Sunday, January 06, 2013

Should Every American Understand Football?

My daughter finds football boring. She also doesn't understand the game, which might be why she finds it boring. The rest of us in the family are football fans to varying degrees and we all understand the game. Whenever we it turn on, she just goes upstairs and hangs out alone.

Today, one of our boys and I are going to watch the Seattle-Washington playoff game and my daughter is going to watch it with us. She'll have us as resources as well as The Complete Idiot's Guide To Football. She may suffer, but as sure as Bart Starr wore shoulder pads, she'll understand the game when it's over. I would argue that every American should.

In her case, imagine her boyfriend takes her to a playoff party at a friend's house. Instead of watching the game with everyone else, she sits there fiddling around on her phone. When asked, she tells everyone she doesn't understand the game. Plenty of people at the party would label her an idiot for not being able to figure out football. It's a social faux pas.

Football's part of our national cultural heritage. Even if you don't watch it, you ought to understand it. Agreed?

Otherwise you won't participate in moments like this.

8 comments:

Whittlin' Man said...

Sorry but I just can't get into professional sports any more. I lost all respect for the "athletes" when they started whining $20M a year salary wasn't enough.

Then again, it might have something to do with the fact at the time I was sitting in a combat zone being shot at while earning less than $30K.

IlĂ­on said...

"Football's part of our national cultural heritage. Even if you don't watch it, you ought to understand it. Agreed?"

No, I don't agree -- I am, and have been since I was 7, bored by football. I never have been interested in any sports; and I find people who talk about sports to be boring.

"In her case, imagine her boyfriend takes her to a playoff party at a friend's house. Instead of watching the game with everyone else, she sits there fiddling around on her phone. When asked, she tells everyone she doesn't understand the game. Plenty of people at the party would label her an idiot for not being able to figure out football. It's a social faux pas."

Well, yes, *that* would be a faux pas.

W.C. Varones said...

I don't do football either.

Never got the men in tights thing.

I'll admit it's a handicap in social situations.

Mostly Nothing said...

My oldest turned off of just about all sports when he was fairly young. The last time he was in orgainized sports was 8th grade LaCrosse and volleyball. I guess he did play inter mural volleyball last year. He's a senior now.
It basically comes down to his younger brother being hyper-competitive against him, and got better quicker.

He'll watch the superbowl with us, mostly for the food and "stupid quarter bets".

I don't have a problem with him not liking sports. I get a little annoyed that he has no interest in the interests in people around him. He's been to 1 basketball game of his brothers in high school, and there were ulterior motives for that.

drozz said...

how did it go? just asking, 'cause in a month i'll have a daughter what needs indoctrinating.

i already cut down two of my hockey sticks for her. i hope she's right handed!

K T Cat said...

I'm down with people who don't follow sports. I used to be a huge MLB fan, but I don't watch it any more for the same reasons as Whittlin' Man. That doesn't apply to my two favorites, the NFL and English Premier League. I love those.

The point is cultural literacy, not affection for the thing. I would similarly argue that one should understand poetry and the scientific method even if you're not into verse or chemistry.

K T Cat said...

drozz, it went great. Before the end of the first half, she had the game pretty much dialed in. It was more interesting to her as well. Her questions revealed that the parts that were confusing to her were not what we had expected. It was a healthy, bonding event in all ways.

I think the key was to lovingly, but firmly say that she simply had to understand the game. She came up with her usual arguments, but I denied them all. One of her weakest spots in life is her unwillingness to learn anything she doesn't like. To me, that's simply unacceptable.

Lately, I've taken to pointing out how ignorance has cost her many friendships as her classmates and teammates eventually give up on her because she can't discuss some pretty basic things.

Jedi Master Ivyan said...

I don't think an ignorance of football is a terrible thing. But I see you were trying to make a broader point to your daughter, which was quite valid.

Funny story: On our second date, my husband (who is a huge Cowboys fan) nearly drove off the road when I asked him Tom Landry was.