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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Football, evolution and the curse of the modern world

It is Sunday, late summer, and the air is cool and comfortable, sometimes a little too cool to be comfortable, still it feels like summer is gone. Summer is great, everybody loves summer, all of the sun, and swimming, but it can really wear out its welcome. Ninety degree heat and ninety percent humidity can create drag, friction. If it weren't for all of the sweat there would be a lot of people bursting into flames. Sweat is a wonderful evolutionary device.

Evolution has given us quite a bit. It has taken us from our early days of roaming from place to place, digging in the dirt for roots, chasing down animals, hunting and gathering, to a civilized world filled with soaking wet, sweaty people who are chasing down bargain meat, and vegetables in Mega Stores. Fighting over the last 3 pound package of reduced price ground chuck, as you watch helplessly from the back of the crowd, thinking "I wish those people would burst into flames, and I could grab that package of delicious hamburger, and feed my family."

But, they won't. Because evolution has provided us the means, at great expense to keep these gigantic, cavernous buildings cool and comfortable. And filled with wonderful food products that will sustain our families for the long week ahead, even during football season.

Football season dramatically increases the caloric intake of the average American family. Evolution has given us the intelligence to watch our favorite teams play, no matter where the game is, right from the comfort of our living room. There is so much yelling and screaming and gnashing of teeth, that it requires a dramatic increase in sustenance. Mostly beer, chips, and pizza.

It takes a lot of food and drink to watch, big sweaty men play a game. Watching with hope, against all common sense, really burns calories. It really takes energy to watch a dream die right on television. How often have we wished that the speedy running back streaking down the sideline, (as our team's defense watches helplessly with no chance of catching him) would burst into flames, the ball bouncing to our team, and saving us the humiliation of one more score in a lop sided loss?  But, evolution has saved the speedy, impossibly muscled young man safe from spontaneous combustion.

In short, evolution is mixed blessing, particularly during football season. Tune in next week when we discuss Survivor for football officials, (vote the blind one off the island) an idea whose time has come.