Don’t break up with the NFL

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Mitch Vi­t­ullo, Columbia

Dear NFL Fan, I got your break up let­ter to­day (”Break­ing up with the NFL,” Sept. 26). I com­pletely un­der­stand your feel­ings. Back when we fell in love it was all fun and games. We laughed. We cried. Our time to­gether each Sun­day (re­mem­ber when it was only Sun­days?) was an es­cape from the re­al­i­ties of the real world.

But you’re right. I have changed. You love the big hits, and I loved giv­ing them to you. But I can’t hide from the fact that some of things you love are killing my chil­dren. Don’t get me wrong, I need you and the rest of the fans to live. With­out you, I’ll dis­ap­pear. But I have to find some way to pro­tect my chil­dren, even if that makes you an­gry and turns you away.

I know you also hate the tantrums my chil­dren are hav­ing lately. You think it is dis­re­spect­ful, and per­haps you are right. But I can’t make them stop, and I won’t turn them away just to please you. They have a right to speak their minds even when we don’t like it. Should they ex­press them­selves some other way and at some other time? Maybe. But Sun­days are when you are pay­ing at­ten­tion to them. If they only spoke their minds on Tues­days away from our home, would you lis­ten to them?

So again you’re right, I have changed. Times change and I am chang­ing with them whether you like it or not. If that means we need a di­vorce, so be it. But can’t we try to make it work be­tween us first? It will mean some com­pro­mise, but aren’t I worth that to you ?

We can still have fun. Ex­cit­ing games. Laughs. Tears. But can we tone the vi­o­lence down a lit­tle? Can we try to pro­tect our chil­dren so they can have happy lives when the games are over? Can we give our chil­dren some space to let us know how they feel and when they are hurt­ing even when we don’t like it?

I’ll try to make this work if you do.

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