13 years and counting. That’s how long I have been exposed to “American Football” and yet, I have never gotten around to enjoy the sport so much that I see myself playing it with the same passion that I do with other sports. And then there are sports that I don’t play because I can’t – but those are ones which I always have had a “Why couldn’t I play this sport?” angst associated with them. Football is not one of them. In fact for the first 7-8 years, I was a fierce advocate of calling the sport “Gladiatorial”. Not that much of my opinions have changed since then, but I have reconciled.
Here are the five reasons (not in any order) why I have decided to reconcile with the pigskin in spite of all my reservations:
- It is not just a sport in this country but a socializing medium.
- My son and his lack of choices in growing up with any other sport. He is limited to Football and Baseball (yes, there are others but the environment doesn’t promote them with the same passion)
- A good family pastime – Better than watching sitcoms or movies that may deem unfit for kids, I find sports to be a perfect thing to watch together as a family on TV. Again with very limited choices on what sports we get to watch during primetime, Football and Baseball rule the charts. So.
- My son and his knowledge of the sport – Not to be far left behind, I am catching up on some statistics (much to my own surprise) and some history, etc. In the process, I have a better understanding of the sport (not necessarily appreciation of all aspects).
- A safe bet – With my son’s growing interest in the sport, discouraging the sport forcefully and not making him watch or follow the sport, I figured, may do more harm. Hence I decided that it is better to understand the sport and not label it “bad” blindly as it will only make him like the sport ‘blindly’. Also, I feel it is safer to encourage him to focus on some “sports” than Nickelodeon or Disney stuff while slowly letting him know the dangers of playing this particular sport in the long run.
And finally – yes, I still think this sport is not something I would want kids to play – especially the way in which the rules are framed currently. But I have learned a lot in the last 5-6 years about the sport that I no longer consider this just as a physically dominating and mentally demeaning sport.
So, with our local NFL franchise team, the Detroit Lions doing better this season than they ever had since I started following football and with so much discussion around the games that happen everyday at home, I guess it was only natural that I had to reconcile with the pigskin.
I don’t care who wins on Feb 5. Yet, one has to pick a favorite. So I will be rooting for the Giants because that’s what my son would be doing.