The Power of Football vs. Family

Oct 25, 2013 -- 11:10am

Our obsession, love, devotion and passion for football are off the charts. Way too far off the charts, in fact. There’s no debate about that.

In what other profession would a man who lost a parent even have to pause for a micro-second about whether to be with his family or stay on the job? In what other professional would anyone even think for a micro-second that the man should put the job before his family?

Obviously I’m talking about Jaguars Coach Gus Bradley, who sadly lost his father this week. Jaguar’s management did insist Bradley go join his family, which he did for two days before joining his team in London where the Jaguars play the 49ers this Sunday.

I just found it mind-boggling that any decisions had to be made. I find it amazing that Bradley even went to London for a football game – which seems awfully meaningless compared to saying goodbye to a parent alongside family. In almost any other situation more time with family would surely take precedent over time on the job.

Understand I’m not being critical of Bradley. I was about his age when I lost my father so I know the pain and sadness he feels. I’m confident he has tried to do what he thinks is best for both his family and the Jaguars – and done so with a broken heart. I do know that in the grand scheme of life, this is a week Bradley will always remember with sadness while memories of the football game will fade away regardless of the outcome.

I can also point to similar scenarios that are played out every year in football. That’s become the culture of the sport.

What I can’t understand is how we got to this time and place in America; how anyone can feel such a powerful obligation or how anyone can expect others to feel such an obligation to put such a priority on a job versus family.

Incredibly, that’s the power of the sport and what has come to be expected by both those in the sport and by those who watch the games.

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