Elevators and Football

Are you ready for some fabulous football?

I upset one of my fellow students a while back in grad school.  I was on the elevator and replied to his query about who would win the Superbowl with something along the lines of “Huh, what? Oh, I don’t even know or care. Football is fucking ridiculous and I can’t stand it.” Immediately I saw that I hurt this young fellow’s spirits, so I tried to cheer him up by telling him “I bet the Steelers will win.They have Ben Rothlesburger and he loves to plow chicks. That’s as good of a reason as any to root for a team.” However, contrary to this cheering him up, the ever-changing expression on his face would seem to indicate otherwise. By the time the elevator reached the lobby I was not entirely sure if this soon to be productive member of society wanted to strike me or bow his head in shame.  Matters may have been complicated further by my asking him for a cigarette, but I digress.  I feel that this episode provides a poignant example of the inherent dangers associated with indoctrinating our children with such a strong belief structure concerning a game.  Games are meant to be fun filled activities designed to teach children concepts such as teamwork, hard work, and sportsmanship.  However, this young prodigy’s overly emotional response to my own displeasure regarding his “game of choice” as it were suggests that he just may be taking the whole situation a bit too seriously; and from this I would further extrapolate that since this man of the world was a wee lad, he most likely was being reinforced with the utter importance involved with the game itself, and the seriousness involved in being a fan of it.  This leads me to the following question:  What if this young man’s father (or whomever instilled this deep-seated desire within him) had instead stressed the importance of reading and learning with the same vivacity?  It seems that with this fellow’s drive and determination, he could have been a scholar by this point; possibly making great contributions to whichever field struck his fancy.  To my mind, this would be a far richer and more fulfilling experience than simply getting overly emotional on an elevator.  Aw well,  C’est la vie.

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