Bye-bye, American football

“Cord cutting” has been a popular term to describe people who are ending their subscriptions to cable and/or satellite television, opting instead to purchase a la carte programming or just get all of their programs from streaming services.

Of course, every human being begins life with a cord cutting, as in the umbilical cord which tethers the growing baby to the mother’s womb.

Today, I am cutting a cord. Actually, two cords.

I, David Steinle, am boycotting all forms of American football from today, 25 August 2018, until at least Super Bowl LIII on 3 February 2019.  I think this boycott will last much longer than that. 

I realize I have wasted too many days, weeks, months and years, as well as countless tens of thousands of dollars, following a barbaric spectacle.

In the case of college football, I can no longer justify watching 18- to 22-year old children in the bodies of overgrown men strive to annihilate one another for almost four hours every Saturday. I cannot bring myself to spend the exorbitant amounts of money which tens of millions of people do to watch this crap.

In the case of the NFL, the league only cares about making money. It could not care less about a player when he retires from the league. He is no longer making money for the NFL, and why should the NFL care about his health, even if his brain is complete mush and he cannot walk without two artificial hips, two artificial knees and a walker–if he isn’t confined to a wheelchair, that is?

The rule makers in the NFL, college and high school have only themselves to blame for the spike in concussions.

By outlawing blocking below the waist and many forms of tackling below the waist, they are forcing players to use their heads more and more often, and this leads to concussions. The sanctioning bodies–the NFL, NCAA, NAIA, National Federation of State High School Associations and the individual state high school associations–all want to “get the head out of football”. BULLSHIT. Why the hell do you think the head is in football in the first place?

It’s because the idiots who make the rules think blocking and tackling around the shoulders and chest is safer than doing so around the thighs, knees and ankles.

It isn’t.

Last I checked, the heart is in the chest. Shoulder pads can’t protect a football player from all injuries in the chest. You can’t tell me it’s safer for a human being to be hit head-on by another human being, this one weighing 250-pounds, in the chest than it is to be hit in the knees.

And too many children have been desensitized to violence in football by what they see on TV. Ray Lewis should not be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He glamorized illegal, violent headhunting. Terrell Suggs, who is still playing for the Ravens, has followed his lead. James Harrison was one of the NFL’s dirtiest players. Rodney Harrison, another one of the NFL’s worst offenders when it comes to headhunting, is an analyst for NBC. And so many boys grew up idolizing Bill Romanowski, who not only admitted to taking steroids, but deliberately injured a teammate in training camp and spit on J.J. Stokes on national television.

If I had a son, I don’t know if I’d let him play football. If I did, I would force him to quit the game if he had ONE concussion. ONE. No more.

There have been so many advancements in knee surgery. A person can live a full life with two artificial hips and two artificial knees. A person can live with a prosthetic leg. However, even knee surgery is not 100 percent guaranteed–Mack Lee Hill of the Chiefs died in 1965 on the operating table the day after a game after suffering a knee injury.

However, there isn’t an artificial brain, and there won’t be one for at least another 100 years. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think so. There are heart transplants, but finding a matching donor is tedious. There also have been lacerated kidneys, collapsed lungs and ruptured livers and spleens from football, all of which are life-threatening.

I am done with the sport. Finished. I can find better uses of my time on Saturdays and Sundays. Football (REAL football) for one, not this crap in America they call football.

I have to follow a few Missouri and Kansas high school football teams for my job. Believe me, I’m going to need a lot of antacid and antidepressants before I work on that stuff.

About David

I am a sportswriter for a group of weekly newspapers in small towns across northern Kansas. I grew up in New Orleans, went to college at LSU and wandered in the wilderness until Hurricane Katrina finally put me on the path to my current job.

Posted on August 25, 2018, in College Football, National Football League, Personal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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