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Monday, December 03, 2012

Are fans responsible for the NFL's culture of violence that included a murder-suicide this weekend?

I'm a big football fan; not a fanatic, just a fan.

I played the sport for 10 years, including 4 in college. And I played against some former and current NFL players and am working on a long-term project about the life of an extremely prolific pro-football family. Oh, and I have an 11-year-old son who is busting at the seams to get involved in tackle football. Maybe that makes me ill-suited to objectively assess the piece below.

What are your thoughts?

When the violent culture of the NFL spills off the field, what blame should go to fans?

From the piece:

A few weeks ago I wrote about how football wasn’t good for me and I was trying to quit. Since my rant I’ve managed to avoid a lot of football; I’ve missed my favorite player, Lesean McCoy, getting severely concussed in garbage time of a meaningless game, I have no idea how Peyton Manning is doing in Denver, and I only have a vague understanding of what’s happening under center in San Francisco. Last week I back-slid a bit when I watched three quarters of the Eagles’ Monday night game against the Carolina Panthers; I justified this lapse by telling myself that it was okay because at this point Eagles’ games bear almost no resemblance to actual professional football.

Sadly, this weekend there was a terrible and all too serious reminder of why I’m cutting football out of my life for the time being.

I’m not going to focus on what happened in Kansas City beyond saying that if you cannot see this weekend’s awful events fitting into a larger pattern of football associated tragedies (Chris Henry and Junior Seau came to mind very quickly) then you are being willfully blind.

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