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How Does American Football And Sports Trauma Help World Peace?

Y. A. Tittle, NY Giants, takes a break.

For all the care and concern over health in football, it’s still the biggest draw in sports. And the most traumatic.

From NFL stadiums to local youth league fields, and everywhere in between, coaches learn how to spot injuries early.

In the youth leagues parents are more involved, so that helps if they stay calm.

While no one attends football games to see the EMT crew roll onto the field, it happens. Whether they actually hold a game up or not, an ambulance team standing ready near the gate of a high school game is a stark reminder of what football can deliver.

For the newly initiated, football delivers strategy like a game of chess. It delivers feats of human exceptionalism like the Olympics. At the end it delivers the crushing reality of human frailty, but more on that later.

Like battles in war, football is a test of youth and enthusiasm guided by age and experience with the resulting victory untainted by pain, death, and destruction.

It’s a good experience for all involved most of the time. There’s pain in victory and defeat regarding football, but not mortal pain.

The bumps and bruises of the game, the swollen ankle twisted on a cut-back, the cracked sternum from taking a helmet to the chest on a goal line stand, all feed into a common response.

You’ve heard a full stadium speak as one after such a play.

The, “OOOOOO,” and “AHHHHHHH” happens naturally when everyone in the home crowd jumps to their feet.

What you don’t see is hidden deep inside every sports fan, inside of every human being who ought to be a sports fan: Our DNA may carry the results of inherited trauma.

Scientific research indicates that the hardships our ancestors experienced and survived is expressed by ‘markers’ in our DNA. It tells whether we’ll choke under pressure, or channel our inner Joe Montana and tell us to relax.

In a world of hurt, America finds release watching people hurt each other with sportsmanship and game rules. Put on the pads, buckle the helmet, and go pound out a win instead of falling prey to zealots and hotheads.

Give people a reason to gather and cheer for a game instead of gathering and jeering for regime change.

American football works to improve the world one traumatized nation at a time.

WWI and WWII blasted Europe flat and each country blamed the other.

The French rolled over, the English waited too long, the Russians left early in WWI and stayed too long in WWII. America was the deciding factor in both world wars.

That the new kid on the block saved the European way of life was a trauma to every Downton Abbey fan living.

With the American dominance over world affairs in the post WWII era, American football has finally found a foothold in Europe and the Middle East. lists a continent full of American football teams, and it’s about time.

Instead of holding multi-generational grudges, and ethnic cleansing, they can work it out on the gridiron like civilized people.

England has a huge list of teams.

France and Germany carry teams in First Division, Second Division, Third Division, Other, and Regional. The major warriors of a bygone time have full leagues.

If Cyprus has a team on the ‘Other Division’ called the Emu Crows (Gazimagusa), and Estonia has two teams in the same division, than you know American f0otball is saving the world.

Traumatized people work out their feelings in traumatic ways if there’s no other outlet. Football is the answer. If you have doubts, look at Saudi Arabia. From

Speaking about the sport, one team member told Al Arabiya News channel: “American football is the only sport that welcomes all types of bodies – thick, thin, tall or fast because you have more than a mission to accomplish, unlike soccer which only requires a specific shape.”

Another player said: “It [American football] is all about strategy,” one player said, “if you have the right strategy, you can master it.”

If world trauma can be calmed by sports trauma, let the soothing begin.

Through football fans see the rise and fall of superstars, franchises, and eras. Most of all they see the old player hanging on for one more season, one more win, one more chance to make a difference. And they relate.

To a world spinning from one trauma to the next, football says, “It’s only a game, but it means more than anything you’ll ever do.”

It always does.




About David Gillaspie
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