8 Great Things About Football (Winning or Losing)

Last Sunday was a gloomy day for Seattle Seahawks fans... we lost Super Bowl XLIX, and our dignity ran out the door with it. I thought this was the perfectly fitting time to discuss the nature of football, as well as what I have gained from opening my heart to understanding it better.

I never grew up with football in my life. My dad wasn't a mega-fan, and I wasn't close with the family members who were. Figure skating was my passion, and I was naturally drawn to feminine athleticism. Originally, I believed strongly that football was a sexist, homophobic, and under the surface quite racist sport. When I met my boyfriend, my eyes were tugged open.

I was forced to evaluate my impressions of my beloved figure skating--I took a step back to notice how subtly racist, sexist, and homophobic figure skating's nature is. Each sport has its pros and cons, and we love them anyway! Sports are, in many ways, not only about the game, but about the culture of the game. When we are able to judge the sport as a whole, we are able to appreciate its important lessons. Here are some I've taken away:

 
1. Football is not the only sport with a culture of prejudice. While we are continually fed messages about NFL culture, we fail to recognize others. We are still able to appreciate athleticism without erasing underlying cultural value systems. 
 
2. Football advocates resiliency. Talk about going through pain! Football players are awesome role models (if not for other reasons) in this sense. Football can teach us the most important human trait: the ability to bounce back, and fast.
 
3. Football players are people too. Whether they're obsessed with their extensive shoe collection, or give back by visiting children's hospitals: they're people as human as we are. They come from small high schools, prestigious high schools, and some were told they would never make it out of Compton. Regardless of their current fame, they were all like us and still are.
 
4. Football opens up so many doors (and windows). Football is the opportunity that many young men do not have the option of pursuing, and makes life a lot easier for those who obtain the opportunity. It removes young men from poverty and gives them a much better quality of life than they might have elsewhere.
 
5. Football is a wonderful escape. Regardless of what we're all dealing with in our personal troubles, we can turn to sports to release us from our pain. Football is a great release and a great distraction. It's somewhere to turn when we need something to occupy our mind or our spirits.
 
6. Football is full of super cute dudes (and ladies)! A factor of the escape, the good-looking nature of these athletes and cheerleaders can make watching a game much more enjoyable (similar to the sparkly, gorgeous outfits and beautiful melodies in figure skating).
 
7. Football gives you an excuse to pig out on delicious foods. Especially the Super Bowl. Football fans feed their friends the greatest, saltiest, guilty-pleasure snacks. While not the healthiest sport, football lets you give a reason to your conscience as to why you rejected your diet that day.
 
8. Football instills a hard work-ethic. If your team loses, you learn to quickly overcome and encourage your team to begin training for the next season. Each year, every team gives the season their all and never gives up until their time expires. As a Seahawks fan, I congratulate my team on a great, hard working season, and appreciate how far they did make it, with or without another Super Bowl win.
 
This confrontation with football has taught me never to judge a book by its apparent cover, and to give everything a shot at least once. I can finally say: I see what my boyfriend and other men desire and idolize within the game of football.