I have always enjoyed sports. As a youngster, I played organized sports–even into college. Over the years, I played football, basketball, and baseball. I ran track. And I was on the high school wrestling team. Football and wrestling were my two favorite sports.
As an adult, I have always enjoyed watching college and professional sports on television. And on occasion, I enjoyed attending professional sporting events. Though I must admit that over the past several years, I have just about stopped watching sports on television–except I still enjoy watching NFL football and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament when I can (which isn’t too often, as I’m always working).
As a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan, I always root for the NFC champion in the Super Bowl. Accordingly, I was rooting for the Seattle Seahawks in the Big Game last Sunday evening. I predicted Seattle would win, because it has always been my observation that a great defense usually beats a great offense in a championship game–especially in pro football. Although, along with everyone else, I was surprised at how badly the Seahawks beat the Broncos.
Because I played sports growing up, I came to appreciate the positive attributes of organized athletics. Obviously, the physical conditioning and discipline required in athletics is an important element in the overall health of young people. I’m not sure how it is in public schools today, but when I was going to public school, one did not have to join the school’s sports team to receive physical conditioning. We had an organized physical regimen each and every semester–from grade school all the way up. It was called PE (Physical Education) class in those days, and it wasn’t play time. We had to work.
Running, jump-rope, sit-ups, push-ups, rope-climbing, jumping-jacks, peg-board climbing, gymnastics, and more, were all part of PE. And when I was in high school, PE class actually included boxing, complete with intramural tournaments. When a fight broke out on the playground, the PE teacher would take the fellows to the gym, and both guys would put on the gloves and go at it. Some of my best friends were made that way. But, of course, the physical exertion and stamina required in organized team sports was much more demanding.
I can honestly say overweight youngsters were a rare sight when I was growing up. Oh, there were a few kids who suffered from this handicap, but they were few and far between. On the whole, the vast majority of kids I went to school with were in good physical condition.
I do believe the problem of concussion that college, and especially professional, football players are experiencing today is very real. Football players have become so strong and fast over the years that the hits these guys are taking is horrific. Of course, the way to resolve this problem is to take off the space-age crash helmets and go back to the old leather helmets–with no face guard. When football players wore those things, you never heard about concussions. And we don’t hear too much about concussions from Rugby players today. Broken noses, yes, but no concussions. But, obviously, the old leather helmets have about as much chance of returning as the Edsel.
Be that as it may, the physical conditioning required in athletics is very beneficial thing. One only needs to look at the current generation of youngsters to see that, overall, there is a serious lack of physical conditioning going on. Kids don’t play outside like we used to. We didn’t live in a virtual electronic world back then. Believe it or not, some of us (like me) didn’t even have television growing up. Just about everything we did for fun back then required going outside and being active. In today’s high-tech age, if a youngster doesn’t play organized sports, he or she will get almost zero physical activity. The physical demands of organized sports are meeting a vital need in the lives of many young people today.
Another benefit of sports is learning the importance of teamwork and self-control. I saw more than one “punk” turn into a young man after a few years of being subjected to the rigors and discipline of team sports. Granted, with the way talented athletes are given special treatment these days, this part of the benefit of team sports can be negated, but, still, the benefit of team sports upon most youngsters is more beneficial than not.
Being able to work well with others, being able to rely on others, being able to recognize the contributions others make to the success of a program, and being able to learn how to receive (and give) commands are all vitally helpful character traits that will assist a person throughout his or her entire life. Organized sports teach all of that and more.
I say all of the above so that readers will understand that I am not one of these anti-sports guys who thinks sports is all bad and that everyone who participates in them is bad. I don’t believe that for one second. My two sons and my son-in-law all played organized sports growing up (football and baseball mostly), and I believe each one of them is better for it.
Furthermore, there are a lot of quality people playing in collegiate and professional sports. For example, don’t think for one minute that there are only a handful of Christians in the NFL. Every team in the NFL has several devout Christians among them. I urge folks to read this story about several Christians on the Seahawks football team:
However, with all of the above said, I also believe that the obsession of so many men with sports (especially football) is an indication that our country is in a very serious and dangerous decline. In fact, the obsession we see with sports today is comparable to the obsession that the citizens of Rome had with the gladiator “games” in the waning years of that empire’s existence. They were so distracted with the “games” that they didn’t even notice that their country was collapsing. The same thing is happening in America now.
The average American man today couldn’t list the Bill of Rights to save his life, but he knows the minutest details of his favorite sports team and players. Listen to the lunch conversations at almost any restaurant or the foyer conversations at almost any church and all you will hear are men talking about sports. It is quite disgusting! It’s almost as if men are trying to live out their masculinity vicariously through their favorite sports heroes. In a bygone era, when a man painted his face, he was going to war. Now, he is going to a sporting event. If the men of America were as passionate about preserving liberty as they are cheering for their favorite football team, our country would not be in the sinkhole it is in today.
Furthermore, as much as I love football, I am personally chagrined at how liberal and globalistic the corporate office of the NFL has become. Of all professional sports, the NFL corporate office is the worst. They wage war against people who try to hold up John 3:16 signs in the stadiums. Virtually any other sign or banner is completely welcome in NFL stadiums, but try to hold up a John 3:16 banner, and you will be escorted out of the building. They allow Bob Costas to use the public platform granted him by the NFL and NBC to wax long and loud for additional gun control, while at the same time refusing to allow Daniels Defense to purchase a wholesome, family-friendly commercial–even though the commercial contained no reference whatsoever to firearms. The NFL corporate office denies prohibiting the Daniels Defense commercial and accuses FOX network of doing it. Of course, FOX denies prohibiting the commercial and says it was only abiding by NFL policy. Bottom line: the commercial was denied.
However, many of us remember that during last year’s Super Bowl, the NFL allowed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pro-gun-control organization, “Mayors Against Illegal Guns,” to air a pro-gun-control commercial. And, of course, it didn’t offend NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to air Coca Cola’s globalist commercial in this year’s Super Bowl that featured the song, “America, The Beautiful,” being sung in foreign languages.
The Coke commercial might not have offended Goodell, but it sure offended the majority of the American people who saw it. The reaction to Coke’s commercial has been nothing short of a total bomb. Coca Cola has been inundated with loud and angry responses to the commercial–and rightfully so. America was founded and built by English-speaking people. We shouldn’t have to “push one for English” or listen to “America, The Beautiful” being sung in foreign tongues. America is an English-speaking country. Get over it!
I continue to believe that organized sports can be a very healthy and helpful tool for young people. And I continue to enjoy what little sports I have time to watch these days. But, at the same time, I am absolutely convinced that the way so many American males have allowed themselves to become addicted to sports–or maybe even worshippers of sports–is one of the biggest reasons why our freedoms are being stripped from us. Too many of America’s men are more concerned about who wins the Super Bowl than whether their children will grow up in a land of liberty.
Yes, I was rooting for the Seahawks last Sunday evening, but on Monday morning I was talking about the deterioration of our liberties–not the deterioration of the Broncos gridiron performance. Come on, fellas. Don’t let your love of sports distract you from your love of liberty. The collapse of Denver’s offense last Sunday is nothing compared to the collapse of our country’s freedoms tomorrow.