Sunday, July 25, 2010

North American Football


North Americans (excluding Mexicans) are passionate about a brand of football that has evolved in different ways from football played in the rest of the world. A signal difference is the uniform.

North Americans grow their football players (everywhere else the players are called "footballers") for size,

great strength,

and ferocity.

[It's good to know that these ferocious guys are devoid of whimsy . . .]

Professional world footballers wear shin guards. Australian Rule footballers dispense even with that.

How do the Australian footballers survive? And thrive?

Professional North American football has unbreakable, well-padded head protection and heavy padding protecting tendons, primarily. Muscle and bone can be made strong by hard exercise and can mend, but tendons and crania can't, so there is a natural limit to how large and ferocious players can get. The limit is set by armor technology. I don't see any other limit, and year by year the linemen grow larger and larger and more and more ferocious. [Though Warren Sapp wouldn't hurt a flea, off the field.]

The aim of every offensive lineman is to give the quarterback a concussion or a strained arm tendon. That aim to harm is shared by world footballers, too, with strikers as target; but world footballers aren't grown for size and ferocity but for speed, endurance, and grace.

The aim of every defensive lineman is to protect the quarterback. Tony Romo has the hardest head imaginable; I love to watch him in action.

There are other national sports. Aside from kendo, I don't know one that uses the kind of armor that North American football uses. Sepak takraw, for example, uses only shorts and a t shirt.

Sepak Turkey can be played on a court,

and on the open ground.

Kabbadi,which is played all over Pakistan,

uses shorts only.

Our home-grown touch football, plated by men and women together,

soldiers and civilians,


watched with envy by those who were once young,

sometimes produces images of astonishing beauty and grace. . .

. . .or perhaps this is rugby. Ruggers will do anything!

Son to be published,a blog on rugby, and, if there is anything new, on Turkish Wrestling.

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