Monday, August 26, 2019

Football Fulminations

Over at The Federalist we find a couple of early-season opinions about football events, each of which evokes some response that, combined, can make a blog post of appropriate length. Is such a post worth your time? Hey, do not ask of me what I do not claim to offer.

-- In this post, Lutheran pastor and frequent contributor Hans Fiene suggests that Indianapolis Colts fans response to Andrew Luck's retirement is "reprehensible, yet understandable." The 29-year-old Luck, plagued by injuries in recent years and plagued by a dismal offensive line since signing with the Colts, found football to be no longer any fun and decided to hang up his cleats. When the announcement was made during Saturday's preseason game, fans booed. Fiene acknowledges that the booing was unwarranted and shameful before spending several paragraphs explaining why the fans might have done it. Whatever, waah-waah-waah.

I don't blame Luck one bit. His boss is Colts owner Jim Irsay. This is the man who sniffed down his nose at the idea of radio flamethrower Rush Limbaugh buying an NFL team because of Limbaugh's lack of character while also being a man who donated money to John "She's Having My Baby" Edwards and Harry "Lying Dingy Gray Smear" Reid, buying his girlfriend at least one house with the team's money and developing a fine substance abuse habit that culminated in a 2014 arrest for DUI and possession. If I suddenly realized that I was sacrificing my ability to stand upright in my '50s and pick up my grandchildren for a guy like this I'd quit too.

-- Federalist New York correspondent David Marcus heated up his keyboard for a rant against the idea of college football fandom, saying that the college game is inferior to the pro game in almost every respect and mocking its devotees. Marcus is correct when he says that the technical skills displayed on Sundays outrank those displayed on Saturdays. And he is correct when he says lopsided blowouts between gridiron powerhouses and their hapless opponents are boring in the extreme. He gets it right yet again when he says it's ludicrous to think players at such powerhouses are "students" in any sense resembling the actual students on campus. The first few comments are interesting in that they agree with Marcus but claim he's wrong, and I'm going to have to think a while about how that's supposed to work.

I also agree with the above points that Marcus mentions. Unless I have an interest in one of the colleges playing I don't care much for the game either. And when I think about it, one of my biggest reasons for liking the program at my own alma mater -- the upstanding, hard-working, apple-pie eating, vitamin-taking and kitten-rescuing Northwestern University Wildcats -- is what coach Pat Fitzgerald does with the program in attempting to build and mentor young men into being better and prepared for life. I only like the football because it's what gives him the opportunity to do that.

So having said that, I'm pretty sure I've guaranteed some kind of awful scandal at NU sometime in the next couple of years. You can boo me then.

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