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On This Veterans' Day

One of my pet peeves, and I use that term reluctantly (I'll explain why in a minute), is when people compare sports to war.  I am reluctant to say that because the metaphor is so ubiquitous that I know I have done it myself.  For example, this old post from 2008:

Those defensive linemen should be back playing when Ole Miss comes to Baton Rouge, and that could be a war.

We do it and we say it, often without thinking.  I try to be mindful of it and avoid it, because frankly it is a disrespect to those who have actually experienced the horrors of war, and thankfully you will not find any extended war metaphors on this site, but sometimes (as above) we slip.  

As difficult and as dangerous and as physically demanding as any sport can be, it does not compare to walking through the rice paddies of Vietnam in 1969 or being in Stalingrad in 1943.  It cheapens our understanding of actual combat and actual war.  Not to disrespect what our linemen go through every week, and their preparation and the real dangers they face when they go out on the football field, it is not the same as getting shot at or walking through a literal minefield.

So out of respect for those among us who really have seen war, let us not compare what a football team does to what actual soldiers in actual harm's way do.  Let's save war metaphors for actual wars.  Rededicating myself to this small gesture is how I will observe Veterans' Day today.