Right Field

Why Football Matters

With rising public concern about the safety of football and long-term health impacts of concussions, many say the sport is simply too violent, too dangerous. In view of this rising concern, Andrew Desiderio, a student at George Washington University, has written a spirited defense of the sport, arguing that the demonizing of football is part of a larger public obsession with safety:

Football should be celebrated for many reasons, not the least of which because it promotes teamwork, athleticism, perseverance and dedication. It forges friendships, offers good times. It teaches us hope, and how to deal with let downs. It gives the promise of triumph over adversity. It generates patriotism and fosters camaraderie among diverse groups…

Concussions happen, but these guys absolutely love what they do and get paid a boatload of money to do it. Injuries happen, that’s life. Ask any player if they’d rather quit. You and I both know the answer. Way back when, some football players actually died from the game. Suffice it to say, it’s much, much safer now.

In 2010, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell decided to cancel the Eagles-Vikings game because of too much snow. Are you kidding me? Goodell cited public safety concerns. To that I say, let the fans decide for themselves about their own safety!..

No doubt fear of the almighty lawsuit is a major factor behind the public safety obsession. Imagine the army of trial lawyers ready to sue over fans’ frostbitten toes!