I am joined in writing this column today by my friend and co-author on several books, Dr. Archie Jones. Not only do Archie and I team up to write books that keep liberals in an angry dither, we also share a love for the game of football. Every year the two of us go into a kind of mourning at the end of football season, a condition that lasts until opening day of the next season. For us, life without football is like good food without seasoning. It’s still good, but it’s missing something.
Consequently, our ears perked up recently when liberals began to attack a sport that here in the South ranks just below religion. Then to add insult to injury, the liberal anti-football crowd was joined in its misguided attacks by a well-known “conservative”: columnist George Will—an inveterate baseball fan. We do not begrudge Mr. Will his love of baseball. In fact, we like baseball too. But when it comes to his opinions about football, Will strikes out.
Like many young men of our generation, the authors played high school football. We can still remember the pep talks our coaches gave us every August before beginning the torture of two-a-day pre-season practice sessions in Florida’s stifling heat and humidity. Those pep talks, paraphrased, always went something like this: Boys, football is just like life. There are no free rides. On the football field you get only what you earn. Nobody makes the team because he or anyone else thinks he deserves it. I don’t care who you are or who your daddy is. If you want to play on this team, you’d better give me a 110 percent effort on the field and off. On my team you have to re-earn your starting position everyday.
This brings us to why liberals hate football. They hate it precisely for the reasons revealed in our paraphrased pep talk: football is not an egalitarian enterprise. It is 100 percent merit-based. Football rewards hard work, perseverance, performance, and the will to win. It is a game where there are no entitlements, no handouts for slackers, and no hand wringing about hurting the feelings of those who don’t measure up. Football honors winners, regardless of race, cultural heritage, socio-economic status, or worldview. Further, it gives losers opportunities to learn that life can be hard and, at times, unfair—valuable lessons for young people.
Liberals know better than to attack football for being merit-based. Consequently, they label it a “barbaric” and “violent” sport. In fact, they can become downright overwrought in their righteous indignation when quoting statistics about injuries such as concussions. How ironic that people who support the wholesale murder of unborn babies would show so much emotion over the comparatively small number of concussions that occur in football. Do you ever wonder if liberals are, themselves, suffering from a collective moral concussion. At least football players are given helmets and shoulder pads for protection, which is more than liberals are willing to give innocent unborn babies.
The hypocrisy of the left in attacking football is almost too egregious to grasp. More people are seriously hurt every day in the streets of this country by the uncontrolled violence of coddled criminals than by the controlled violence that occurs on football fields. Further, football is a game of rules that are strictly and immediately enforced. How different this is from our inept legal system in which handwringing liberals blame everybody but the criminals for crime. Liberals excuse, encourage, and endorse criminal behavior and then whine about the supposed barbarity of football. The NFL and NCAA are taking positive steps to protect football players from concussions. What steps are liberals taking to protect Americans from criminals? I fear that if liberals get their way, the only sport still played in an increasingly feminized America will be curling.