I live in a town where football reigns! The fall start up of our local university brings with it many fans for the "home team." Parking, already a premium in our area, becomes nearly impossible during home football games, and I have a reserved parking place! I find it particularly annoying that on Sunday mornings I often have to have a car towed from my reserved space in a parking lot that is designated as Church Parking.
Football is something I've grown up with; each of my brothers play on our High School Team (at different times due to their ages), and my family enjoyed watching games together on TV and the occasional treat of being in the local stadium. But more and more, I have noticed that professional sports seem to have taken on a new dimension! Of course, I view this with the lens of an Episcopal priest--so there is a bias in my comments. I've joked a few times about "the other god"--the one who is worshiped from the stands. How I'd love to see folks flock to church like that on Sunday morning.
Then, today comes a story on NPR that I found particularly disturbing: http://www.npr.org/2013/07/10/200402513/football-needs-a-guardian-not-a-ceo
"Football needs a Guardian, not a CEO." According to this piece, since the Superbowl earlier this year, 29 professional football players have been arrested. This saddens the heart.
I think I'm giving up football for the future. It's time we stop glorifying these so called "superstars!" I'm not seeing them as very good roll models for our young people. Sports can teach young people many good skills, but we really need some better examples. There are some really great players out there I know--and we need to hear more stories about them. It's too bad that 29 of them give them a bad rap.
Sundays will find me in church, worshiping God. The only pigskin I might remotely get close to is a bag of fried pork skins on my low carb diet! :) If you have a son or a daughter considering professional sports, help them think through this. Can we salvage sports, or are we just in for more of the same?
Then of course, there are always goats ...