I watched this new reality docu-drama "Two-a-Days" on MTV today, which follows a successful high school football team in Alabama as they go through their season. Now, I played high school football and I must say this brought me back to those (admittedly depressing) years, and I’d say the crap that goes on with this team is very accurate - I’m sure we’ve all seen at least one high school football flick, such as "Friday Night Lights," "Remember the Titans," or even "Varsity Blues."
I had two reactions to seeing this stuff - first, and most relevant to our discussions here, this program had a team CHAPLAIN. This moron’s pre-game speech made my skin crawl, and reeked of everything wrong with humanity. After such inspired moral tidbits as "Go out there knock the piss out of somebody," "We’re gonna show those guys how we play football in the state of Alabama," and "You better give ‘em a good shot right in the earhole," he ended his devoid-of-content-and-meaning rant with "and God Bless every one of you." This was a required part of pre-game preparations of course, where God places his blessings and attention on this particular football team’s game plan and "piss-knocking" intentions. I can just see God, up there with his buddies, holding an ice-cold Coors Light and sporting a Raiders jersey, yelling "Get ‘em!!! Get that Son-of-a-B$#&@!!!" at the TV.
My team in high school knelt down and recited the Lord’s Prayer before each game. I pretended to know the words, and tried to avoid being called to lead the prayer… (this was in St. Louis, MO)
Secondly, the whole culture of high school football itself. It’s just sickening to me to watch the way this sport completely engulfs all those involved, even spectators. Have we really progressed from the days of gladiators in the Coliseum? Here you have 80 guys spending ALL their time getting ready to knock the living daylights out of other guys, and making it the religion around which every American high school (and hundreds of colleges) revolve. It seems to me that American football and the armed forces are the great examples of remnants of our ancestral "warrior" heritage as humans, which I feel we are fighting so hard to rise above… I know, "it’s just a sport," but i think most sociologists and psychologists would disagree….
Any thoughts on this subject?
Now pardon me while I catch the ESPN highlights of the 2 Monday Night Football games I missed!