I have a love/hate relationship with the NFL.  Hockey is far and away my favorite sport to watch in person and on tv.  I love watching baseball, especially in person.  But there just isn’t anything quite like the cultural juggernaut that is the NFL.

Having a hometown team makes watching the games mandatory, even if The Bills last playoff win was against a Don Shula coached team(old square jaw).  But here’s the thing, and I credit my oldest son for being way ahead of the curve on this, the concussions and subsequent damage down the line, makes me feel more and more uncomfortable.  Check out this great article from the Buff News.

Brains under pressure: Concussion crisis continues to haunt the NFL

I continue to watch and honestly, don’t envision ever stopping.  All the same, I feel increasingly ill at ease with the league.  You’d think they could come up with better helmets that would prevent concussions.  Are NFL players the modern day version of Roman gladiators, fighting it out in our fancy new billion dollar coliseums?  Let’s mull that over as we scarf down the guacamole.

Here’s the other thing that bothers me about sports right now and the NFL in particular.  The daily fantasy sites.  I confess that I have started to use Fan Duel and man, it’s really a lot of fun.  I mean, game day is a riot between following my fantasy teams and also gambling through fan duel.  But here’s the thing, I don’t have an addictive personality.  I can throw $5 at it and have fun with it.  Legalized gambling is already so pervasive in our society that I can’t imagine what it must be like to have a gambling addiction.  You can’t get away from it.  Every other commercial is for a DFS site.  There are casinos in almost every town in America already.  With an increasingly shrinking middle class and a “sketchy” economy, I have to believe that gambling addiction and the crime associated with it is going to be a huge problem for us in the coming years.

Are we past the point where we can enjoy sports without the gambling?  I have no answers but I think it’s important to ask some hard questions.

Pass the guac.  Go Bills!


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