Saturday, September 14, 2019

Football Counter-Programming 2019: Week 4

Welcome back my friends to another week of Football Counter-Programming. It's that time of year where I take to the blog-o-sphere to combat the power of college athletics--specifically football. I want to give you a small island of difference in the Saturday stream of football-related posts on Facebook and Twitter. I want you to see my tiny line in the digital sand and stop for a moment, rest your eyes, turn ON your brain, and think about something more than first down, the skewed power dynamic of NCAA athletics, and the old gridiron.

How's it been going so far? Are you completely invested in your alma mater's pigskin prowess once again? Does your team have a winning record? Are they even done beating up on sub-standard opponents from Podunk U and Wasamatta Tech? When are they finally going to dig in and play an honest-to-God opponent?!

Well, who cares?! That isn't what we talk about here!

Let's shift topics entirely.


What strategies do you employ to break out of boredom? When you find yourself in a routine that is sapping your energy rather than giving you comfort? How do you face it and try to change it? Do you attempt a large scale change that really rocks the boat and throws everything out in a big, scrambled mess? Or do you make small adjustments that subtly shift you toward a new direction?

Or do you face challenges that are more significant than boredom? Are you actually facing a crisis in your life? Bad job? No job? Inadequate health care? Unreliable childcare? Other? Do you have strategies for tackling these problems? Are their government services that help you? Or are private organizations the better way for you to find solutions? Do you have problems with these aids due to bureaucratic confusion or is it a time commitment issue? Both?

Can you talk to family or friends about these problems? Or do you feel alone with nowhere to go? Do you feel that there is a social safety net in place? Or do you think that society pushes us further apart and you have no connections around you to lift you up when you need help?


(I don't know where a lot of that came from. I started typing and then tried to reflect the problems and challenges that people have. Our modern world is complicated and, at least in my experience, the culture defines us as individuals (or atomized individual groups) floating alone in a sea of problems and maybe solutions. Maybe you are different. Maybe you have a strong connection to nearby family and friends who you are very comfortable turning to for aid and support. And it isn't like I don't have those as well, but my family is not nearby so it feels a bit different for me. And I was also raised to be independent and take care of my own problems. Which can be expected when my problems are not systemic, ongoing, and not significant. For others who face real, crushing disadvantages, the expectation to be independent is just another problem to add to the list.)

So . . . I don't know. I need to remember that the world can be very hard and it feels like we all face those hardships alone. But I guess I'm here now to say that if I can help you with your problems, I'd like to be asked. And while I won't stick my nose into your life unannounced--and I might not be the most courageous person to confront you about yourself--I can be of service.


So, I guess that is it for this week. I'll try to be more aware. Certainly more aware than your alma mater's backup quarterback is currently being on the sideline.

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