then try to learn the NFL as rookies. The system can change.

2. NFL injuries are a concern, however since I'm in the upper middle class I can separate my entertainment prodution from consumption. My cohort will never be football players and so I put the players in the category of blue-collar workers.

3. I thus consign the injuries to the fact that most blue collar jobs are dangerous, which is why we assign it so much nobility, and people seem to go into the jobs with eyes open. While the military is a solid comparison, it is unseemly to compare any job with the sacred defense professions (no joke) of (a) military, (b) police, and (c) firefighting.

But compare football to coal-mining, iron working, etc and I see the threat level to be the same.

4. What I am concerned with are: (a) injuries to children playing football, which has been exacerbated by the (b) complete indifference to injuries by the white-collar administration at every level. I'm a Democrat because I'm a second-generation Jewish-American which means my grandparents were blue collar (and big Union people) so I have little sympathy for NFL owners, college football, etc.

5. The problem with football hasn't been the terrible injuries as much as the way (a) the owners force the players to ignore the injuries in order to keep their jobs and (b) the owners then discard injured players, without health-care or pension, when they are no longer useful.

My description is not skewed, I think all would agree the facts are accurate, yet when I put it this way, it makes the NFL (and their disgusting clones in the college and HS world) sound like sweatshop owners of 100 years ago. And they are.

So I watch the sport because I support the class of blue-collar workers to get paid for their skills and I decry the owners who treat them terribly. I also wear clothes made in China.

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