In Mark Edmundsons article “do sports build character or damage it? ” Edmundson makes a very good case that supports his idea that sports can build character. He also gives good reasons as to why some people think that sports just breed brutality, and are a diversion from the business of education. Sports are a complex issue, and this article proves it is clear that we as a culture are unsure how to think about them. Edmundson goes on to tell about when he was a young man in high school, and his first year playing football.
Football is a dangerous sport, and he tells of how many people get injured, whether its from concussions, broken bones, or sickness from lack of water. Then he goes in to the benefits that he has seen from enduring through two a days, and finally making the team. Kids were dropping from the team left and right, kids who could not take it. Edmundson asked himself if he was going to make it? He didn’t have the physical ability like some of the kids, but he did have will power, that in his words was “anything but weak.
Mark liked how when he was in deep fatigue, he became a tougher more daring person. He liked how the game transformed him, he came on to the field one thing, and when he left he was a guy with physical prowess and more faith in himself. He loved how hard the game was and the rewards that came from all the hard work. Another important thing Mark learned from the game of football was to be tough, to “get up and walk it off”. He once tried to tackle a tight end who was six inches taller than him and 50 pounds heavier. This did not boil over to well.
He bounced off the big man and was left in the dirt unconscious, he layed there in pain, but remembered what his coaches had told him, so he indeed got up and walked it off, and he was ok. Football taught him so many lessons that the ordinary non-sport playing kids would never learn. Most of all for Edmundson sports did build character. I have never even questioned if sports build character. I agree with Edmundson that sports make a person better in many ways. I am very similar to Edmundson in the sense that I was also a football player. I really like when he (Edmundson) talks about when he entered into the real world, the job world.
He calls back on the feelings of two a days to help him get through whatever assignment or obstacle he was faced with. The reason I liked this so much is because I feel that going through two a days (hell week) has helped shape my mental and physical toughness. I did wild land firefighting last season and I know for a fact that I would not have made it through the season if not for the things that football has taught me. In paragraph thirteen Edmundson says the most important thing (in my opinion) that football has taught him. This is something his coaches taught him.
To “get up and walk it off” the reason I think this is so powerful is because my coaches told me the same thing and I truly do believe it has helped. It not only helped at times when I thought I was hurt or even injured. This message can be put towards any part of your life. If one day i feel like I am too tired to get up and do the things that are needed to be done, I simply think back to these words. “get up, walk it off, you will be ok”. Another part of this article that I really enjoyed is when Edmundson uses a story to better demonstrate how he feels about sports and if they build character.
He uses a story about Hector who is the prince of the Trojans. He uses this example to show that in sports, just the same as in war, there can be good warriors and bad warriors. In other words just like war can breed brutality and anger, it also can breed good people who do nothing but give and protect. He does show that in certain cases sports can have the same effect as war. There were only a few things in this article that I did not like. I didn’t like how Edmundson uses football so much as an example. Football is of course a sport but I think the article would be more interesting if he compared different sports.
Then the question could be asked if certain sports breed brutality and others breed character. In conclusion I’d like to state that I did enjoy this article and I think Edmundson makes a very good idea that sports definitely can build character. He has more ideas in his article that support his belief that sports do build character. Edmundson makes it clear that there are certain cases that prove sports do the opposite and breed brutality. This article was so good to me because I agree with mostly everything he said. I do believe that sports do build character.
Courtney from Study Moose