“The claim that men like seriously to battle one another to some sort of finish is a myth.” Or is it? Let’s examine the facts:
Football is a sport. “It is a sport in which body wreckage is one of the leading conventions.” Football is the number one contact sport. When you are young football is fun, or at least it is supposed to be. Running on the damp green grass early Saturday morning, no refs, no rules, no worries. But, as the years progress, the game changes. You are introduced to a “dog eat dog” kind of game. “It is sort of a victory by ordeal: ‘we hurt them more than they hurt us.’”
This concept is very much similar to the Anglo-Saxin warfare. Differing in one minor way: “there is little or no protest against football.” War on the other hand is considered a malitious bloodbath. Can you spot the difference between the two? I couldn’t at first, but then I had the chance to read Beowulf and that passage changed my mind.
The only way the people in Beowulf’s story could get into heaven was by earning fame. They needed to prove themselves strong, immortal, and have a song made about them to prover that they are, in fact, worthy of a spot in heaven. “And Beowulf uttered his final boast: ‘I’ve never known fear, as a youth I fought in endless battles. I am old, now, but I will fight again, seek fame still, if the dragon hiding in his tower dares to face me.”
Not only are war and football alike in game, but they are alike in name. “The family resemblance between football and war is, indeed, striking. Their languages are similar: “field general”, “long bomb”, “blitz”, and “take a shot”.” Those are just to name a few. “Their principles and practices are alike: mass hysteriaa, the art of intimidation, absolute command and total obedience.” As if this weren’t enough information to change your mind about the likeness between the two there is still more. “The virtues they celebrate are almost identical: hyper-agressiveness, coolness under fire and suicidal bravery.
“Clearly, our sort of football is no sicker than the rest of our society.” Society makes everything that it is. And, in turn, society makes football what it is. If society didn’t make such a big deal about college, professional, and even high school football then football wouldn’t exist or be as big as it is now. Fans do not always go to the game just to see who will come out on top. They like to take out their aggression by watching other people knock each other down. “Yet all these practices are accepted without question by most people, even zealously defended and honored. Competitive, organized injuring is integral to our way of life, and football is simply one of the more intellible mirrors of the whole process: a sort of colorful morality play showing us how exciting and rewarding it is to Smash Thy Neighbor.”
War is usually between two countries or two fueding objects. The country line is quite similar to the line of scrimage in a football game. This represents a boundary line. Roughing the opponent(football) is like takng anothers life in war. A time out or break between quarters could be represented by war off-time, or a time of peace between the feuding opponents.
I have just briefly touched upon some of the many similarities between Anglo-Saxon warfare and modern football. Already you can see they are very much alike. Don’t get me wrong, I love football jsut as much as the next guy, and I don’t think they should reevaluate the game or anything like that but the facts speak for themselves. They both represent two objects going against each other in a fight to the finish. Even though war is a fight to death, football is a mental strategy that plays on the more creative mind.
In the end of a football game an injured report goes out, likewise, in the end of a war a casualities of war list is produced. If this isn’t enough to persuade you to think of football as a crucial game, then I don’t think I could ever change your mind.