CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Recently I listened to a discussion about bringing criminal charges against athletes for causing grave injury while engaged in sports. This is a preposterous conversation in a culture where we amuse ourselves by glorifying viciousness.
The interviewers themselves supposed that, "Everyone likes a hard hit. The harder the hit, the more they like it."
It has gotten so in hockey games that the main appeal is aired on the nightly sports telecasts of the fights and the hits.
Now we have additional men in chain-link cages, combating mixed martial arts and tearing each other to shreds for the gratification of their spectators. It is any surprise that we have such a terrible rise in domestic violence?
We need no criminal charges against athletes who cause injury to other players on the field. Why do we titillate ourselves with such ferocity? Is it any wonder that our culture is infused with a sense of supremacy that leads us to thrust ourselves in command in so many countries all through the world?
We upped the ante. We are, after all, capitalists, those who take advantage of losers. What sort of awful mind would gamble on his clients' failure, except a money cannibal?
The news of greater than before head injuries in professional football prompted us to make improved helmets. This made it possible to hit harder. Perchance we should invest in steel helmets. Look at the head covering of a football and hockey player put together with metal.
When the players look like gladiators, athletes have evolved from sports to savagery. Coming soon, sportscasters will barely count. If you like brutal sports, you will like wars.
When I was small, I really liked to box. I frequently encountered this bully, Jesse James (his real name). My dad got tired of my fussing, so he bought some boxing gloves. My brother Larry will vouch for the backyard bout near Logan which I easily won. I boxed in camp and school for a few times up until the 10th grade in high school intramurals, so the coach put me up against some Montgomery High superman who had about 30 or 40 pounds on me. Unfortunately, for me, my boxing career ended immediately after a sound beating.
I also wrote sports statistics and even helped Shorty Hardman of the Gazettes sports fame and the family newspaper, the Montgomery Herald, about the Montgomery Greyhound's football and basketball contests. I still watch sports, but I do wish they were much safer. I do not like war, and never did -- even though I had to carry my rifle in basic training around Fort Knox.
Holliday lives in Fayetteville and is a former state senator who introduced legislation to ban professional boxing in West Virginia.