18.1.14

COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S DECLINE

This Comedy Central sketch pretty much sums up the state of today's college football scene, and, in my opinion, probably explains the recent massive drop off rates in youth football leagues. [1]

While some have blamed the decline in youth football enrollment on concussion concerns, I have a hunch its related to the thug culture that now dominates the entire sport.

What normal parent is going to say: "Hey, I want my kid to grow up and play college football for the Miami Hurricanes and their rapist quarterback?"

It's more respectable for a suburban parent to put their kid into lacrosse or swim league.

I used to be an ardent college football fan, but a couple years ago I started asking myself why I was investing so many Saturdays watching the "students" of The Ohio State penitentiary run around on a field.

Furthermore, I felt kind of dirty supporting some of these athletes. Is it really in my interest as a Christian to glorify this kind of thuggery? What are we as a society teaching our children when we celebrate the lives of these tattooed partying hooligans?

I know there are anomalies like Tim Tebow, and I don't necessarily have a moral problem with tattoos, but when you see that college football gave its top award (the Heisman) last year to an accused rapist, it tells you something about the sport's priorities. [2]

College athletics started out as a way for students to develop friendships, get in shape, have fun, and learn how to work in a team. It used to actually be a game.

Today, football is a multi-million dollar industry that might be succeeding in making people more immature than they originally were. Colleges need to get back to academics. After all, that's what they were created for.


NOTES

[1] Fainaru, Steve. 'Youth Football Participation Drops.' ESPN.com. November, 2013. 'The nation's largest youth football program, Pop Warner, saw participation drop 9.5 percent between 2010-12.'

[2] Roberts, Diane. 'Does the Heisman Trophy still stand for integrity after Jameis Winston's win?' theguardian.com. December, 2013.