Friday, October 11, 2013

"Football, by All Means" by Wallace John (1905)

Football, by All Means.

Rah! rah! rah! who cares—do you—

For a broken leg or a death or two?

Let the pimply youths on the bleachers root

For that manly hero, the Perfect Brute,

For shoulders and legs in the ghastly play

That maketh a college holiday!

While the pretty girl with the college pin

Adds her shriek to the general din,

While fond mamma and foolish pas

Split the sky with their rah-rah-rahs

As a man drops out with a broken knee

Or a crack in the upper vertebrae.

Rah! rah! rah! let's make a noise

And help the sport of these tender boys;

For love of college is doubly thrilled

When men are mangled and maimed and killed.

Each end they run, each yard they gain

Is done at the cost of blood and pain,

Making the noble game a sort

Of prize fight, bull fight, a cannibal sport,

A modern gladiatorial show

Where you and I and the world may go;

A Graeco-Roman burlesque*

I'm fond of that sort of thing, aren't you?

        —Wallace John to New York Globe.

Syracuse Herald. December 30, 1905: 4 col 3.

The State University of New York at Albany on their recent post on "It's that time of year again. Reminisce w/ college friends. Watch UAlbany Football at the new Bob Ford Field. Tailgate w/ UAlbany alumni. It's HOMECOMING! Join us!" evidently couldn't handle having the link for "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis." (Frontline. October 8, 2013) posted in response and they deleted it. UAlbany's pro-free speech only when it comes to the Westboro Baptist Church and their ilk? Egads.

UAlbany's new Joe Paterno Field: a field with no "fertile ground for open discussion on contradictory viewpoints." How many people have they injured, broken, traumatized, terrorized, or killed?

A former UAlbany Athletics Director had written that he'd received death threats when he cut some athletic teams when UAlbany was trying to comply with Title IX:

"Three years ago, the State University of New York at Albany dropped three minor men's sports, added women's sports, capped men's rosters, increased women's rosters and equalized budgets. We found ourselves in court, ridiculed by the local media and ostracized by some alumni. I even received death threats. Ultimately, a five-judge appellate court ruled unanimously that our actions were correct, and the suit against us was "meritless.""

Richards, Milton E. "Short-term pain means long-term gain." The NCAA News: Comment. June 16, 1997. (Archived by WebCite® at )

The problem of "College Athletics by Any Means Necessary," to paraphrase Wallace John, would be a good topic for discussion... though I don't know how someone could be in favor of such things as UAlbany's done.

"President Barack Obama says he's a football fan but that if he had a son, considering the impact the game has on its players, he would think long and hard before allowing his son to play." news services. January 28, 2013.

"'I believe that within 10 years there will be no more youth contact football,' Holloway said. 'And there shouldn't be.' […] 'If it were today, when opportunities have opened up, there's no way I'd play football,' Holloway said."

Churchhill, Chris. "Football disabilities endure long after roar of crowd ends." Albany Times Union. September 19, 2013.

Having an ex-athlete, ex-coach, football fan as a supposed police "chief" is a big boon when there's football players with an appetite for gang rape or other crimes. Having a coach who works hand-in-glove with the so-called "chief," a coach who uses his good friend Joe Paterno as his model, works out about the way anyone without football brain damage would think that it would.

"Throwing around the old pigskin"

"nary a rumor of scandal"

Profiteering off people damaging their brains when they should be improving their minds... I can't get behind that.

* The word I rendered as "burlesque" is blurry on the copy I consulted, but the word seems to fit provided it's mispronounced as burl-ess-cue rather than as burl-esk.

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