Remember the above movie? The plot dealt with the inhumane dance marathons that were popular in the 1930’s.
With another football season just about over, I could not help but think of the similarity in football games.
Pitting pit bulls against one another is illegal and inhumane, so how come we still allow our young men to pummel each other, knocking each other to the ground – at times resulting in concussions, season-ending or career-ending injuries.
The most physically fit, able bodied specimens of young manhood engage in this sport for the entertainment of others.
I must admit at the outset that I have been a Bears fan since the days of Walter Payton, who never seemed to get hurt in any games. Was he better prepared or what?
A game where there are few penalties for being offsides, roughing the passer, or other infractions, is a thing of beauty. To see a long spiral pass sail across the blue sky into the waiting, skillful hands of a wide receiver is a thrill for all.
Or seeing a running back break free for a long run, resulting in a touchdown. Who among us fans, has not been thrilled when Bears punt returner Devin Hester dodges and weaves as he threads his way past all the defenders chasing him and he manages to reach the promised land for another score for the Bears?
Now I have been a Huskies fan since moving to DeKalb and have witnessed the play of our own quarterback, Jordan Lynch, and his teammates. I have come to admire Lynch’s demeanor, both on and off the football field.
There was great disappointment when he did not win the Heisman Trophy. But I felt joy that he reached a pinnacle of being third in the nation in receiving recognition for his prowess shown throughout the Huskies seasons.
We live vicariously through people like that. Their success becomes our success, even though we have no money on the outcome. We all feel a little bit better when our team has won.
Even though I seem to decry the sport, I truly enjoy watching the games. I just wish the they were not quite so brutal. But we, the viewing public, are like the ancient Romans watching the Christians being devoured by the lions.
The late Mike Royko defined a football game as a “bar room brawl with rules.” How true.
Let the games begin.