America’s beloved sport. Do you know why it’s named football? Well, we saw the sport the rest of the world was playing and thought it’d be more fun if we could pick up the ball with our hands. Turns out the rest of the world didn’t think the game was fun anymore.
And so, as with most American things, we appropriated the name, threw in some violence and made it our own. Football is a terrifically violent sport that most Americans, including myself, cannot get enough of. When I was young I wanted to play football really bad. My mom signed me up for flag football which she convinced me was basically the same. I did not buy it. Even at the tender age of 8 I had a bloodthirsty desire to pulverize other kids. Eventually my passion petered out and I was accepted into the Mennonite Church.
Goshen College doesn’t have a football team, which may be a good thing. Even though we’d be really good at the kneeling part at the beginning of the game, I think the violent smashing and bashing might get to us. Fortunately, every year the NFL satiates thousands of Mennonites’ pent up anger and frustration. I find if I focus hard enough, I can channel my energy into a defensive lineman and feel the QB’s soft body crumple as I blindside him. I would argue that watching football in this way is a healthy* release. I have a suggestion to improve the sport. No, not the helmets. Nope, not the absurd price of the sports package for cable TV. Nor shall I comment on the ridiculous game length compared to how little they actually play. ** What the NFL really needs is an average Joe to go out there and stand next to the linemen so we can see how big they are. We just need a control group of humans to get out there on the field so we can see the true magnitude of the bone jarring, skull crushing hits. Like when they televise swimming and track (aka during the Olympics) they have that virtual pacing line of the world record. We need that, but for an average human being.
Every year I not only waste 3 hours for every NFL game I watch, but I also participate in the very meaningless world of Fantasy Football. Fantasy Football for those of you who don’t know is a game where people draft professional football players and create their own virtual team that scores points based on how well each individual player does.
I think Goshen College should set up its own Fantasy League. Students score points by how well they perform in classes, sports, or their participation in campus clubs and activities. Hey CAC, Pal-entines Day is fun (actually I had never heard of it until an ex-CAC member told me about it), but this would get kids more involved, strengthen academics on campus, and bring people together in ways we haven’t seen before. What better incentive do millennials need than meaningless virtual points?! I’d love to craft a team of strong Goshen-ites and scout out the top performing first years. I’ve seen Ian Martin longboarding around on campus. Not once has he fallen over the train tracks. Besides that, I think he would score big points in a Fantasy Goshen League.
* I said healthy release, not sexual release. This would not be a healthy sexual release.
** Actually, I will comment. If soccer stopped as many times as football, it would take 3 days to complete.