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Sports are no longer games played for fun They are businesses that involve many millions of dollars and that have created three harmful myths in America that they build bodies build character and are a sure way to success Sports may build bodies but they may also tear them down The rough contact and demanding schedules of major sports result in more and more serious injuries each year Dave Meggyesy says in his book Out of Their League that few players can escape from college football without some permanent form of disability In the nonplaying ranks there are millions of fans who watch both professional and college football baseball basketball and ice hockey as well as other sporting events on TV night after night season after season The most exercise they get is walking from the living room to the refrigerator and back Occasionally they will go to a game in person but even then they only sit For most Americans games sell beer rather than build bodies Sports do not necessarily build good character Many coaches want absolute obedience from their players sometimes off the field as well as on and they act with the power of dictators Jerry Kramer analyzing his world champion Green Bay Packers described the regimentation Weve all been disciplined and indoctrinated and brainwashed He quoted head coach Vince Lombardi as telling his runners you care nothing for anybody or anything This same attitude can be seen on neighborhood fields where local coaches put their twelve-year-olds through professional-style drills yells and exercises The philosophy in both cases is to win at any cost and there is little chance for a player to develop individuality The rules of ice hockey encourage violence announcers laugh at descriptions of basketball as a noncontact sport and baseball still has the knockdown pitch Meggyesys book describes physical violence on and off the field as well as recruiting payoffs and widespread illegal use of drugs Thus
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