Football is not a Fraternity


Football is not a Fraternity

img5aLeonard Pitts Jr.: For adults, there’s no room for childish behavior | Opinion | McClatchy DC

Boys will be boys.Strip away the extraneous verbiage and that is what much of the defense of Richie Incognito boils down to. Incognito, a Miami Dolphins lineman, was booted from the team a few days ago – perhaps permanently – for abusive conduct, racist language and bullying behavior toward fellow lineman Jonathan Martin. Incognito\’s teammates are firmly on his side.\”I don\’t feel like any hazing or anything like that was going on,\” Mike Wallace told my colleague, Greg Cote of The Miami Herald. \”It\’s normal in football. … It\’s what football teams do, like playing with your brothers.\”\”Rite of passage,\” said another player, Cam Wake. \”You have to pay your dues to get certain privileges. … Football is the best fraternity I can think of.\”

via Leonard Pitts Jr.: For adults, there’s no room for childish behavior | Opinion | McClatchy DC.

I recommend the full column. Leonard Pitts is often quite eloquent. In this case, I agree with him totally.

What kind of business tolerates this kind of nonsense? It is obvious to the most casual of observers that this kind of behavior degrades the performance of the team and offers the opportunity for related expenses and maybe even legal fees.

We have “grown” men playing ridiculous and costly pranks on newcomers with the apparent intent of making sure the new generation carries on the wicked practices of the old.

There needs to be some new rules, some leadership replaced and a new ethos in football.

It’s a sport, not a fraternity, not a halfway house for the terminally juvenile.

James Pilant

From around the web.

From the web site, Just In Sport.

http://justinsportsnews.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/bullying-in-the-nfl/

With the recent case of bullying within the Miami Dolphins organizations has raised many questions. Starting OT for the Miami Dolphins Jonathan Martin, who was bullied by teammate and fellow offensive linemen Richie Incognito, left the team last week because of a non football illness. Apparently Incognito had been bullying Martin and Martin no longer felt comfortable with the organization.

Incognito has left a voice mail on Martin’s phone calling him a ”half n—– piece of s—” and saying “[I’m going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. F— you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.” This has no place in the world, no matter what type of environment, this absolutely should not be condoned.

 

Football Pain


From a Salon article called

The NFL: An indictment of America

by Ethan Sherwood Strauss –

True fans possess an enormous capacity to live through their football heroes, but they retain an even greater capacity to do so without empathy. Just last week, Bears quarterback Jay Culter was all but put in stocks for leaving a game due to a torn MCL. Fans burned his jersey as though Cutler “quit” out of feminine frailty, as though this professional QB had concocted some elaborate, cowardly, fan-jobbing conspiracy. The public violently, irrationally demands that a player play, even with knee ligaments dangling. No wonder so many of these athletes gobble painkillers in a manner that would trump a toilet-bound Elvis.

I’ve spent my life wondering what people saw in football. NFL football, I get that. That’s entertainment. What I don’t get is college or high school football. There’s this strange story line that football builds character and teamwork. I imagine there is some development there – “playing fields of Eton” and the other charming and nonsensical tales of our culture. But for almost all colleges, football loses money all the time every year. In high school it is at best a distraction from the real purpose of school and worse, a money drain diverting resources from other programs.

But the author here is right. It is the pain. It is the harm the sport does to the players. And the fans. There is some strangeness there. Many years ago I was in high school and the NFL players went on strike. My fellow students deprived of their television pacifier were outraged. My father subscribed to Sports Illustrated and I read about the strike. I discovered that the average life span of an NFL player was 58 years and the injury rate was 100%. That’s a lot to give up so that people can be entertained.

The author continues –

At a certain point, we are — in part — defined by this tendency. That America endorses the NFL’s pain party starts to say something about the country. Such as: American culture is replete with couch-jockeys who feel more masculine for having watched other people destroy themseves. Or: American culture is fine with perpetuating a system of destruction, so long as a few, mostly poor people are involved. In many ways, our attitudes towards fetishized athletes mirror our attitudes towards those glorious troops whom we only support with platitudes. This is not good.

I agree.

James Pilant

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Elemental (via Achilles & Aristotle)


There is some really pretty writing here. Listen to this –

Describing the difference between following rules and developing virtue he draws on football. Learning the rules of football won’t make you a good player, practice alone makes perfect. Similarly our ‘friends’, in the Aristotelian sense, are our purpose, practice and team-mates.

Isn’t that wonderful. Please read the rest, it’s brief. Enjoy the thought = Rules are guidelines for practice in virtue as in sports.

James Pilant

Elemental The late Herbert McCabe wrote with almost scientific beauty on Aristotle and Aquinas. There is a tightness and precision which bespeaks a lifetime’s reflection and contemplation. The international physics community has just acknowledged two new superheavy elements – 114 and 116 – which can only be made by man. In his book ‘On Aquinas’, McCabe has fused together all the elements in philosophical symmetry from the two historic heavyweights: Aristot … Read More

via Achilles & Aristotle

Football Pain


From a Salon article called

The NFL: An indictment of America

by Ethan Sherwood Strauss –

True fans possess an enormous capacity to live through their football heroes, but they retain an even greater capacity to do so without empathy. Just last week, Bears quarterback Jay Culter was all but put in stocks for leaving a game due to a torn MCL. Fans burned his jersey as though Cutler “quit” out of feminine frailty, as though this professional QB had concocted some elaborate, cowardly, fan-jobbing conspiracy. The public violently, irrationally demands that a player play, even with knee ligaments dangling. No wonder so many of these athletes gobble painkillers in a manner that would trump a toilet-bound Elvis.

I’ve spent my life wondering what people saw in football. NFL football, I get that. That’s entertainment. What I don’t get is college or high school football. There’s this strange story line that football builds character and teamwork. I imagine there is some development there – “playing fields of Eton” and the other charming and nonsensical tales of our culture. But for almost all colleges, football loses money all the time every year. In high school it is at best a distraction from the real purpose of school and worse, a money drain diverting resources from other programs.

But the author here is right. It is the pain. It is the harm the sport does to the players. And the fans. There is some strangeness there. Many years ago I was in high school and the NFL players went on strike. My fellow students deprived of their television pacifier were outraged. My father subscribed to Sports Illustrated and I read about the strike. I discovered that the average life span of an NFL player was 58 years and the injury rate was 100%. That’s a lot to give up so that people can be entertained.

The author continues –

At a certain point, we are — in part — defined by this tendency. That America endorses the NFL’s pain party starts to say something about the country. Such as: American culture is replete with couch-jockeys who feel more masculine for having watched other people destroy themseves. Or: American culture is fine with perpetuating a system of destruction, so long as a few, mostly poor people are involved. In many ways, our attitudes towards fetishized athletes mirror our attitudes towards those glorious troops whom we only support with platitudes. This is not good.

I agree.

James Pilant