“The spirit, the will to win and the will to excel — these are the things what will endure and these are the qualities that are so much more important than any of the events themselves.” — Vince Lombardi
Football kicked off this weekend. This is fantastic news. I love football. A football Saturday or Sunday is a special thing.
And yet: This football season feels different than any that’s come before, because for the first time, I feel like the majority of fans have accepted these two simple facts:
Football is ridiculously dangerous, and will have to change, because it is too dangerous for humans to play in the way that modern football is played.
Football is really fun to watch, partly because it is so dangerous.
Something is going to happen to football as a result. Maybe parents will start keeping parents from playing, and will shift kids to other sports — soccer, lacrosse, wrestling. Maybe the rules will change dramatically. Maybe the technology for helmets and pads will get better.
But something is going to happen. And football fans will be outraged. They will bemoan the death of tradition. They will complain.
But this is how things works. Things change. The rules change. The game changes.
I do not know what happens next, but I know that things will change, and I know that a lot of people are going to be unhappy. But we won’t keep doing what we’re doing — we know there’s something wrong, and we fix our wrongs. It will not happen fast — this is just how our world works. There is too much money and too many players involved for it to move fast.
But it will change. We change, or we watch it change us.