Aug 14, 2014

Am I An Accomplice?

Football season has started, and if it is like any other year, I will be watching game after game.  My love of football dates back to 1958 when we were living in Towson, Maryland and the Baltimore Colts were the team to watch.

There hadn’t been a Super Bowl (and there wouldn’t be until January 15, 1967) but there were championships.  Baltimore won the 1958 championship in sudden death overtime , besting New York 23 to 17.  I was fascinated that season by Johnny Unitas, Alan Ameche, Lenny Moore and Gino Marchetti.  I cried, of course, when Baltimore won the game.  That game has often been referred to as “the greatest game ever played”

I was so dedicated to the Colts that I insisted my family frequent Gino Marchetti’s fast food joint (for french fries) and Alan Ameche’s fried chicken place.

My interest in football, always there, reignited when I read Michael Lewis’ Blindside.  I began to obsessively follow Michael Oher and his career at Ole Miss and his drafting by the Baltimore Ravens.  The year he was drafted I tweeted the draft until he got picked (at number 23).  I haven’t tweeted since.

Even though I no longer live in Maryland — that was 54 years ago — I am a loyal Baltimore Ravens fan because of Michael Oher.  I have a few other favorite teams, but the Ravens, who are known for their tough defense, are my number one.  As you undoubtedly know, the Ravens won the 2013 Super Bowl, a game that is described this way by many sportscasters “a game that will live in infamy for the great plays there were and the great calls there weren’t.”   Baltimore beat one of my other favorite team, the 49ers.

Last year I read The League of Denial, and it cemented my belief that football is a game that is unequivocally bad for the players and the NFL knows it, and has known it for a long, long time.  Now, so does everybody else.  Ex- Football players settled a $765 million concussion lawsuit with the NFL, and as recently as August 3rd, a former high school football player who murdered his girlfriend is using injuries sustained on the field as part of his defense (the concussion made him do it).  And, there is a NCAA concussion lawsuit that provokes headlines such as “The NCAA Has Failed It’s Student Athletes for More Than Two Decades.”  Forbes just posted (56 hours ago) an article that was headlined ” 35 NFL Players Have Had Concussions and The Season Hasn’t Started Yet.”    Calvin Pryor, the hard-hitting safety and first round pick of the New York Jets was the first.

So the fall is almost here. Despite knowing  all of this,  I will most likely watch College Football.  I will most likely watch some High School Football.  I will most likely watch NFL Football.   Does this make me an accomplice? Probably.





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Gloria. Circa 1955.

Gloria. Circa 2012.

Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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