Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Over the top

   I don't know how many of you have either played football at a competitive level or follow the NFL.  I have done both, it isn't a big deal and the older that I get, it becomes even a smaller deal.
   I am fascinated by the current foofooraw concerning the Saints.  Now, Gregg Williams and Sean Payton have been banished to the netherworld for either running or turning a blind eye to or covering up the existence of a pool of money for the purpose of rewarding players for injuring other players.
   Now, the league has decided to keep them in their high dudgeon by upholding the fines and suspensions.  I cannot say that I am either disappointed or thrilled by this decision.  The sport and its players have become too advanced and dangerous to do anything but put a stranglehold on this kind of behavior.  The science, training, conditioning, and motivation of the players are as high as humanly possible.  The equipment turns the players into kinetic weapons, capable of crippling a man for life.  There has to be a governor put on the sport so that it doesn't become rollerball.
   But there is another side of the problem.  Each intrusion of the commissioner and the voices of safety removes something from the purity of the game.  Makes it a choreographed pseudo-sport better capable of producing profits than satisfying a deep-seated need to watch competition and glory in the spectacle.
   Like everything else in out society, the decision arrived at is a motley compromise.  This one is the natural outgrowth of a sport that seems to descend more from the excesses of the East Germans than the more mundane efforts of Whizzer White.
   The decision made is correct.  The judgement is just.  It is just a tragedy that it had to come to this.

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