Sunday, February 4, 2018

Super Bowl Sunday

 In 2012 I saw Patrick Links' sports concussion drama "Headstrong." The play was running at EST and it was about an aging NFL athlete's slow descent into madness. I started thinking about all of the athletes I cheered on as a child. I wrote a pretty glowing review of the play, but also wondered if Americans would keep watching football, regardless of the risks? I got a very angry email from the doctor-consultant of the play accusing me of something I don't quite remember, but I think he was implying that I didn't know the science or was being irresponsible by saying Americans would never give up football. I think he misread my review because I was more asking a question to myself and other football fans. Growing up, I was obsessed with the sport. I knew all the teams, followed the playoffs meticulously. Would anything break that strong emotional link?

It's now 2018 and I have no idea about the stars in the Super Bowl. My football viewing has dropped to almost nothing. My hometown team - Miami Dolphins- suck so I don't watch them. Years of #BlackLivesMatter protests have revealed the rich greedy NFL owners are just as racist and uncompromising as the Republican party. The league blackballed Colin Kaepernick because he simply wanted to see unarmed blacks not get killed by the police. And the issue of death/brain damage still hovers around the NFL. All these things and more have eroded my passion for football. For the past several years I usually spend Super Bowl Sunday watching a play or a movie.

Today I'm writing, doing an artist gathering, and then going to see a play. My new indifference to the Super Bowl and the NFL doesn't feel triumphant. I feel like I lost an old friend, but I also cant' go back to the way things used to be. Maybe it's the bittersweet feeling of growing up? 

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