Makes you wonder how they learned how to motivate large groups off the field, too
via Antiwar.com Sunday February 1, 2009
NFL Orders Retreat From War Metaphors
Goodell: 'A Matter of Common Sense'
By Les Carpenter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 1, 2009; D01
TAMPA -- Just down Dale Mabry Highway, eight miles south of the site of this year's Super Bowl, sits the headquarters of the U.S. Central Command. There, inside the boundaries of MacDill Air Force Base, is where America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are run. And it would seem to be the perfect metaphor for a sport built on the lexicon and culture of the military: football's ultimate battle being waged in the shadow of the country's two armed conflicts.
Only the National Football League will not frame this Super Bowl as a war. The quarterbacks will not be depicted as field generals and the teams won't rely on a devastating ground attack. The players will not walk through the tunnel as gladiators, the coaches will not talk about imposing their will on the enemy.
In a little-discussed shift in recent years, the NFL has moved away from depicting its games in military terms. While the league continues to embrace the military as an entity, inviting Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of Central Command, to make the Super Bowl's opening coin toss and having the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform a pregame flyover at Raymond James Stadium, the NFL no longer endorses using military terminology to describe its contests.
The connections between football and the military stretch back to the beginning of the 20th century, when men like Yale Coach Walter Camp and Harvard's Percy Haughton leafed through military texts for clues as to how they might motivate large groups of men on the field. Soon the game thrived at the country's military academies.