I grew up in Texas. Football was king, except in the places where it was God. If you had to choose between missing church on Sunday or the Cowboys early kick-off, you missed church. God would forgive you, but the NFL would just black you out and move your team to Kansas City.
You can look it up.
I played football, very badly, and was expected to play because my little school had only a few students. If all able boys did not play we could not make a team. Besides, I loved football. I thought I had to play, just like I thought I had to go to Sunday School and have zits.
My good friends who are football coaches and fans tell me any move away from football is part of the Wussification of America. I hear them. I belong to the generation that stayed in the sun all day, drank from a water hose, never wore a seat belt, ate a lot of red meat and most of it deep fried. I did not know food could be cooked except in a skillet.
Now, I hear football is such a dangerous sport it cannot be practiced as it is played. Tony Dorsett cannot remember being Tony Dorsett. The average pro football player takes up to five years off his life by playing his sport. The list of former players with scrambled brains and replaced joints is too lengthy to list. Hundreds of former players have sued the NFL for financial support for their medical bills in old age, which is something in the fifty range.
And, I wonder if the whole thing should be made to stop. I know, I know. Teddy Roosevelt considered banning football during his Presidency because young men kept dying.
And I wonder if it should be stopped right now.