One Bwogger takes a break from her love affair with women’s sports to offer a radical proposal to Columbia’s poor, decimated football team.
Let the record reflect that I never wanted to care even a little bit about football. I grew up in a small town where the only things to do are go to church and care about the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl chances, so I decided I wanted to have nothing to do with it. But then I joined marching band in middle school and was thus forced to go to every football game for the foreseeable future. One day in 11th grade, I looked up and realized I knew what a down was and from that moment, I knew football had grabbed at least a little in some Stockholm syndrome type clutches, no matter how much I resisted. (The day I learn what “offsides” means is the day I’ve truly surrendered.)
While I still don’t really know (or care) what’s happening on the field half the time, I can still read a scoreboard and hear the cries of all 3 angry Columbia fans around me. Losing is never fun, and historically, we seem to do quite a bit of it. Last season, there was a ray of light amidst decades of darkness, and it wasn’t impossible to think that might be the case again, considering the close margin of victory in early play (Princeton excluded). Originally, this letter was going to be my plea to you all to please stop snatching defeat from the jaws of victory (see: Penn, October 12, 2018). Then, Homecoming happened, and I realized we have more pressing issues at the moment.
As of the writing of this post, 20 of Columbia’s football players have been injured throughout this season, with 9 of those injuries occurring on Saturday alone. I mean, come on, we just got Josh Bean back and now we’re down to our fourth-string quarterback after he suffered another, undisclosed head injury and our other quarterbacks were felled as well. One player was rushed off the field for surgery due to a broken leg. I realized I’d been incredibly selfish; my pain at our failure to win an Ivy League contest is nothing compared to the various broken, beaten, and otherwise brutalized appendages of the boys in blue.
Columbia football, it might seem like the only thing anyone cares about is you winning, but we here at Bwog know its far more important to have whole, unbroken players. After all, for all that you seem distant from us simple, non-athletes (I’m pretty sure I can’t even name 9 football players off the top of my head), you’re students with midterms like the rest of us and I’m pretty sure its difficult to write a CC essay with a concussion.
I’d ask you to please stop injuring yourselves, but even if you walked on the field wrapped in bubble wrap and cotton candy, football is an inherently brutal sport that destroys the bodies of the people who play it. So, since I only care tangentially about football, I’m going to propose something far more radical: disband the football team.
Sure, it would be an adjustment for everyone, but I’m sure we could all find somewhere else to place our fair weather fandom. Columbia would lose the revenue the program provides, but could probably make that up by branding itself a purely academic institution, and snapping up all the kids who complained that we were becoming a sports school during the winning season last year. Columbia also gets to keep young adults from life-changing injury and players might get to keep their bodies intact after they turn 30. It’s a win-win-win situation, most importantly because we literally can’t lose if we just don’t play.
soon to be obsolete? via Columbia Athletics