Anna June is growing up in a weird place: an ambivalent household in a land of football culture.
Ben and I have always been sports fans, but only moderately. Baseball is clearly our favorite sport, and even though I'm a Braves fan, through the magic of the internet, we've been watching Brewers games for the past couple of seasons and AJ and I can certainly name more Brewers players than Braves.
Let's pause for a moment while I sigh a resigned sigh.
Anyway, football has been fine, but there's always been something about it that has been a little off-putting.
We're Alabama fans when we have to choose, but honestly, we root for UAB, our alma mater, when it comes to college football. Our program is in danger of closing, through a complicated political and financial assessment process that is ongoing. There has been a lot of buzz in the past few weeks about saving it - and athletics in general at our university - and it almost feels like a battle cry. On top of that, I got free tickets because I'm an employee. I almost feel like I HAVE to go to the game tomorrow.
Except I don't.
It's No-vember, after all.
I do believe that one person makes a difference, and a sea of UAB green will both intimidate and impress visiting undefeated Marshall, a conference rival.
Earlier this season, I read this article by local blogger Wade Kwon, and I tweeted to him that I wish I had written this myself. I can identify with his disgust with all the aspects of the game he mentions.
Then, my high school friend Matthew Goldenberg wrote this piece in the Yale Daily News. If you can get past how Yale-specific it is, he makes the point that we should be doing more to make the game safer.
And I am even working with a grant that partners with the NFL, interested in advancing the health (and safety) of young African-American men. Because the grant was awarded in Minnesota, the partnership is specifically with the Minnesota Vikings (hold your booing), but should expand across the NFL in time.
I don't hate football.
But I may have better things to do.
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