Before I dive into this opinionated posted, I want to state that this is my personal opinion and does not reflect how everyone who contributes to BSR feels about this subject. With that being said, lets roll.
Football has become the most popular sport in America — and truthfully, it has been for a while now. With anything popular, it’s going to have people that completely obsessed and those that don’t like it at all. I fall under the category of the latter.
It wasn’t always this way. Growing up in a household hearing the stories of Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts can make it hard for any kid to focus on anything but football. Fortunately for me, I also grew up in a household where baseball was just as big. Being the sports fan that I was when I was younger, I’d remember football season coming around and my dad and I would watch the Ravens together almost every week. We kept this tradition alive for years, up until the last NFL season.
Around early 2013, just after the Ravens won the Super Bowl, I happened to stumble upon an article on CNN about former NFL players suing the league for not treating them correctly for head injuries. Reading more into this led to me looking into the suicide of former players Junior Seau and Dave Duerson. These two men suffered from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopahty) which is a disorder in the brain that occurs in people who have dealt with multiple concussions in their life.
Unfortunately, the only way to discover if people have CTE is after they have passed away. Former Orioles player Ryan Freel, who passed away due to suicide in 2012, was diagnosed with CTE postmortem, making him the first MLB player diagnosed with the disorder. Over 33 NFL players have been diagnosed with the disorder since it was discovered in 2002.
This quickly became a MAJOR red flag for me. When I read into all of this, I was just shocked that a business as large as the NFL, that makes as much money as they make, doesn’t seem to have the basic innovation and technology to prevent concussions and treat them properly if they were to occur.
I know the league is working on helmets to better prevent concussions and they are pulling players off the field immediately when they show symptoms of concussions, and this is all a step in the right direction, I just don’t see myself liking a sport where the end result most of the time is serious injury to the head or other areas of the body. (As I was writing this paragraph, it was announced that Eddie Lacy suffered a concussion in the first NFL game of the season.)
Another thing that drives me away from the game all together is the overall annoyance that seems surrounds the sport. I see this happen a lot here in Baltimore. For example, the Orioles are in first place with a 9.5 game lead in the division, a magic number of 15 and the second best MLB record. If you turn on any Baltimore news channel during their local sports, they’re too busy covering Ravens practices or some Countdown to Kickoff event to notice the team across the street.
Admittedly, there may be some bias from me since I’m a baseball fan first and foremost, but it’s not hard to discredit that statement. In a city with two successful sports teams at the moment, half of the time it only seems like one exists.
There are multiple other aspects that go into my dislike of football, but I feel like I’ve justified this enough. If you enjoy football, that is perfectly fine. I’m not here to say that you are wrong or convince you to give it up just because I don’t enjoy it. If you proudly wear your worn out Ray Lewis jersey with purple camo pants every Sunday, that is perfectly fine.
Enjoy what you enjoy, that is why we seek out forms of entertainment: we enjoy it. As for me, I’ll stick to baseball.