Super Bowl Hype

Yeah, yeah, most people are concerned with the Super Bowl tomorrow. Patriots vs. Eagles. Eagles vs. Patriots. Playing the cold–no, the EXTREME cold–of Minnesota.

Have you SEEN those ticket prices? Can you imagine the good we could do if we spent money like that to help the poor or bought hats, mittens and gloves for the children of Minnesota who have to walk to school in that weather?

But I digress…

I don’t like football. I never liked football. It goes back to the days when my son played football at Schenectady High School. He was–and is–a big guy. All he had to do was stand there and the kids on the other teams would get hurt. I couldn’t watch it. In fact, I had to work in the concession stand while he played football.

But that doesn’t mean he didn’t get hurt as well. He suffered from five–count ’em–five concussions during his high school football days. If you think that wasn’t scary for me, as his mother, well, you’re wrong.

When it came time for him to go to college, several Division Three schools wanted him to play football for them. No scholarships were involved, but one of the coaches contacted me and told me he’d seen films of my son playing. Now, my son wasn’t a football standout–unless you call just standing there and blocking smaller guys from getting around him. I questioned this coach and said, “Are you sure it was him you were watching?”

“Oh, yes,” the coach assured me, and even gave me my son’s number.

“He’s not that good,” I replied.

“But he’s BIG,” the coach said. “I can teach him football. I can’t teach ‘big.'”

No, you can’t teach “big.” When I look at these football players, especially the ones who make it to the National Football League (NFL), and how they withstand hit after hit, contact after contact, concussion after concussion, broken bone after broken bone, snapped tendon after snapped tendon, knowing that some of them worked so hard to get there only because it was their way out of poverty, or their way to get an education–I just wonder what theirmothers are thinking when they watch their sons get hit–or hit other mothers’ sons–on the big stage, the NFL field.

I know, I know, they make huge amounts of money–some of them. Some of them have their careers cut short by horrific injuries from which they never recover. Some of them suffer from “silent” wounds that don’t show up for years, such as the after-effects of concussions.

All this for our entertainment. All this so that we can have a so-called “Super Bowl.”

Anyone who knows me knows that I love baseball at any level. I watch Little League all the way up to the professionals. I don’t know why I love the game as much as I do. And yes, pro baseball players face the potential of major injuries every day as well. One stray 100-mph fast ball can ruin the career of an MVP hitter in a nanosecond. A line drive sent to the pitcher’s mound can do irreparable damage to even a Cy Young Award winner.

But the Super Bowl, with huge guys whose only job it is, it seems to me, is to hurt and stop each other, is not something I enjoy watching.

Our local food pantry is running what they call the “SOUPer Bowl,” where they’re collecting donations for their patrons in need. I’d say that’s where my attentions will be focused, and not on the Patriots vs. Eagles, or, if you prefer, the Eagles vs. Patriots.

If you like football, that’s up to you. It’s just not my “thing”–even for the commercials…

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