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Fields of Battle

This article is more than 14 years old.

One of the new year's first e-mails to Only a Game read, in part, as follows:

"Bill, I am happy and proud to say that I enjoyed the entire holiday season without watching a single bowl game. I realize that I may be one of only a few men in America who has achieved this goal, but if we strive, perhaps a few more will make it next year, and a few more the year after that. who knows? If enough of us stop watching, perhaps we can tame our vinnie testosterone society and really achieve world peace."

It's a fine dream, but flawed. For one thing, the listener's assertion of the connection between watching football and dangerous testosterone levels fails to account for my sister-in-law. She needs to be restrained during Pittsburgh Steelers games, but is otherwise a nurturing person opposed to violence in all forms, personal and institutionalized.

Beyond that, if the guy who sent me that e-mail was entirely right, all football-loving men could be counted on to support any war under any circumstances, just because they felt so manly and righteous when doing so. This somehow doesn't seem entirely likely, and my guess is that a fair number of the soldiers currently serving in Iraq would a whole lot rather be watching football at home than in Baghdad, their testosterone levels notwithstanding.

This is not to suggest that there is no connection between football and war. Big games wouldn't be big games without ear-splitting flyovers and songs about bombs bursting in air and god selectively shedding his grace. But the violent, damaging, and expensive similarities notwithstanding, it's a goofy leap to suggest a direct link between football of a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and of course I wish it were otherwise. aA causative relationship would suggest that all we'd have to do to eliminate war would be to eliminate football, and even on the brink of the NFL playoffs, the most degenerate football fans couldn't fail to understand that eliminating the game from the landscape of our weekends would be a small price to pay for world peace, right?

Aw, come on....right?

This program aired on January 7, 2005. The audio for this program is not available.

Bill Littlefield Twitter Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.


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