What Is Football?

What is football?
days watching men collide
between beer commercials
hours spent, taken by
network television

What is football?
toss the pigskin, eat grilled meat
tailgate with chubby fans
wearing jerseys in parking lots
full of charcoal and puke

What is football?
weightlifting, combine, chalk lines
running 40 yard sprints
hands reaching out, cradling
touchdowns, drunk cheers and jeers

What is football?
sleep-deprived coaches studying
film, like planning D-Day’s invasion
toradol shots blocking pain to
endure injuries that linger lifelong

What is football?
bull in the ring, he got his bell rung
concussion, brain banging, cells dying
headaches, depression, careers over
hobbled husbands, broken bodies

Bad News

A couple months ago I was helping my daughter with her Arizona project. One of the requirements was a poster highlighting a current event from the state. I went online, scrolled through murder, after fire, after assault, after trial, after teacher strike. I could almost hear Jack Johnson humming Where’d all the good people go, I’ve been changing channels, I don’t see them on the TV shows. Four pages of bad news, headlines like Woman’s body found or Man struck, killed by car, with attractive photos of the people alive before they were decomposed, crushed, dead. I finally found Taylor Swift’s smiling face, arm and arm with foster children on the top of the 5th page. She’d given a free concert to the kids with pizza. Thank you Newsday, thank you Taylor Swift. We live in the era of self-fulfilling media prophecy, read about killing, go out and kill someone. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Are we all addicted to violence? Someone is reading the articles. Awhile back I let it all go, the news, the football, the MMA, the suffering, the injuries, the bruises. What does it mean to live peace? (I’m preaching now). Slowly move your fingers away from the computer, let the news go, let the violence go, vote with your time, give it to life, to peace.