Chilling The Thrill

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College football programs should be severely restrained or eliminated entirely. 

Universities are serving a massive injustice to kids by dangling and promoting these "glamour" sports that attract huge crowds, incomes, and unwitting participants.  They do this without acknowledging the hidden costs those kids will ultimately have to pay.   The arguments pro vs con about college football center nearly 100% of the time around the benefits to the college . . . not for the athletes themselves. 

 

This is the essence of how big-time football has corrupted America's universities. We pay the players nothing, we give them a lousy education (many of them don't even graduate), and then the university spits them out and moves on. -- Forbes

 

 

I loved football. 

I played collegiate football and ran track while also earning a degree in the sciences.  Very, very difficult.  Football takes an extra toll on a man and to compete even at the college level, many guys take testosterone.  I didn't take drugs.  I was also the guy that was sent into action when we were already guaranteed to win or guaranteed to lose.

To play college football (a fulltime job) and study for any of the science disciplines (and do great at both) is nearly impossible.  It is too competitive and demanding for kids who are at a university to learn.  College Football is incongruous to academic achievement.  Collegiate track was much, much less demanding both academically and on my body.  Same for all the other collegiate sports.

 

I don't watch football anymore.  It doesn't move me in the slightest.  Most of my college teammates do not either.  We had seen too much. 

One of my teammates was a marvel athlete.  He ran like the wind.  He also ran track.  It was a terrible night on the gridiron when he was hit in the knee, bending it 45 degrees in reverse.  He never ran again.  The scene at the hospital was equally tragic.  Visiting him, he lay in the hospital bed weeping -- not for the pain.  He wept because he just lost the love of his life (running).

 

I could write here about the social problems (or legal) for the guys who take the performance-enhancing drugs and become raging lunatics.  I could also write here about the brain injuries which cause manic depression for these guys especially after they stop playing.  I'll keep it brief.  However, these topics need more investigation and truth than what our "university" system cares to admit.

 

It is these examples (I have many more) which I have seen firsthand that chill the thrill for football.  People who enjoy watching the sport have no idea of the risks, tragedy, and sacrifice that are integral ingredients for a football program.  There is a huge sacrifice, far more than any other sport, about which stories are seldom are told.  But for those of us who lived it, football was a costly battlefield. 

There were some amazing moments.  Football taught me many things about myself such as tolerating pain and hard work.  However, those lessons were very risky while costly for many of my teammates.  I was the lucky one and came out of that experience with only slight depression and an ankle that gives me hell sometimes.

 

There is a moral duty by universities that goes unserved, currently.  Someday, these universities will have to pay for the real costs of these programs.  Right now, they escape this responsibility.  However, once the public becomes more aware of the absolute cost for these programs, the future of American football will be as it should -- finite.

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