Poem: The Missiles of Lambeau

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 07: Ryan Grant #25 of the Green Bay Packers is hit in the head by Ray Leiws #52 of the Baltimore Ravens at Lambeau Field on December 7, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Ravens 27-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Sherman L. McCleskyCorrespondent IApril 17, 2011

It all started one day.

A group of men college men gathered together to play a new game. It was a game that was rugby, yet not. The collisions were the same as rugby, yet different. At the end of the day, a new sport was born.

But as the game had progressed, the urgent need to play better defense for this new game grew like a giant; and just like that, defenders started launching themselves like missiles, striking their offensive counterparts, head first, with no regard for safety.

People watched in horror as the blood flowed like a river and and the players were dying.

Halt!!! said President Theodore Roosevelt. We must stop this bloodshed, we must change this game. The founding fathers of this new game instead offered an alternative... Changing the way the players were playing the game.  Then there was peace or so we thought...

Once the defenders felt confident that the new rules would protect them, they once again began to launch their missiles at the offensive players, this time with even more force and more blood. Halt!!! said the commissioners of the NCAA and NFL. We must stop this bloodshed, we must change this game!!!

The solution was simple... Helmets and Pads. And then there was peace or so we thought...

Once the defenders felt confident that the new helmets and pads would protect them, they'd once again launched their missiles, except this time they used a new strategy; aim for the face, for it was the only part of the head that was still exposed.

The death toll had dropped, but the blood still kept flowing and the faces became mangled.

Halt!!! said the commissioners of the NCAA and NFL. We're glad that death has let this game be, but the blood still flows and we're still not happy. Another solution... Hard helmets, then later, a face guard!! And then there was peace or so we thought...

With hard helmets and new face guards, the defenders became rabid; the quest for blood became insatiable! 


Halt!!! said the commissioners. There is no death and there's little bloodshed, but something going wrong inside our players' heads. Another solution... Concussion resistant helmets and more rule changes. And then there was peace or so we thought...

It is now over 150 years later, from the first game, yet the defensive game has not changed. The team and individual names are different; the equipment is better and the venues are great, but the defensive mentality still remains the same... Hit the man with the ball as hard as you can!!!

Football is a bloodsport, played by brutes and thugs, where there is no room for kisses and hugs. It is a sport forged from blood, sweat and tears, where the men play with little or no fears.

We, the hypocritical fans; to embrace such savagery with much joy and disdain.

We cringe when we see a player in pain; we clap when he limps off and we cheer when he tries to reenter the game, knowing that he's still hurt; perhaps it's because we want to see him get hurt again, courtesy of another missile strike.

This is the nature of our inner beast; after six days of being victimized by the world, we enjoy the idea of sitting back for one day and watch someone else suffer.

So once again we say halt! So once again we make changes and perhaps we'll develop new equipment; but it'll be to no avail and we will once again fail, to turn this sport into something it wasn't never meant to be.. civilized.


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