Last week the Los Angeles Rams had the first pick in the NFL draft. As a child, I associated the Lakers, Dodgers, Bruins and Rams as being part of the fabric of Los Angeles. When I was a teenager, Los Angeles lost the Rams to St. Louis which left us with a huge void and we’ve been without an NFL team since then. (I choose to ignore the Raiders and Kings)
I was pretty excited about the return of the Rams to Los Angeles. I immediately added myself to the waiting list for season tickets. One of the perks of being on the waiting list is getting invited to events like last week’s NFL draft party in Microsoft Square at L.A. Live in DTLA. I was impressed by what a well organized event it was. It was easy to get to, getting in didn’t involve a long line, there were multiple food and drink locations and it was not overcrowded. Every attendee was given a free hat and the players were signing hats and taking pictures with fans for hours. It really was a feel good event during which we got to watch the draft live. I personally didn’t have a preference between Carson Wentz and Jeff Goff. I think they are both talented quarterbacks and we would have been lucky to have either of them, but when the pick came in and Jeff Goff was announced being witness to the exuberance of the crowd was exciting. I can’t wait for football season! GO RAMS!
Sidebar: Over the past few years, I’ve had mixed feelings about football and the NFL. I’ve struggled to make peace with the harmful nature of the sport. I fully understand the impact the physicality of the sport is having on the players, brain damage, injuries and even suicide are not things to be taken lightly. I began wondering if we really have evolved much past the Roman days when human beings were be sent into the arena of the Coliseum to face wild animals and be forced fight to their death for the entertainment of the roaring crowds sitting in the stands. My way of justifying all this is by reminding myself that the poor sacrificial souls in the Coliseum were slaves and criminals thrown in there against their will while football players are professional athletes who have chosen this activity willingly as their profession. Quarterbacks, linebackers, receivers, blockers, guards etc all choose to get on the field. They know the risks and willingly train and elect to do this for a living and get compensated to put themselves in harms way. With this rationalization I’m now able to enjoy the sport of football again.