09/17/2014 by syrbal-labrys
I’m not alone in remembering the jocks of high school, right? They usually didn’t do great in classrooms. But they got the pretty girls, the letter jackets and sparkliest class rings. They passed classes even when they barely showed up, it was a mystery on the Catholic grade of miraculous. And some of them went to college on football scholarships. Some of them softened into middle age still reliving that one pass in that one game that changed that one season.
Now, the ones who went to college? I knew some of them, too. Nope, not cause I dated them. I never attended a single college football in either of the times I attended college (briefly and broke after high school and later on GI Bill, but similarly briefly and broke) but I knew the jocks. Because I was asked to “tutor” them so they could pass their classes and keep playing.
Sure, I tutored non-jocks, too. The difference was that the non-jocks came to me of their own free will and needed help mastering philosophy and writing skills. The jocks I tutored? I was having a hard time figuring out what was so difficult about a basic history course that I KNEW was spoon fed to ALL the students. Well, even that fails when the student is so illiterate he can’t read the text, nor write well enough to take notes. Maybe if college text books were produced in the form of graphic novels just for the “sports heroes”?
So, again, the winnowing out and a tiny percentage of college football “heroes” go on to play professionally. And of those, as it seems constantly the news lately, they behave badly. They get drunk and rowdy. They have car wrecks. They hit people. They hit women and they hit children. And everyone proclaims their shock. Well, everyone in the NFL proclaims their shock.
Those of us who are reality based yawn behind our hands. These are guys who spent most of their lives since they were about ten learning to succeed by knocking people down on a grassy field. As soon as they show a proficiency for that, they are enabled to stop being responsible for almost anything else — grades, standards, rules. A lot of them decide to believe the press releases — that they really ARE some kind of hero and thereby in a special category for all things.
We idolize sports and players of games. We don’t idolize scientists, nor doctors, nor teachers. We idolize grown men who play what I personally view as children’s games and we pay them astronomical amounts of money once they’ve climbed to the top tier of players. We pity them when injury sidelines them…and when they then cry poverty after years of making MILLIONS of dollars. And then, now they cry about brain injuries? Gee, we care more about guys who got paid millions to incur such injuries voluntarily than we do about soldiers and Marines who are paid a pittance to go risk that and more? What the fuck, America?
A football player blows a knee and half the fucking country goes into mourning. My eldest son blows BOTH knees and nobody notices, even the VA took six years to say, ‘Oh, yeah, fine, we will throw you a few bucks, ok? Shut up, already.” And I do mean a few bucks. So, yeah….America, YOU have trained these men, their entire lives, to be brutal bastards who are not responsible for their minds, their morals, or their own financial requirements. So, now that you are looking behind the numbered jerseys? And you don’t like what you see? No fuck will be given here about those “heroes” — they NEVER met my definition of that word.
And if anyone wants to tell me how football allowed some of these men to climb out of poverty? Yeah, same argument for boxing, thanks — men beating the shit out of each other to make bucks. Sorry, that argument won’t go any place good with me either.