Our family stopped following pro football a few years ago.
This was a pretty big deal, as The Husband was a life-long Chiefs fan, and our autumn Sundays (and occasional Monday and Thursday nights) completely revolved around their games. Oldest Sister has a cap signed by Len Dawson, who led the Chiefs to their only Superbowl win – ancient history. We have photos of all of our and our friends’ infants, toddlers, and preschoolers decked out in Chiefs gear. It was a family tradition.
And we were firm supporters of our high school team. Such fun to sit in the stands on a crisp fall evening, scream for our boys, and clap along to the fight song.
But when we started reading articles about long-term brain damage from head injury, and a high school kid in our community died of a football injury… the fun started to go out of football. On top of that I had my own head injury – a silly swimming pool accident in which I was clocked in the face with an elbow – and I ended up dealing with post-concussion depression. Now it made me ill to think of what young people and misguided pro players were doing to themselves. Not to mention all the macho posturing that pervades the game…it all just seems like the sport brings out the worst in humanity.
But last night, we gave in to the hype. Our Chiefs were 9-0 and were playing the 8-1 Broncos. It’s all anyone could talk about all weekend. Having the evening free, Middle Sister and I tuned in while doing homework and knitting. The Husband can feel smug that he was too busy working on my van to join us.
Because it turns out that we were right – football is a disgusting mess. Misplaced priorities. Celebrating violence. Ignoring completely unacceptable behavior (though I loved the taunting penalty against the Bronco player in the endzone – I kept thinking, “Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!”).
No more football for me. That’s okay, though, because there’s plenty to take its place in my viewing schedule. The “Call the Midwife” Christmas special airs on Dec. 29. And “Sherlock” returns on January 19. No blocks in the back, no unsportsmanlike behavior, and no late hits. Can’t wait.