Loyalty in Football

Americans would do well on Super Bowl Sunday to remind themselves what team sports are really all about. Last November in the sports section of the Kansas City Star, my hometown paper, there appeared the nearby photo of Jimmy Nielsen of Aalborg Denmark, goalkeeper for KC's Major League Soccer team.  Jimmy appears to be holding up a scarf or muffler across which is emblazoned "LOYALTY." But to what exactly is Mr. Nielsen expecting us to pledge our loyalty?  You see, any breed of loyalty, even to a sports team, must be all about connections that are old and deep.  What genuine loyalty is built on are the "ties that bind."  And the oldest and deepest of these are to family, friends, and, dare I say it, "blood and soil." We're talking tribalism, folks -- us and them.  This ancient part of our nature cannot be repressed without risking serious repercussions.  But with team sports in today's America, we're stymied in our quest for tribal identity and...(Read Full Article)

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