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Aug. 2007 Back to School

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    August 2007 Back-To-School issue of NJ Life & Leisure.

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September 08, 2007



While I don't follow major sports too closely, I do occasionally watch pro football. The game is rather risk-oriented (despite current rules and safety equipment), which is why various safeguards (e.g. rules against facemasking and roughing the kicker/passer) and the fact that players are phyiscally conditioned to "assume the risk" when they go onto the playing field, tends to mitigate injuries on the field.

First and foremost, in any sport--good sportsmanship is the hallmark of any great athelete. Regardless of a player's statistics or team's win/loss ration, I will NOT respect a player who doesn't display good sportsmanship (on and off the field).

Recently, the former Atlantic Falcons quarterback Vick has lost the respect of many fans (including myself) because he was involved in dog-fighting matches (and slaughtering dogs which didn't meet his standards of meaness). While human players voluntarily hit and tackle eachother on the football playing field (but I stress within game rules, and after the game many players even shake hands), setting dogs against eachother merely to see them rip eachother apart (like gladiators did in Rome) is revolting.

Of course, fans can be poor sports too. See a story written by sports reporter Steve Politi who wrote a relevant story in today's (9/10/07) Star Ledger, headlined "Pennington injury the lowlight of Jets' bad day: This 'Cheer' was shameful on part of fans." Some Jet fans actually "cheered with delight yesterday when an injured Chad Penningtonhopped and crawled off the field."

Given the stark conditions facing people in a harsh world (war, starvation, disease, poverty), I'm not going to worry over the outcome of any particular sport event. But yes, everyone needs a break from "the real world," which is why I will continue watching games now and then.

Do you think they will ever play football (I know, "football" is "soccer" to us in USA) in the Olympics? One thousand years from now, will anyone care?

Kelly Green

Well, the Jets lost to the Patriots but they're still going to have a better year than the Giants and I still say the Jets are going to the playoffs. Let's just hope Chad isn't hurt to badly.

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