In ancient Greece if actors in a play performed poorly the audience might throw bits off the floor and rotting food on to the stage in their show of disdain and disgust. In Roman times gladiators would fight to the bitter end and were often held by the wishes of the audience as to whether to be put to death or spared with mercy. Significant was the intertwining of entertainment and religious connections to both the Greek and Roman cultures.
Today’s professional football isn’t all too different from the ancient theatrics of the past. NFL Players are expected to perform both on and off the field to the standards set by their audience, and when they disappoint they can very well face the equivalent of flying tomatoes or the tip of a sword. Lost to many that choose to play, coach, or manage in the National Football League is the fact that they’re indeed performing for an audience.
That performance in our own culture is centered on the entertainment of athletic competition but is akin to a religion in modern American society. Football and its “players” are held to a higher standard by the public that pays to see their performance. Screw up and you’re going to face the consequences. Ask the coach on “the hot seat” or the rookie receiver dropping a pass. Or ask the New York Giants’ Will Hill for failing yet another NFL Drug Test.
Unsheathe your swords and let the cabbage fly!
The Football Educator
By Alison Conigliaro-Hubbard
Excuse me while I rant… I woke up this morning, picked up my phone, and immediately saw the news I LAST wanted to hear: Will Hill Fails Another Drug Test! Giants fans: we’ve been duped AGAIN! And I guarantee – this is the last time!
Dear Will Hill,
Are you out of your mind son? THREE TIMES! THREE! And ALL the talent and support systems in the world. I am sorry – but to think that I am even spending time writing ANOTHER blog about this – you son, have gone way too far. One of the headlines said, ‘The Giants are LIVID (with Will Hill)’ – as well they should be! I am livid! This organization has already supported you through 2 drug suspensions. They have gone out on a limb for you, held your hand, waited for you to return, juggled roster spots… Who in the world do you think you are to stand above all else?
You have issues kid. You need help. I do hope you get it – and I hope you can turn the page someday, having learned a valuable lesson about responsibility and what it means to be in the public eye; what it means to be an example for young kids who look up to NFL players. I had such high hopes for you when you came into the NFL – when the Giants took a chance when others would not.
You are not an example that an NFL player should be for young kids these days. I watch you on Instagram partying, and I wonder – how is it even possible this kid gets through the offseason without another issue? And there we have it. While we see far too many examples of this, an NFL player should be a leader, a team player, a solid citizen in their community, a responsible human on and off the field. An NFL player should show humility, should preach the importance of school, and of giving – not walking around pants on the ground, drunk out of his head and now, again – THIS (I don’t care what drug it is at this point). An NFL player has the great privilege of a platform to make a huge difference in the lives of children who will become our future leaders in the world. Because an NFL player is aspirational – someone so many young children wish they could be. No son, young children should not be looking up to you. You are a great athlete on the field (who has wasted that talent). But, no son – you are not what it means to be a great NFL player.
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