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					                                                                               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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