From the Editor: Sports!
Let me apologize in advance.
Most sports, especially football, are white noise to me. Ostensibly, yes, I get the camaraderie and togetherness, the fellow feeling among fans that their team is winning, which is of course representative of something larger within each spectator—the illusion of victory.
But I simply cannot remain upright during a football game. While the athleticism is impressive, the hero worship of these men is beyond me. It’s like watching a demolition derby—if the cars had human brains under their hoods.
In fact, the amount of brain injuries in football players (they occur once in every 5.5 games, and contribute to 65% to 95% of all fatalities) is alarming. I personally have never understood the risk v. reward involved.
Although I’ve never played football, I have had at least five major concussions (I grew up boxing, skateboarding and generally being reckless; as I write this, I have a black eye from an incident on New Year’s Eve). The effects of these injuries (three of which knocked me unconscious, one of which had me rushed 80 miles by ambulance to the hospital) are still up in the air, but I do know that my interpersonal communication skills, self-concepts and general wellbeing have at least been touched.
I’ve tried watching sports. As an undergraduate, I performed a kind of anthropological study: Sitting in various sports bars during football games and observing spectators of varying degrees of enthusiasm. It was interesting, but I was not left criticizing or scrutinizing in some elitist way. Rather, I was envious of those who were so earnestly devoted to something I didn’t understand, of those who were part of a circle outside of which I existed.