GO PACKERS (BENGALS, BEARS, COLTS…)
While Samuel Goldman debates whether football is amoral in The American Conservative tens of thousands of Americans will be tuning in to the preseason games. I used to be among those who would be found elsewhere on game day. Similar thoughts ran through my head as those expressed by Goldman. I and others who wanted to change the world would be found at rallies, cleaning parks, helping old folks and housebound people. “ If all that energy people use on football went to social change the nonviolent revolution would already have come to fruition.” We would sincerely but smugly express.
Time has passed, I’ve survived (pretty much) 3 wars, had a lot of opportunity to observe human behavior and to contemplate society and the human psyche. Free Republic brands tribalism as the true enemy of humanity. After several millennium however we still haven’t managed to loose it. We have some deep innate need to find a group to have a deep affinity to and then to pit ourselves against a rival group. Sports are virtually worldwide, so it isn’t just America. Maybe we will eventually loose this drive, but in the mean time it seems healthy to continue to channel it. In fact maybe, as bizarre as the suggestions have always seemed we should pit rival countries sports teams against each other to resolve whatever contentious issues that couldn’t be resolved by diplomacy and threaten to lead to war.
I write this from my couch, popcorn in hand, just catching the end of a preseason game. Go Packers!