It's Sunday. I'm getting ready to suspend reality and watch about eight consecutive hours of NFL football.
There's a part of me that's thinking about boycotting the NFL today — and maybe longer — thanks in large part to Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson, Ray McDonald and Jonathan Dwyer, all of whom are dealing with domestic abuse issues.
They are football players charged with allegedly punching women and beating children. In the pool of NFL football players, those men probably closely reflect the percentage of abusers hiding in plain sight in our own society. So we shouldn't be surprised this horrific behavior also exists among our sports heroes, regardless of what games they play.
As a fan, it's hard to make this work in my head. I actually want to suspend reality. I watch sports precisely to get away from the real world for a while. I don't want the real world to follow me to my safe harbor of limed fields and colorful end zones.
It doesn't make sense to see the juxtaposition of words like "football," "game," and "play" with words like "child abuse" and "domestic abuse."
And yet, here we are.
Sports: people playing competitive games, usually for barrels of money, while wallowing in moments of adulation and self-congratulation — hell, who's really suspending reality here?
I thought sports was supposed to help built character. That's what I was taught in my youth.
If any good can come of this, perhaps it's that the NFL now can use itself as a vehicle to make us more aware of the domestic abuse issues in our society. That seems to be what's happening now — at least, for this news cycle.
And maybe, in the long run, it can be a teaching moment. One that helps to build character.