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.

Comments

Ryan Messano Added Feb 4, 2019 - 11:54pm
Agreed.  Further, I'd ask what has television, which has done much to promote sports in America, done to make America a better place?  It seems we are far worse off than we were before it came along.  Our leisure time was spent with family and friends, in MEANINGFUL INTERACTIONS,  not all glued to the idiot box.
The Burghal Hidage Added Feb 5, 2019 - 4:17am
NCAA - National Collegiate Association of Assholes
 
Biggest collection of parasitic grifters around. Stopped giving a shit about collegiate ball a long time ago
 
Spartacus Added Feb 5, 2019 - 5:02am
Further, I'd ask what has television, which has done much to promote sports in America, done to make America a better place?
 
Well, Ryan.  That is the question.  Is massive-multi-media doing the world more good than bad.  The jury is still out on this but I would say that the printing press lead the way.
Spartacus Added Feb 5, 2019 - 5:04am
It is a frivolity, a caprice and a dalliance and not of education or learning in the greater part, or even substantially.
 
Good way to put it Mogg.
Spartacus Added Feb 5, 2019 - 5:12am
Stopped giving a shit about collegiate ball a long time ago
 
TBH, Collegiate basketball I have no problem with.  That sport doesn't carry the same long-term (and short-term) consequences that football has. 
I'm sure you are right, however.  University athletic departments become an entity within academia that is entirely foreign to academics but yields big money for administrations.
Leroy Added Feb 5, 2019 - 6:50am
There are signs that they are genuinely trying to make the game safer.  That is code for avoiding the legal costs.  It seems to be a last gasp effort.
 
I did follow my alma mater this year in their pursuit of the championship.  I am a sunshine fan.  But, I didn't watch a single game, including the championship game.  It didn't mean enough for me to pay for it.  I sure as hell won't pay the cost of admission to a game, unless it is for social reasons.
 
As to what good it does, my former company had a propensity for hiring former college athletes, especially football players.  I suppose playing team sports can have benefits in the workplace.  I worked indirectly for one for years and directly for a short while.  He was a good guy, I suppose, but I don't see where he was particularly gifted.  He was famous for saying in meetings, "I'm not going to read the whole thing to you..." before he proceeded to read the whole thing to us.  He made his way to middle management where he topped out.
White Hair'd Added Feb 5, 2019 - 9:11pm
One doesn't have to look very far to see that certain sports bring huge sums of money into a school.
Schools are just another human institution. What can you expect?
 
Boomer Sooner
Spartacus Added Feb 5, 2019 - 10:20pm
I suppose playing team sports can have benefits in the workplace.
 
Leroy, that is one reason I do not make the call to eliminate all collegiate sports.  Team participation is a great learning experience.
 
  Now, if universities prioritized these sports as "learning experiences" for students, there would be a revolution in academia on this topic.  Students could actually be awarded credits as the sports focus on an actual academic curriculum.  Winning is not the only goal -- structured learning can also be. 
Why the universities do not do this today is a mystery but underscores abandoned priorities within academia.
Spartacus Added Feb 5, 2019 - 10:22pm
Which is not to say you are two piers, side by side, but a paradox :-)
 
Geez, I hope I am not a logical paradox.  Thanks for the feedback, Mogg.  I will try to be more consistent.  :)
Spartacus Added Feb 5, 2019 - 10:28pm
Schools are just another human institution. What can you expect?
 
I expect that humans, especially the educated variety, to challenge their assumptions periodically, re-evaluate priorities based on facts. 
The problem now with academia is that it is not re-thinking or re-evaluating anything.  That myopic, arrogant, ivory-tower thinking will surely be its demise.
The university system in America will be transformed with online curriculums.  The change is slow but will happen as surely as the sun rises.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 5, 2019 - 11:23pm
Good article.
Cullen Kehoe Added Feb 6, 2019 - 3:23am
Completely agree. Football and basketball at division 1 colleges are quasi-professional programs. Massive amounts of money go into this. Does this belong at universities? 
 
It sort of goes against the whole idea of university as a center of learning. How much money is taken out of the pot of funding to go into sports like Football (which require huge stadiums and multi-million dollar funding)? Granted, the schools that are good and successful often make money on their programs. I'd assume that means the schools that aren't, lose money. 
 
Since the players can't be paid, they have to offer all these wink wink fringe benefits. Recruits coming for a visit are "shown a good time" if we all know what they mean by the cheerleaders or other support groups full of school spirit. 
 
Why not just have a professional league the feeds the NFL? 
George N Romey Added Feb 6, 2019 - 7:12am
The college football programs bring in money to the colleges and equally important keep alumni in the fold-or donating.  What we don't know is whether the costs of maintaining these high profile teams (really now on a professional level) or are outweighing the revenue derived from the teams.  
 
For the NFL it's a bonanza.  They essentially have farm leagues they do not need to pay for.  
Dino Manalis Added Feb 6, 2019 - 8:52am
 College football is a recruiting program for the N.F.L.
Michael B Bagala Added Feb 6, 2019 - 10:18am
Great article on the worthlessness of College Football. I add that it is also a complete waste of time on society. I detest parties or celebrations where half the party crowd sit around a TV, beer in hand, engrossed in this game oblivious to the social event. God Awful during holidays
As for this quote from your article:
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
Let me rephrase it:
This is the essence of how  Corporate America has corrupted America's Economy. We pay the workers nothing, we give them a lousy education (many of them don't even graduate), and then when they are used up Corporate America spits them out and moves on. --Michael B

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