| 03.18.2018

You don’t hate football


Football 101 seminar offers chance to try something new

Since the inception of big-time college football in the early 20th century, a debate has spiraled around ivory-clad campus buildings questioning whether or not major athletic programs have any place among the intellectual elite in academia.

The debate can rage until there is nothing left to fuel it, but it wont change the fact that every year an abundance of football programs will hold sessions like Idaho’s Football 101 seminar being held at 11 a.m. April 25.

The survey course doesn’t count toward achieving a degree, but it does count in that it’s an opportunity for personal development. For $20, or $10 if you’re a University of Idaho student, participants will go through a crash course of the X’s and O’s with members of the Vandal coaching staff, including drills, exercises and game philosophy. For $40, you can participate in the course, and then later will be treated to a dinner with Idaho coach Paul Petrino. Participants can sign up online at govandals.com.

While this seminar sounds particularly exciting for someone like me, a life-long football fan, I’m convinced anyone could have an enjoyable experience.

While sports fall short of being considered even a soft science, no false assumptions should be made about the intricacies and functions of athletic competition. Too often do I see or hear about something being played with a ball being easily dismissed or even ridiculed by those who haven’t put forth the effort to even attempt to learn about what they’re criticizing.

Much of what we enjoy is inherent and beyond our conscious control. That said tough, there’s a case to be made for acquired appreciation for things we just simply don’t know we like yet because of the judgments we’ve made before giving them a fair shake.

Last summer, the international sports world was abuzz with the FIFA World Cup and stuck thick in the drama the event causes. I was personally neck-deep in anything that had to do with “futbol.”

I was obsessed, I was invested and I was brand new to the sport. I prayed at the church of The Gridiron my whole life. Dugouts were reserved for baseball. A mere four years earlier I couldn’t care less what a crossing pass was, nor did I even begin to try and understand the sports’ heathen-like version of offsides.

Then one day, the most glorious thing happened. I played the FIFA video game with a friend of mine who is a good authority on the silly game. After going through the motions, him explaining the dos and don’ts to me and learning just how important a delicate through pass can be, the game wasn’t silly anymore. It was intense, and I was hooked.

Because of that day, I find myself not only following soccer at a much more committed pace, but trying to get into other sports like cricket and rugby, as well as a whole host of other activities completely independent from the sports world.

My point is, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Specifically, I’m speaking to those who think they hate football. Chances are you hate it far less than you think you do.

Expanding on this, I encourage everyone to dive deep into self-enlightenment and explore around for an obscure activity that doesn’t make sense to you. You might find you were wrong the whole time and you actually love to whittle and make woodcarvings. But, chances are equally good that you were right all along and to whittle is just taking the fast track to getting your hands slivered and sliced.

One thing is certain though, you wasted none of your time trying and now you have a more informed opinion about something you barely knew existed previously.

Kyle Schumaker can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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