I have an addiction to the sports page. I’ve tried to break it but I can’t. No matter how much I can’t take seriously the soap opera also known as the #NFL, I have to read the sports page every day. I’ve never been to a 3-ring circus. Don’t have to. The sports page is enough.
Recently, after I read the sports page, I experienced self-loathing for having fallen into the trap of reading courtroom drama about the size of balls. Millionaires and billionaires arguing over whose balls shrunk and didn’t shrink. Who would have thought that we needed a trial to decide whether someone’s balls were big enough?
The sports page is a bridge to my past, to my childhood obsession with reading about sports. Reading the sports page connects me to my inner child. Reading the sports page is the equivalent of rubber-necking. My addiction to the sports page is fueled by morbid curiosity. The sports page is the train-wreck that I feel compelled to park near and stare at, even though it’s the same mess as before.
September is the start of football season. The only football season I care about is amateur football, not the courtroom drama about whose balls are the perfect size. Amateur football is a Sacred Place where the memory of spilling your guts with your team becomes part of your heart and soul forever. You never forget your high school football career. It’s branded in your mind, becoming an indelible image that no amount of time can delete. Your high school football career plays on a constant loop inside your memory banks but in September, the volume gets jacked up.
I’ve been blessed to have been a part of amateur football as a player and then a coach since 1969. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast today but I can remember Sacred Moments that amateur football pumps out from my memory on a conveyor belt, assembly-line style.
I am not a fan of any NFL team but I hope that the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl again, just to prove the ball-size issue was a non-issue. The real crisis in football is steroid use. The unnatural size of artificial muscle built by pharmaceuticals as a replacement for real balls to build muscle naturally, is more dangerous than the size of balls that grown men run with or pass to each other. The tilted playing field caused by synthetic over-sized muscle is the biggest crime in football. Test every player before they step on the field. Develop technology like a roadside breathalyzer – one simple breath sample followed by a green light or red light. Pass or fail.
Deflated balls is the equivalent of a by-law offence – parking violation, expired dog tag, building a shed without a permit, noisy party, all the stuff that is not a capital crime. The video below is a tribute to amateur football, the Sacred Place where student-athletes express their true love of the sport instead of exercising their thumbs, paralyzed in front of a screen. The video is better than the #TomBrady saga. It’s about real-life football, not a soap opera. It’s about the real #football season. Hail to the underdogs. Hail to amateur football. Read the part of the sports page about kids playing the sport out of true love, not because of contractual agreement. If you’re part of the greatness of amateur football, make every moment count. They will add up to Sacred Memories.
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)
Head coach – Niagara X-Men Football
Owner – X Fitness Inc.
Blogs – www.GinoArcaro.com and www.SWATFootball.ca