Argumentative Essay: The Role Of Violence In Football

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In football, every play is a feat of endurance. The snap sets off a crescendo of violence as linebackers slam together, receivers take off, and the quarterback desperately scurries for safety in the backfield. Players “[regard] their bodies as machines and weapons with which to annihilate their opponents,” and do not hesitate in taking down their foes (Messner and Sabo 95). They are injured fairly regularly in this hostile landscape: some athletes even endure career ending injuries. In retirement, nearly everyone feels the repercussions of the time on the field. Once hulking, intimidating specimens of muscle mass are reduced to chronically arthritic, aching shells of their former selves (Mandelbaum 135). Former Jets wide receiver Wesley Walker spent 13 seasons in the NFL. Now, at age 59, he “[feels] like a 90-year-old man” whenever he tries to get …show more content…
Perhaps he can find solace in knowing that his pain will likely end soon, for he, as a former football-player, has a life expectancy “[ranging] in the mid to late 50’s” (Lazar). Football is not a sport for the faint of heart; it demands a certain animalistic toughness in body and mind. It has always been understood that the violence of the game wastes players’ bodies. But only in the past two decades has it become clear how profoundly our nation’s guilty pleasure impacts the brain. In the course of a 16-game season, an average pro football player sustains between 900 and 1,500 head blows (Lattimore-Volkmann). These staggering figures are unavoidable in football’s dangerous style, and can trigger immediate mental issues through concussions. For every concussion-causing blow, there are hundreds of micro-concussive hits (Lyman). Alone, these lesser head-blows are not necessarily dangerous, but over the course of a career, they combine to induce brain damage much worse than a simple concussion. They begin their work once players have left the field, and profoundly degrade many minds (Lyman). Hall-of-fame

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