On September 28, 1892, the first night football game was played in Mansfield, PA.
I know all the arguments against it, really I do, but I love to watch football. There’s something mesmerizing about a well-run route, a perfectly thrown spiral pass, the hopefulness of a long field goal kick. Playing in all weather: the mud, the heat, the games where they have to get the snow blowers out to clear the lines on the field… maybe it’s because my parents watched football. I don’t know. But it’s a guilty pleasure, for sure.
This brings me to the poem by James Wright, “Autumn Begins in Martin’s Ferry, Ohio,” in which the players are described as “suicidally beautiful” as they “gallop terribly against each other’s bodies.” This is true. And it’s a strange juxtaposition, this violence and grace.
Kind of like life.