Football..... I love Football..... the sounds, the strategy the hitting. All of it. Everything about football is GREAT. Not only do I love watching the game, I love coaching it with my son's little league coach. Helping the kids get a firmer grasp on the game, teaching them team work and life lessons. Football is a great thing.
Football is my 'religion'. It teaches you how to work with others, be a member of a team, work for a common goal and of course to respect authority (when the respect is EARNED). It also teaches you sportsmanship, fair play and all the good principles that go into being a responsible adult/ man. --all the things I work to teach my son every day.
I even attend 'church' with my son. It's called practice and game days. Also, for 5 months out of the year, Sundays we attend the 'Church of the NFL'. (Yes, we watch games on Sunday, I drink a beer and swear at the T.V.) ~~Perish the thought RIGHT?~~ Beer and SWEARING at the T.V. on Sunday's ~~ BLASPHEMY! Am I raising my son poorly? I don't think so. If you were to interview his grandparents (my side of the family) they would tell you he is the kindest, most respectful grandchild they have. Of course, my parents are an anomoly; they are TBM's yes, BUT they accept the FACT that my son is the son of an atheist and is not baptized nor blessed in the 'Church'. They accept and love him ANYWAY. My in-laws on the other hand, see him as 'godless' and keep sending books about the LDS faith and why it is true to our home. They take every opportunity to push faith on him. I understand it's done out of misguided love, it's still annoying. Needless to say, he isn't a fan of them and usually refuses to go to family functions without prodding from his mom and I since he knows it will be all about in his words "Jesus this, god that and why aren't you baptized?" He loves his grandparents, just can't be round them for too terribly long.
Back to football. The simple principles taught in football are more valuable to a young man's development than what he will learn in Sunday School. I know this, I went to Sunday School and didn't get to play football till I was older. My parents thought that it was more important that I participate in "church sports" where I would learn 'good principles' than to play organized football. I think looking back, that they were just doing what they thought was best, in reality I would have learned more about teamwork etc. had I played football at a younger age than I did playing "church sports". All I learned there was "don't swear or you'll have to go see the bishop". Nothing about teamwork etc. In Sunday School all you learned was what the "Mormon Propogana Machine" told the 'teachers' to spit out at you every Sunday from their 'teaching manuals'.
Don't get me wrong; not stealing, not hurting people and respecting your parents are good things to learn. I am not saying that religion didn't have it's place. I am positive though that teaching little kids to give up 10% of their babysitting money to the church or they go to 'outer darkness' is a terror tactic that is better served upon ADULTS. Not kids. --Football doesn't teach that. Football teaches VALUABLE lessons that you carry with you for life.
I grew and walked away (actually sprinted) from religion. I have NEVER left football. Football never lied to me. Football never asked me to spend 10% or they would take away my game. Football never forced me to interview with anyone to get into a 'game'. Football just is. You enjoy it, it entertains and teaches you. You don't have to give up your income and time UNLESS you freely choose to. There is never coercion from football.
Football is better than religion and serves a greater purpose. If you must pray to something, pray to a goal post. It will be just as effective and you won't have to give up your income and life to get into a game. You can watch football for free if you want to, it's on network TV.
Go play, watch and live.