I think we love watching/playing football because it allows us to experience the catharsis of a more primitive and tribal human existence. Football directly resembles primitive (pre-gunpowder) battle—with the line of scrimmage/line of battle, sweeps/flanks, offense/attack, defense/retreat, quarterbacks/field generals. When once the men of tribal clans battled with neighboring clans—their people celebrating in victory or wallowing in defeat—we now watch and cheer for our favorite football teams. And a major part of this primal experience has to do with our relationship with nature. We battled in meadows. We hunted in the forest. We farmed in the fields. We traveled by foot or horseback. It rained, and snowed, and sleeted, and we carried on. But today our relationship with nature is dying. We hunt for food in the grocery store. We farm our money in offices. We travel by car. The thermostat controls the seasons. In exchange, we are comfortable, but we don’t quite feel alive. So we turn to football, our field of modern battle, for a little excitement. And when we do, please NFL—let it be in nature. Let it be on grass, with mud and blood on our faces—not on FieldTurf with rug burns on our elbows and little black rubber balls stuck in our eyes. Don’t comfort us with the controlled temperature of the Dome. Let us sweat in the sun, get soaked in the rain, or freeze in the snow. Just watch the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in December. Then watch the Atlanta Falcons play in the Georgia Dome (it doesn’t matter which month). This is a difference between living and something else.


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