Glory and Gore

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Glory and Gore

Duncan

Duncan "Forbes" Magazine

Duncan "Forbes" Magazine

Duncan "Forbes" Magazine

Duncan Forbes, Reporter

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Football season is here, and it’s easy to see the excitement flowing, but why do we get so excited about a sport that’s so violent? Why does it get so much attention? Personally, I believe that the reason football is so exciting because of its complexity and fast-paced big plays – in other words, its entertainment value.

On August 9th, the NFL preseason kicked off with the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, featuring the Vikings and the Steelers in a “thrilling” 14-3 Viking win. This game brought in higher TV ratings than the final game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between The Blackhawks and the Lightning. Of course hockey is much more popular in Canada and across the pond, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that both teams in the final were from the United States. It all comes back to entertainment value though. I’d rather watch something spectacular like the missed field goal return TD at the end of the Alabama-Auburn game two years ago, than watch a black circle slide into a goal. Don’t get me wrong, I like hockey, but even the most incredible slapshot can’t beat the excitement from that one play.

In July of 2014, just before the NFL Preseason, former Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended for two games for knocking out his then fiancee, now wife, during an altercation in a New Jersey casino. The original two-game suspension was thought to be very lenient by the League compared to its normal four game substance abuse policy, but after more video evidence was found and reviewed, the Baltimore Ravens immediately cut Rice. With the rise in domestic abuse and other crimes in the NFL, one would think that fans of the game would have turned their backs until the League made more of a stand but, rather, fans kept watching the Ray Rice drama unfold, waiting for the regular season to begin. Why this example? Why show a tragedy that doesn’t even involve football gameplay? It’s because this is the perfect example of how football’s entertainment can eclipse something as serious as domestic abuse.

I’m not saying it’s justified; in fact, far from it. It’s probably one of the most disturbing aspects of football culture. It proves, however, that the promise of that one perfect football play that gets fans standing and cheering is enough for America to overlook the violence, concussions, even the domestic abuse surrounding football. It’s the entertainment value that keeps fans, like myself, at the edge of their seats every fall, and it’s for that reason that I’m going to keep on loving football.