Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Tribe Athletics
by Levon Tostig
I was recently thumbing through Time Magazine. It serves as my primary (read only) source of news, but I feel that it’s high quality and comprehensive reporting is more than sufficient to satisfy my need to keep abreast of current events. Perusing the high-gloss pages of the monthly periodical gives me the double satisfaction of having a topical awareness of current events as well as the slight sense of superiority I get from noticing their liberal bias, allowing me to discount anything I disagree with as socialist propaganda.
Just last month, I read about some trouble brewing in the Ukraine. It’s probably nothing that can’t be sorted out with a little bit of peaceful diplomacy — those pesky rebels seem to be in over their heads, and I have full confidence that Mr. Putin can talk them down. After all, he was Time’s Person of the Year in 2007 for a reason, and I can’t wait for next month’s edition to find out what happens.
Normally, Time covers light, fanciful subjects such as politics and world events. But on this day, I saw something that made my blood boil. There was a series of columns on Football, and the dangers of concussions in the sport. The authors of these columns were advocating changes to the sport, including raising the age at which children are allowed to start playing football, as well as teaching tackling in a safer way. Obviously, these proposed reforms are absurd and will only serve as a detriment to the game, and, as a result, American culture.
Football and America are synonymous. I remember when I was just a young boy of 6, and my father took me to sign up for tackle football. Previously, I had only played soccer; but he taught me an important lesson that day. He told me that soccer was for girls and Europeans, and that no red blooded American male would be raised on that sport under his watch. I thought those were strong words from a man who ran a balloon stand, but as a six year old I could only sit there and listen.
So at the tender age of six, I was thrust onto the gridiron, and I became a man. (At least that’s what I told people. As a six year old, I was technically too young to be in the league and I cried on the way home from practice every day, after being beaten into a pulp by boys two or three years older than myself.) What followed was a glorious 10 year career on the field, where I’ve been told I was quite good. The few hazy memories I have of my ball playing days all revolve around scoring touchdowns. At this point, I’m not quite sure who was scoring the touchdowns, or which team they were on, but I can say with absolute certainty that I was there.
I think that’s natural, at the age of 22, to have such little recollection of your youth. But the one thing I do remember quite clearly was that we weren’t coddled like these nancy boys being raised in PC police state that is today’s America. I sustained plenty of injuries in my day. If something was bleeding, you rubbed dirt on it. And if you hurt your head, coach just asked you how many fingers he was holding up; if you were within four of the right answer you were good to go. I never got it exactly right, but he could be pretty sneaky sometimes. I probably had about 10 concussions through my junior year of high school. And I was perfectly fine.
Unfortunately, the glory days had to draw to a close. After my junior season I was hospitalized for terrible migraines, and I was having trouble remembering things. Like I would always lose my place in the middle of a conversation. I could never figure out what the cause was, ultimately my doctors attributed it to some bad Kale I ate on my trip to Seoul. The worst part was the constant ringing in my ears. My dad told me it’s the sweet sound of freedom echoing in my brain, but I’m not sure how I got that from Korean food.
It wasn’t all bad. Sitting in that hospital is where I discovered Time Magazine. Its vibrant colors, small words, and big pictures captivated my attention like a chef drawn to the ripest tomato at the market. This periodical sparked my interest in world events. I dream of one day becoming an editor for Time (which is why I’m writing here). Alas, that may always be a dream, as my extreme intolerance to bright sunlight severely hinders my ability to travel, and my short attention span has left me incapable of learning a foreign language.
In closing, all I wanted to say was football shouldn’t change. It’s made me the man I am today. Also, shoutout to Time Magazine for being the best news source in the world. In fact, I was recently thumbing through Time Magazine. It serves as my primary (read only) source of news, but I feel that it’s high quality and comprehensive reporting is more than sufficient to satisfy my need to keep abreast of current events…