Many question why football is so important, why is there a football frenzy? There are many reasons why guys are so attracted to this sport — the passion for your team, the willingness to obtain victory at whatever cost in a sport that has so much intensity and violence that pushes players to do things that logic would advise against. These are some of the ingredients that football enthusiasts look and desire for.
Some psychologists say football causes cognitive dissonance (the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes in behavioral decisions and attitude change).
For most of us guys, the hard hitting, the act of ignoring injuries caused by the momentum of play, the thrill of the game itself — these are the reasons we are glued to the screen cheering for our favorite team.
Maybe football season is cathartic (providing psychological relief through open expressions of strong emotions by players attacking each other on the field.) Perhaps this is how some people release stress or vent out after a hard week or an emotional blow.
Do you think football season is a time for guys to bask euphemistically in an absent glory that channels their expressions of belonging, identifying, and achievement through the victory of their favorite team or the agony when their team is losing?
There is a disturbing after-effect caused by multiple hits on the head called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE.) It’s a progressive destructive disease affecting the brains of people who have suffered repeated concussions and traumatic brain injuries. At risk are athletes who play contact sports like boxing, American styled football, rugby, military members, and others.
The symptoms can have a symbolic effect on the person affected by the disease and his/her family; the gradual deterioration results in an array of maladies: memory loss, erratic behavior, impaired judgment, aggression and/or depression.
Some of the players affected by this medical condition include former and current players: Aaron Hernandez, Bill Bryant, Ollie Matson, Art DeCarlo, Curtis Brown, Junior Seau, just mention a few.
Whatever you think or believe, American style football has a strong connection with people; for five months out of the year, men and women alike will convene in a stadium to witness a savage yet acceptable display of violence and aggression. For them, football is just fun to watch; for guys this elucidates the winner against loser element of the male identity.
On the brighter side of the coin, watching football is an excuse to gather with friends and family whether at a B.B.Q. in the backyard or tailgating at the stadium to enjoy the pleasantries that friends and loved ones can engage in on a Sunday afternoon.
Whatever your belief or concern, football allows people to share similarities whether as a group of friends, or as a father and son moment, sometimes even as a soothing medium in a strained relationship; in situations like this football can be an aesthetic effect, and perhaps provide something to look forward to for those that love and cherish FOOTBALL above all.
“Voices” is an open forum for student essays on topics of interest. The opinions reflected in “Voices” are solely those of the author. The Pony Express invites student submissions to “Voices.” Email to [email protected]