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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

With fans like this . . .

Well, congratulations. We've survived to enjoy another NFL season. Pro football is about the only sport I still pay attention to, so naturally I'm on the opposite side of all those thumb-sucking dweebs who think our passions are fraught with symbolism about all that's wrong with the world:

Last January, in The New York Times Magazine, Steve Almond detailed his worries about the effects of the violence in football, and suggested that America might find more productive ways to spend its Sundays. His inbox was soon filled with angry letters. Almond’s correspondents agreed: he was a pantywaist, and possibly not even a man. Several missives, he says, “made reference to my vagina.”

Undeterred, Almond doubles down on his argument in Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto, an informed broadside in which he contends that the sport encourages bloodlust, bigotry, and other antisocial behaviors. Televised games, he says, should be preceded by parental-discretion-is-advised messages, and tackle football ought to be outlawed for those 15 and under.

“I happen to believe that our allegiance to football legitimizes and even fosters within us a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and homophobia,” Almond writes.

He must really want some more hate mail.

Football, all by its lonesome, encourages bloodlust, bigotry "and other anti--social behaviors" and our allegiance to it "legitimizes and even fosters within us a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and homophobia"? Good lord. It's just a game, OK? Watch it or don't watch it, but stay the hell out of my Sundays.