Joe Fisher Writer’s Memo One of the main things I worked on when revising my rough draft was breaking up a couple bigger paragraphs and cleaned up a lot of wordiness that was present in the draft. I also focused on using language that is more forceful. My peers pointed out that I wasn’t assertive enough before and I agreed. I deleted just about every use of “I think” and “I feel,” and also corrected the problem of repeatedly using the word “while” when referencing opposing arguments. My main concern now is that my argument is clear enough to be understood. Joe Fisher 2-40-10 Essay 1 Final The Fight For Football Woodrow Wilson once said that football "develops more moral qualities than any other game of athletics." I would go even further to say that not only does football teach such things to those who play it, it reminds those who watch it of the place for said qualities in their lives. The physical nature of football cannot help but result in strong bonds between teammates. In my personal experience, many of my closest friends are people with whom I’ve played football. Knowing that there are people who have gone through the same “three-a-day” practices in the ninety-degree heat as I have has been an incredible source of pride and camaraderie for me. Football has also taught me the value of continuing to persevere, even when things are especially difficult. It sounds corny but running sprints at the end of practices is one of the things I will remember most fondly about my time playing football. This is because, in a way, it epitomized everything football is to me. Under normal circumstances the amount we’d run would only be slightly tiring, but since this took place after a full practice and we were all wearing our helmets, knee, thigh, hip and shoulder pads, there was always an added degree of difficulty of which the casual observer might not consider. Seeing that my fellow teammates were facing the same limitations that I was and experiencing the support that we all gave each other made the whole thing much more meaningful for me. The more pressure the coaches put on us, the more encouragement I heard from my teammates waiting for their next sprint. It was always meaningful to hear fellow teammates sacrifice their valuable breathing time to cheer me on. There are those who argue that football glorifies violence to the extent that it sacrifices the bodily health of those who play it, but I would argue that at the core of today’s game, those who play safely and the most technically sound are held in the highest regard. It is undoubtedly true that many times hard and dangerous hits are glorified in American culture, but there is something to be said for the popularity of players such as Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu, and Ladanian Tomlinson. Whether by using quickness to confuse the other team by seemingly being in two places at once, returning interceptions for touchdowns, or being content with running out of bounds instead of delivering the extra hit, all of these men play the game “cleanly” and are immensely popular as a result. The fact that players like Anthony Smith of the Pittsburgh Steelers who are perhaps less technically sound and more prone to making “questionable” hits are not held in such high esteem is telling of what America values in its football players. Amid increasing concern for the health of all who play the game, it is becoming increasingly clear that fashion has played a major part in increased injury. Despite advancements in helmet technology, many professional players refuse to wear the newer versions because of the level of comfort they have with their old helmets. Even more players choose not to wear all the padding for their hips, thighs and knees recommended by the league. As John Madden states in a new article in Time Magazine entitled The Problem With Football, How To Make It Safer; “Today's players wear less padding than they did in the past, either to increase their speed or for fashion appeal” (Gregory 2). If players were to adhere to the true nature of the game (as well as all the recommendations made by the league) there would be a decrease in player injury. If all players began taking extra precautions, even at the expense of style, Americans would never suddenly abandon the sport they’ve loved and been so passionate about for so long. I’ve heard it argued that football breeds egomaniacs who are obsessed with their own success. While this may sometimes be true, it has been my experience that football can be an excellent teacher of humility and modesty. Although I was a starter all throughout grade school and on the junior varsity team in high school, I was never able to get much playing time on varsity. For a while this bothered me, as many of my close friends earned substantial amounts of playing time and respect from fans and coaches, but gradually it became clear that I had a choice to make. I could either dwell on my seeming inferiority and be consumed with jealousy, or embrace the role my team was asking me to play. As I began to warm up to the latter I found that I was able to enjoy myself more because I wasn’t so self-conscious, nor did I find myself harboring any resentment for those playing over me. This isn’t to say that I no longer worked at practices or that I stopped trying to impress coaches, I just focused more on helping the guys around me and generally enjoying myself as much as I could. In the NFL, I hear this sentiment echoed all the time. Many players go out of their way to acknowledge that football is only a game-something many Americans admittedly lose track of from time to time, myself included. There’s also something to be said for the way those closest to the game at its highest level often times downplay their successes. Whether they’re pointing towards the sky after scoring or praising the work of their teammates when questioned about their personal accomplishments, many players continually reference the fact that their success in football is not their be-all end- all, that there is something more important at work. This is why Americans love football. Sure, we cheer for the Chad Ocho Cincos for showing off after every score and prematurely declaring themselves hall of famers, and we cheer for the Brandon Marshalls after they decide to change their attitude after whining like immature teenagers as well. Still, though, nothing will push the Peyton Mannings and Troy Polamalus, the guys who do their job out of love of the game and of its ideals, out of the spotlight. It’s these same ideals that embody the true spirit of America; a spirit of perseverance, humility, and solidarity with those who have made us who we are and those who cheer us on. There’s no question that there are problems associated with football. From deteriorating player health to narcissistic cultural tendencies, it’s easy to point out problematic areas of the game. At the very core of the game, though, lies many positive-and very American-ideals, and a revival of strict adherence to the rules and the primary spirit of the game would even make it an even bigger success in the United States and around the world. Gregory, Sean. "The Problem with Football: How to Make It Safer." Time Magazine 28 Jan 2010: 2. Print.
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