Alabama won the National Championship last night for 17 thousand years in a row,
I grew up playing football in Damascus – real football that is.
You know, the game where you only use your feet to advance a perfectly round ball down the field and try to score a goal every five hours. A score of 2-0 is a shutout. You also cannot touch, attempt to touch, look at, or be within twenty feet from your opponent at any time. If you do, one of the seventeen referees will hand you a yellow card. I am talking about the game known around the world as soccer, or fatbowl.
I watched my first American football game in Knoxville. I would say Go Vols, but I would be deported quickly, so I won’t. I quickly developed an appreciation for the civility of the game. The object is to clobber the guy carrying the ball. Yes, they can throw and hand the ball to another player, which might as well be a death sentence. But the guy with the ball has to make his way down the field, if he can pass a few 500-pound athletes.
Believe me, I do have an appreciation for the athleticism required in football, and the strategy from the coaches who make a measly eighty million dollars a year, and the billions of fans who dump half of the GDP of this country into the sport. But all in all, my mind is still trying to figure out why a fowl is called in soccer when two players collide, and in American football, the goal is to collide.
I think American football might be man’s way of reviving the gladiator tradition, when the Romans threw a bunch of people in a colliscium and told them to fight till death. Except in the case of American football, they fight till death with helmets on.
I did plenty research on American football, here are my findings via a timeline:
1000 BC – A few people got together and said: Hey, since there is no electricity, running water, television, or Pop Tarts, lets just gather in a field and kill each other.
1500 AD – A few people got together and said: Hey, you know this sport where we kill each other in the field? Let’s call it something and charge money to watch. I bet a few people will come.
November 6th, 1869 – American football was born. The guys at Rutgers and Princeton universities got together and said: enough of this wimpy sport called Rugby, lets put on real helmets and try to maim each other. Oh yeah, lets make some rules to make it seem civil. You can’t hit in the back if the referee is watching. Also, you can’t pull on the facemask if the referee is watching. One more, you can’t have more than eleven players on the field – if the referee is watching.
January 12th 2015 – Alabama wins again under the reign of Nick Saban – second only to Leonardo da Vinci in genius, Michael Angelo in art, and Mozart in offensive line strategy.
Maybe one day I will appreciate American Football. Maybe one day I will wish they allowed soccer players to hit each other and score fifteen points per goal. Then have the chance to score one more point when the guy in the back kicks the ball into a goal the size of Kansas. And if two players collide, call it a tackle instead of a fowl. Oh, and you have to weigh more than 500 pounds.
I almost forgot. Let’s ad a line of scantily-clad babes on the side line and call them cheerleaders. Because the fans do not know what to say or when to say it. The babes will contribute to the wholesome family-time affair.
Maybe one day soccer will join the rest of popular American sports like football, Nascar, and wras-ling.
And to all the Alabama fans out there, I live in Nebraska.