Monday, September 22, 2014

This (Non) Sporting Life: A Football Post That's Not About Football

Football fans have been having it a bit rough lately. As the summer became the unbearably slow slog towards the start of a new season, fans across the nation were ready and anxious to answer the clarion call that summons so many Americans to action: 


And the answer echoes from across the mountains and prairies, from sea to shining sea: 


So that sent football fans forth from their homes to grocery stores to stock up on beer, Doritos, more beer, various forms of meat and meat-like products and, just be on the safe side, more beer. Then it was back to their homes to get comfortable in front of their flat screen digital TVs with their stockpile of rations to watch FOOTBALL....

...domestic violence reports?

Look, if you're putting together a fantasy football team*, in addition to pass completions, yards run and tackles made, you also have to factor in a player's DVS or Domestic Violence Status. Yeah, Player X has more yards rushing than any other player but what's his DVS? Has Player X been accused of beating his girlfriend, wife or child? Was the player arrested? Is there any actual evidence of this act of violence, say video from a security camera? 

It's always tricky when real life rudely interferes with our escapist fantasies, whether it's sports, movies, TV, music or whatever it is you young people do on the internets.  And there is no more harsh remind of real life than domestic violence. You might be disappointed to hear your favorite singer or TV actor or (checking my notes here) "You Tuber" has been arrested for something like illegal drug use or soliciting for sex. But that is viewed as primarily self-inflicted. 

But domestic violence is doing something harmful, perhaps even deadly, to another person. And not just any other person but a person who has love turned into fear at the back of a striking hand. It is not just an act of violence which is reprehensible enough but an act of betrayal of the worst kind. It's hard to disassociate the public figure from the crime when the crime is hurting another person. If you don't think so, when was the last time Mel Gibson starred in a successful motion picture? And can you watch The Naked Gun movies the same way whenever O. J. Simpson comes on screen? Man, I loved those movies but now....well, fuck you, O.J.!

So football fans, I know all you wanna do is just watch some football. You really don't want to have deal with this domestic violence shit but deal with it we must. Because innocent people are being made victims of unchecked rages and physical pain. And there is no diversion worth so much that we can turn a blind eye to that. 

(Although it appears people may be doing just that. Click here.) 


*I continue to find it fascinating that for football fans, actual football games are not enough. No, some fans engage in fantasy leagues where players are mixed and matched into different configurations. Yet this fantasy is still constrained by real life. If a player gets injured or arrested in the real world, well there go your stats in the fantasy league. 

Me, I would want my fantasy team to incorporate fantasy elements like super powers. Who knows, maybe Tony Romo wouldn't suck so much if he had heat vision.


Sometimes the game itself is just not enough, particularly when the game is a blow out like last last Thursday's match up between the Falcons and the Buccaneers where Atlanta just destroyed Tampa Bay.  

So for a certain young woman in the stands, other distractions were called for. 

The ref totally missed the call on that illegal holding.

And let's leave on that happy note, OK?

Be good to one another.

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

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