Sunday, September 4, 2016

American Football Season

It's the first big weekend of the (American) football season, with most colleges playing their first game. The NFL gets underway next week.
I like football, though baseball will always be my favorite of the major sports. It's certainly entertaining to watch, with plenty of action in each play. The sport is an interesting mix between strategy and individual skill. The plays called on each side are like a chess match between the coaching staff on each side, with the intent of getting the best players on each team in a position to use their skills to fullest.

Another interesting aspect of football is how much every game matters. College teams only play a dozen or so games in the regular season, and the pros just a few more. Just one bad day can make a huge difference to an entire season. There's always some kind of drama at the end of the season about which teams are going on the post-season. It happens in other sports as well, but in football, the final games have high drama just about every year.

Watching football is a bit of a guilty pleasure due to the inherent danger in the sport. The big story in recent years has been about brain injury, brought about by very large men hitting one another repeatedly in the head. There's also problems with addiction to painkillers and other drugs, on top of the purely physical issues inherent in any sport (especially such a violent one). In college and the NFL these days, I feel that the players have been sufficiently informed about the risks to make their own adult decisions. (Though that may not have been the case in the past.) But even today, I oppose the idea of high school and youth contact football. It's more dangerous for still-developing bodies, and I'd rather see the decision about such a risky activity left to those who have reached the age of majority.

This year, I've also joined a fantasy football league at the urging of some friends. I've never been a big fan of the fantasy sports games. I've tried it a few times, and generally get tired of it part-way through the season. Playing with friends makes it a bit more interesting, though. So I'll probably manage to maintain interest through the end of the year, if for no other reason than to try for some bragging rights.

Some kind of unexpected happenings crop up in the football season every year. This year won't be any different, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.

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