Jon E. Garrett
Writing the future of journalism one post at a time



LIFE

August 31, 2012

Football is the best medicine

In a summer of crazy weeks this one no-doubt ranks near the top.

From the courts to the coasts it was a wild ride; landmark legal decisions, severe weather, an alleged plot to kill the president involving U. S. soldiers, more public shootings and “Jersey Shore” got cancelled.

One of the few times you will see this writer truly at peace.

It’s enough to drive a man to his wit’s end, which is where I’m pretty sure Clint Eastwood is at after I turned on the television last night and saw him give a chair the business Walt Kowalski style for 11 minutes.

If all the drama in the world is enough to drive an Oscar-winning director off the rails, then the chances of a  poor pen pusher like me maintaining my sanity aren’t great. So, when things got too hectic last night I reached over to the nightstand and found the perfect medicine.

Nope, it wasn’t a bottle of lithium, just a simple and sleek remote and with a push of a button (okay more like four or five) all the madness had stopped, reduced to white noise by the one thing that truly brings Americans together – football.

Yes, college football season began last night with high school and pro soon to follow. The fact that I watched teams I didn’t care about play games that didn’t really matter didn’t bother me one bit. For the first time since last year’s Super Bowl my mind was blissful, quiet – free of the politics, the financial troubles, the massacres and the madness.

A different kind of insanity, rooted deep in my soul as a native Texan, overcame me. Play after play, I watched with stone visage as a group of large men tried to prevent another group of large men from moving a ball to Point A to Point B. The season opening games were by no means thrilling, but to my ears ever hit a symphony and every touchdown a triumph.

Don’t think me a fool. I know our country has some big problems to tackle in the immediate future and many of us walk this planet everyday mourning tragedies of our own. Football, however, is important enough  to warrant your consideration.

Why? Because it is a reflection of the American psyche – men built like gods colliding with each other at speeds that would make Mercury blush as they fight for ground a yard at a time, beautiful women cheering them on and Thanksgiving turkey, apple pie and all that’s good.

Any given Sunday one team can beat another, one man might rise to the occasion to make a difference but he is nothing without the team, dynasties happen but are usually short-lived and the hero gets the girl or vice-versa.

If that isn’t a microcosm of our innate beliefs as Americans: that hard work is the key to success,  teamwork is essential for victory and that we are bigger and badder  than everyone else but still play by the rules because we’re champions, I don’t know what is.

Don’t worry. I will be at the polling booth when it is time to vote, there with  bags of non-perishables when there is a food drive and if you need a volunteer for a worthwhile cause don’t hesitate to call.

When the television set is running, however, or I’m standing on the sidelines, sitting in the stands or enjoying the stale-sweet stench of a press box, don’t bother me. Every play is precious medicine and I have to conserve.

 



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Jon E. Garrett





 
 

 

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