Football: from an expert
author: annie trussler | op-ed editor
(Non)expert gives her take on the state of football
I’ve been asked to explain to you all the sport of football. Frankly, I know literally nothing about the sport — in fact, I know almost nothing about sports in general. So, I can only offer you what I do vaguely know from sports apps. In football, you repress latent homosexuality and get severe brain trauma. There is lots of beer involved, and people get super angry. Viciously angry.
My family is not a football family, fortunately — we were raised on basketball, primarily the Phoenix Suns, for whatever reason. I heard about football kids around school, and they generally impressed me. The trauma they put themselves through just to win this game. I was a dweeb for the majority of my life, (including now) and I never knew how anyone could ever commit himself or herself to something so physically traumatizing. Simply, I was a little bitch of a kid.
Alright, let’s give this a shot: football, step one. You and your friends line up behind each other, and you are all double-checking to make sure you know the secret code. I only know a few of the words: hut, ten-hut… that’s it. I think there is some other army code in there, but I can’t be sure. Someone backs up, throws the ball, and everyone goes fucking wild – everyone is hitting each other, grabbing each other, just the most grotesque display of human violence – until one particular guy is brought down like a gazelle. The whole thing feels very primitive.
From this point, I get a little confused. I think the special guy needs to run from the center point, around the bumper car-esque obstacles of human flesh, until you get to the opposite fence. You then get seven points – it’s sort of like Quidditch, but there’s no tiny, flying fairy. In fact, anything remotely feminine would be eaten alive.
I watched that early 2000s show Friday Night Lights (which actually isn’t half bad, surprisingly), and I got a vague grasp of the game. I learned that people can get paralyzed out of nowhere, your marriage can have ups and downs, and no one in the southern states smokes pot. Beat your wife all you want, but heaven forbid you touch the devil’s lettuce.[EIC’s Note: You can also have a horrifying secondary story plot of a life where you are implicated in a murder. It’s been a long time and I still can’t get over it.] The actual game is almost frighteningly masculine, almost to the point of violence. Children are worked for unreasonable lengths of time in the blistering heat, berated, insulted, and kept away from schoolwork. Like, it’s metal. I feel like a lot of these kids must have crazy esteem issues – football kids, I’m here for you.
All of this being said, I understand what it means to be willing to die for a passion. I’ve felt like that about writing and improv, and I’ve especially feel for friends and loved ones. I know many of you are willing to injure yourselves for the sake of what you love, and kudos – but , please, keep yourself safe. Please nurse concussions, listen to your doctors, and stop making your parents worry so much. I respect all athletes for what you do, what you love, but frankly, dudes, I don’t get it. There are things you can love that keep you healthy and safe. Just some food for thought.
Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!