By Frank James IV
It’s the time of year where everyone has a reason to forget the problems of the world. You can ignore the Presidential race and the racism in the USA. Protests and marches can be put on pause for the next six months. August is the prelude to September and September means football.
I can see the smiles on American faces at the mention of the word football. Football is without a doubt the American game. Baseball may be the game of history, but football is the game of today. Football is dominant in American culture and practice starts in August.
Football will soon begin to consume a major portion of the evening newscast. If your city has a NFL team, chances are the lead off story will be about that team. If your city has a NFL team and a successful college team nearby, the newscast will be a sportscast. This is the power of football in the USA. People will still pay attention to the political scene but they will do so with a divided eye.
There are pundits who believe that football should be banned. The concussion issues that plague football players are well documented. This event will probably never take place. Can you imagine a Saturday afternoon without college football on television? I won’t even task your brain to try to imagine a Sunday without the NFL. No matter the health risk it poses, football generates billions of dollars. The social aspect of the USA without football would be incomplete.
Footballs exhibit of power and brutality appeals to the masses. People love to see their favorite gladiators go at it every weekend. Whether it is on a high school or pro level, people love football. Football has become the number one pastime for the American public. With the political and social scenes in turmoil, football is needed more than ever in the USA.
Football can pull together people of all races for 60 minutes. The white racist will cheer the black running back for his favorite team. The black person who hates whites will root for the white quarterback of their favorite team. During a football game the issue of race takes a back seat in people’s minds. The desire to see ones team win becomes the dominant thought process. Race may affect the officiating, but the fans usually are on the same page. Maybe the USA can learn from this?
If people of all ethnic backgrounds can come together and agree to be Packer fans why not agree on social issues? All races of people attend football games on every level. This is especially true for big colleges and the NFL. The home fans are united in the agreement that they want the home team to win. Why not feel the same way about the human race? If people can pull together to cheer Notre Dame, I’m sure they can pull together to ensure the well being of all citizens.
With the sad state of affairs in the USA today football is a blessing. It will give people a chance to safely funnel their energy into a game for release. It is better to have people ranting at television screens than police in the streets. Lord knows it is better to see Deion Sanders clowning on television than Al Sharpton the clown.
Football season is here. Fans of teams in the AFC West and the ACC should worry. The Oakland Raiders and Miami Hurricanes are returning to dominance. As they say, it’s payback time. There is one thing everyone will agree upon. Football is one avenue where black lives matter.