Is Football a Worthwhile American Pastime?


Football fans everywhere began rejoicing a week ago today as the game entered its most entertaining stretch of the year. After a crazy final round of regular season NFL games, which decided the first round playoff match-ups, fans were rewarded with a series of wildly entertaining college games in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). 

The BCS began last Monday with the granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl, followed immediately by the Fiesta Bowl. The rest of the week saw exciting match-ups as well in the Sugar, Orange and Cotton Bowls. 

This sensational slate of college games ushered in a compelling wild-card weekend in the NFL highlighted by a stunning performance by the game’s most polarizing figure, Tim Tebow, in a wild overtime win over the Pittsburg Steelers on Sunday.

As if fans might lose interest in the game, the college football season culminates tonight in the BCS National Championship game played between Southeast Conference rivals LSU and Alabama in a game that will feature many future-pros. 

But, with all the hype and media attention that football garners, questions arise concerning the value America places on its favorite pastime, especially considering the violent nature of the game. Football’s social value is further complicated by publicly-funded stadiums for professional teams and the enormous budgets of many programs at public universities. 

Join the debate: Does football serve as a worthwhile, American pastime, or is it a useless distraction from the country’s bigger issues? Should public money be spent on promoting and facilitating such a violent game?

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons