It's Okay to be a Thug in College–If You Play Football


If I have to hear one more mention of the name Winston, anything about crab legs, including jokes that are not funny, or the latest, while I was trying to relax and work out in the gym between grading freshman essays, Winston as a kind of town crier of obscenities atop a cafeteria table, I might temporarily abandon my life as a mild-mannered professor whose streaks of enthusiasm are reserved for discussing ethos, logos, pathos, and what makes good writing.

Admittedly, I am probably not the most qualified person to comment on college sports or football.  First, I watch football only when my beloved TCU Horn Frogs take the field, with pride and out of gratitude because TCU paid for my Ph.D., and second, having spent some formative years in Sweden, a culture of violence and breaking the law was just not something I was conditioned to accept or deal with, certainly not in a sympathetic or empathetic manner.

Sure, the average Swede can and does get excited when the hockey puck does its magic and when some players spit blood (blame in on our Viking ancestors), but even spending the majority of my life in America, as a U.S. citizen, I am more inclined to watch marathons or participate in them, to admire the sport of the individual and his or her ability to persevere and triumph.

I am not going to take any easy or cheap shots here and say when is the last time you heard of a marathon runner “gone wild”; and I know for a sad fact that there are some very dishonest mid-pack runners that cut the course even to improve their time to finish just a few minutes ahead of being average or median.  But this business of football, a team sport, and the continued thug-o-rama we are experiencing and cannot escape from, must stop.

I mostly know about Crab Legs Winston because I watch the news and apparently football must be so important, forget even the latest NFL stories of human tragedy of victims at players’ hands, that it spills over into time that could be used to cover other crimes besides beheadings by ISIS, though both of these topics are devouring valuable time during newscasts, half-hour format and even the 24-hour news cycle.

Sadly the coverage takes on an entertainment factor (both ISIS and Winston Student Union Bad Mouth), under the guise of education and the need for reform.  But in the case of Winston and other bad boy football players, it’s always about the important loss of the talent on the football field and ultimately, the dollars.  So I am informed by those knowledgeable about football and even my professorial common sense, not the alleged cynical sense ascribed to our profession, knows the almighty dollar is what rules.

I have for years now continued to harbor the fantasy of having college football teams that are made up only of hardworking and law-abiding persons.  Of course when I run this idea by friends and colleagues it gets sacked immediately by more or less the same wording:  “You can’t have a winning football team then.”

I do not believe that nay-saying notion for a moment.  Instead, I have a plan that could be adopted by the NCAA, colleges and universities, and, more important, completely on the local level, right inside the college presidents’ offices down to the water-carriers on the football team (I am sure there is a fancier title for this job description; forgive my football ignorance).  We not only pledge but uphold and vigilantly guard that there will be a zero-tolerance for any bad behavior by football players.

As I continue my fantasy, and I am sure this is not what is meant by the term “fantasy football” I hear advertised so much, we have students all across America’s colleges and universities suit up and hit the field as part of their development as student-athletes (a much abused and misused term) and as persons who are embracing the classical tradition of healthy mind, healthy body.

No more shadows of illegal and immoral acts (Plato’s cave allusion if you wish), as fans fill the stands and watch on television screens an honest game of football where any distractions are those of good stories about the players.  Of course, then we need to begin to work on some of the fans, but starting on the playing field is a definite must.

3 thoughts on “It's Okay to be a Thug in College–If You Play Football

  1. American football I am told by great thinkers is a substitute for going to war and to provide a release for our pent up male aggression. I also think it might be a place where men go to celebrate the last bastion of masculinity? Or maybe that should be in the pass tense? I to am tired of hearing this endless chatter about the mean old football players who seemed to like beating up on their women….or the the nice old football player who prayed too much to suit the godless commies! A diverse nation we are. I did watch football back in the days of Hershel Walker (a great American from Ga.) “how bout them Dogs”. Hershel built his mom a nice new brick house, married and never never hit his wife! Those seemed to be the good old days.

    • While I appreciate your reply, and admire Herschel Walker as well, you are very wrong in your statement about how he treated his wife. He claims to have the psychological disorder D.I.D., which depending on your beliefs, you may or may not believe is in fact a psychological disorder. Just google “the three faces of eve” and you will see that to this day, it is still a very controversial diagnosis. According to this article, Walker held a gun to his now ex-wifes head and also threatened her with knives. Check it out…

  2. That’s funny that you should comment about Winston when TCU is full of thugs. You are correct that it is okay to be a thug if you play football, as the TCU faculty are fully supportive of players beating up students for beer. Yes Winston is a thug… he would fit right in at TCU! Oh, and I live in Fort Worth and want to be a TCU fan…but I can’t support Texas Criminal University.

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