Top of the evening everyone...
Over the last week or so, several people have asked me different questions about Sunday's Super Bowl. The truth is that I do not care. My not caring started about nine years ago.
One of the joys of life in the State of New York is that there must be a district vote to approve the school budget. Usually, it is nothing. No one cares. 30 people vote. The budget passes. We move on to the next matter.
In the last year that we were in New York, there was some controversy. When that happens, doorbells and phones start ringing. Everyone is encouraged to vote one way or the other.
Someone asked me about it. I gave what at the time was a tongue-in-cheek answer. De-fund the high school football team. It is remarkably elitist and eats an inordinate amount of money for a select group of people. Someone will put up the money anyway. No one took me seriously.
What has happened since then? I realized that my tongue-in-cheek answer had some merit. Then I thought further...
1. I went to high school in a high school football region. We had five high schools in Norfolk, Virginia. There were another seven in Virginia Beach. Through four years of high school and 12 schools, only one person made it to the pros. He was permanently injured after a couple of years, and no longer plays.
The bottom line: it is not exactly a career starter.
2. I was in band. I have never heard of a career-ending injury from being in band. As well, we let anyone in.
3. The discipline that one learns on the football field - teamwork, only being as good as the weakest player - these things apply to music as well. Trust me when I tell you that the degree of discipline necessary to put on a concert or to sit in a pit orchestra is astounding.
4. More recently, as we learn way more than we ever wanted to know about head injuries, we are learning that these injuries last so much longer than the headache. We have no business subjecting anyone to such injury for our own entertainment.
5. I am 44. I sadly admit that I have not picked up my trumpet consistently in the last several years. But I can. I can go downstairs right now and play all twelve of my scales in less than 90 seconds. My lip strength would be back up to what it was in a month. There are no football players who can pick up this craft at my age.
6. The NFL has been woefully inept at policing its own. In last year's off-season, 32 players got in trouble with the law. That is an entire team.
My tongue-in-cheek suggestion still stands. De-fund the football team. Fund the band. Fund the theatre program.
Have a good evening everyone.