Football, War, Violence and Troubled Youth

When a community has a problem with violent, troubled youth why do they typically put them into a form of structured violence that just propitiates the problem…and more importantly why does it typically work? 

This isn’t meant to be a football bashing, it might end up being that, however. I enjoy the community and culture of football (especially the Vols, I feel that it’s required being from the South). Even though I love seeing a sea of orange on a fall Saturday afternoon, I won’t deny the sincerely violent under and overtones of the game of football. 

The violence of war, and the thinly veiled metaphor for it called football, is troubling. What’s most troubling to me about it is the effect on the outlook and perspective it produces, especially in the young soldiers/players. Something’s always to be conquered, defeated, and beat…it’s just not the most healthy way to approach life. 

Why then, is war and/or football used to help youth who’s outlook is just that. Troubled youth which have dealt with violence and power struggles long before they should have had to deal with them are often handed over to football programs or the military. And it’s often quite benefical for their lives. 

I’m not sure if it’s the structure that those two provide that plays into the positive effect of the violence, or not, but likely I think it’s community. 

A football team or military troop are typically tighter than family and if the goals aren’t worked towards together, then no one succeeds. Where as in unstructured violence, there is that aspect, but in the end the success, whatever that looks like, is individual. 

What could be an alternative for this situation that doesn’t include the violence that war or football brings?

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