I was a cheerleader in junior high and high school, shouting "First in Ten, let's do it again" with the best of them. I hadn't a clue what I was talking about. It was all about the uniform: mine. We cheerleaders got to strut around in our short skirts and knee socks throughout the school day on game days and it was a bit of a thrill. Not quite as thrilling as the handspring or other attention-riveting move I'd do after the cheer, but you get the drift. The point is, I knew nada about football as a cheerleader (or basketball for that matter, except which players were cute and scored).
A few years ago, though, out the blue, I became a football fan. The Bus, Jerome Bettis, won me over. The Steelers became my favorite team (after the Redskins, of course). My Sundays used to be arranged around watching EastEnders, now, it's the NFL. A few weeks ago I was stunned by Polemalu's interception against the Ravens. I called it ballet on the field; the analogy doesn't quite work, but you have to agree it was some pretty fancy footwork:
The hit heard round the world came later when Clark and McGahee front-ended each other and lay on the field so long I feared they were both dead. Prayerful minutes later, Clark arose and even later, McGahee was carted off in a stretcher. Though I enjoy the game, the beating these guys take physically and the malingering effects for the rest of their lives, often shortening their lives, has to make you wonder, is it worth it?