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American Violence Manifested Through Football

patdelasol
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10/15/2015 2:49:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The root problem with the increasing amounts of mass shootings and the subsequent complacent attitude toward them is not guns, nor is it mental illness, but an overly violent American society. This overly violence society in which we all live is perpetuated by our obsession with violent sports, namely football, boxing, and mixed martial arts. Outlawing, or at least modifying, these sports is crucial to an increase in safety and peace within America.
It is true that athletics have been a part of civilization just about as long as there has been civilization. It is also true that violent sports have almost always been popular and and legitimate forms of entertainment. However, violent sports are typically indicative of a young civilization. The "most well known spectator sport of the Roman era", gladiator combat, was an extremely violent and bloody sport. This brutal battle between two armed men was one of the main sources of entertainment for the early Roman people. However, as Discovery News points out, the sport saw a decline with the rise of Christianity. Clearly, two men fighting to kill or maim does not align with Christian ethics. The decrease in popularity and eventual nonexistence of gladiator combat is evidence of the civilizing of Roman society, mainly through Christian ethics.
A correlation between the decrease in popularity of gladiator sport in Roman society and the decrease in popularity of Pop Warner football is evident. The largest youth football organization in these United States saw a 9.5% decline in membership between 2010 and 2012, according to espn.com. The article contributes the worst decline since the organization to the mass hysteria surrounding football and the risk of concussions and brain damage. While this is is definitely part of the decline, it cannot count for the whole thing. It is wholly possible that the decline in football participation is an indicator that today"s youth do not want to be involved in such a violent sport. Lacrosse, a physical sport by all means, is the fastest growing sport in the country. Despite its physical nature, the essence of the sport is no longer a violent one. In fact, it gets less and less violent with each year as new rules aimed at preventing injuries are put into play. Soccer has recently seen a spike in popularity as well, surely in part because of the influx of children born to immigrants and because of the recent World Cup. But it is also likely that children-and their parents- are turning away from the overly violent sport of football to other, more finesse and skill oriented sports.
In spite of the declining enrollment in youth football, more people are watching football than ever before. It is, by far, the most watched sport in the country. This dichotomy perhaps shows the split between the morals of our nation"s youth and the morals of our nation"s middle aged and old people. The National Football Organization was founded in 1920, two years after the end of World War I and 144 years after the founding of our great nation. The popularity and dominance of football since the NFL"s founding is indicative of two moral attitudes. First, football"s popularity can be traced to our immaturity as a newly founded country. It is likely that football has not caught on in Europe and the UK because they are simply older, more mature, and more civil than it is possible for a country of our tender young age to be. The decline in popularity, much like the decline of gladiator sport in Roman times, can be attributed to the maturation of our society. As we become more civil, we enjoy violent sports such as football less and skill sports such as lacrosse and soccer more. Second, it is no coincidence that football"s professional organization was founded just two years after the Great War. The attributes of a good soldier-obedient, effective, physically fit-are also attributes which can be found in football players. Furthermore, football is a game which is closely tied to warfare. The comedic genius George Carlin famously compared football and its players to war and its soldiers. He captured the essence of the game when he described the struggle to gain land on the opponent, much like an army"s goal is to take as much land as possible from its enemy. Even the language used to talk about football is violent and war driven, indicated in Carlin"s famous bit.
With such a violent game being the most watched sport in the country, it is no wonder we have so many problems with mass shootings. We are a violent people, who, at least hopefully, are becoming less so.
I am sure that some would call this decline in participation in football and the hopeful correlation to our nation becoming less violent the "wussification" of our society. To those, I say that it is not wussification, but rather, it is civilizing. Common evidence of civilized society is the importance on which it places reason, analysis, humanity, and skill. A decrease in the participation in football and the subsequent decrease in violence in our country might just be evidence of our country becoming more mature and more civil.
TheRealRayOfWisdom
Posts: 1
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10/20/2015 3:56:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Okay, Pat, so your argument is that the mass shootings that plague our society are attributable to the violent nature of America's most popular sports? I don't know that there's a connection between tackles and touchdowns and murder sprees committed by the mentally ill.

"Research shows a certain proportion [up to 60 percent] of mass shooters do have some kind of psychiatric or psychological symptoms. As an aggregate group, mass shooters are very often young, white, paranoid men who've had histories of depression and possibly sometimes psychosis." (http://www.vox.com...)

I think it comes down to a volatile demographic coupled with the fact that we lack common-sense gun legislation in too many states more than a social obsession with violence. I see your reasoning but I'm not swayed.
ColeTrain
Posts: 4,313
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10/21/2015 4:58:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/15/2015 2:49:55 PM, patdelasol wrote:
The root problem with the increasing amounts of mass shootings and the subsequent complacent attitude toward them is not guns, nor is it mental illness, but an overly violent American society. This overly violence society in which we all live is perpetuated by our obsession with violent sports, namely football, boxing, and mixed martial arts. Outlawing, or at least modifying, these sports is crucial to an increase in safety and peace within America.
It is true that athletics have been a part of civilization just about as long as there has been civilization. It is also true that violent sports have almost always been popular and and legitimate forms of entertainment. However, violent sports are typically indicative of a young civilization. The "most well known spectator sport of the Roman era", gladiator combat, was an extremely violent and bloody sport. This brutal battle between two armed men was one of the main sources of entertainment for the early Roman people. However, as Discovery News points out, the sport saw a decline with the rise of Christianity. Clearly, two men fighting to kill or maim does not align with Christian ethics. The decrease in popularity and eventual nonexistence of gladiator combat is evidence of the civilizing of Roman society, mainly through Christian ethics.
A correlation between the decrease in popularity of gladiator sport in Roman society and the decrease in popularity of Pop Warner football is evident. The largest youth football organization in these United States saw a 9.5% decline in membership between 2010 and 2012, according to espn.com. The article contributes the worst decline since the organization to the mass hysteria surrounding football and the risk of concussions and brain damage. While this is is definitely part of the decline, it cannot count for the whole thing. It is wholly possible that the decline in football participation is an indicator that today"s youth do not want to be involved in such a violent sport. Lacrosse, a physical sport by all means, is the fastest growing sport in the country. Despite its physical nature, the essence of the sport is no longer a violent one. In fact, it gets less and less violent with each year as new rules aimed at preventing injuries are put into play. Soccer has recently seen a spike in popularity as well, surely in part because of the influx of children born to immigrants and because of the recent World Cup. But it is also likely that children-and their parents- are turning away from the overly violent sport of football to other, more finesse and skill oriented sports.
In spite of the declining enrollment in youth football, more people are watching football than ever before. It is, by far, the most watched sport in the country. This dichotomy perhaps shows the split between the morals of our nation"s youth and the morals of our nation"s middle aged and old people. The National Football Organization was founded in 1920, two years after the end of World War I and 144 years after the founding of our great nation. The popularity and dominance of football since the NFL"s founding is indicative of two moral attitudes. First, football"s popularity can be traced to our immaturity as a newly founded country. It is likely that football has not caught on in Europe and the UK because they are simply older, more mature, and more civil than it is possible for a country of our tender young age to be. The decline in popularity, much like the decline of gladiator sport in Roman times, can be attributed to the maturation of our society. As we become more civil, we enjoy violent sports such as football less and skill sports such as lacrosse and soccer more. Second, it is no coincidence that football"s professional organization was founded just two years after the Great War. The attributes of a good soldier-obedient, effective, physically fit-are also attributes which can be found in football players. Furthermore, football is a game which is closely tied to warfare. The comedic genius George Carlin famously compared football and its players to war and its soldiers. He captured the essence of the game when he described the struggle to gain land on the opponent, much like an army"s goal is to take as much land as possible from its enemy. Even the language used to talk about football is violent and war driven, indicated in Carlin"s famous bit.
With such a violent game being the most watched sport in the country, it is no wonder we have so many problems with mass shootings. We are a violent people, who, at least hopefully, are becoming less so.
I am sure that some would call this decline in participation in football and the hopeful correlation to our nation becoming less violent the "wussification" of our society. To those, I say that it is not wussification, but rather, it is civilizing. Common evidence of civilized society is the importance on which it places reason, analysis, humanity, and skill. A decrease in the participation in football and the subsequent decrease in violence in our country might just be evidence of our country becoming more mature and more civil.

Far-fetched, but potentially reasonable.
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