Oftentimes when talking about sports, we tend to use war vernacular:
“It was a battle on the gridiron…”
“Coach is rallying his troops…”
“This team is in for the fight of their lives…”
Truth is, college football isn’t a battle or a fight or a war, it’s a game. It’s a competitive game, an exciting game, an emotional game, but still a game. Lands aren’t won and lost after a Hail Mary pass, people aren't freed from captivity after a 30-yard scramble and democracy isn’t installed after a miraculous ‘Kick Six.’
Still, it’s all too easy to liken the college football gridiron and the camaraderie of team to that of soldiers in the heat of battle and North Carolina is the latest team to draw such a misguided comparison.
In its latest hype video, North Carolina uses music and words from the movie Lone Survivor as the soundtrack to its upcoming football season. There are references to shooting people complete with background gunfire and comments about dying for your country. You know, the things that happen when you engage in an ACC football game. There is also the use of the word “hero,” which is probably used more in football than it is in combat.
We all understand what North Carolina is trying to do. It’s pulling on our patriotic heartstrings by showing us pictures of flags and bros being bros. It’s trying to get us to liken the life of a scholarship athlete to that of a Navy SEAL ambushed by Taliban forces and (SPOILER ALERT!) forced to jump off a cliff to save himself.
It’s really hard to understand why this comparison falls short.
I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, but this video is in poor taste, especially for those who have fought for this country and didn’t get the luxury of partying with a bunch of hot coeds hours after it was all over.
You think this serviceman who just returned home from war or this family are hyped by this hype video?
Get back in your lane, North Carolina, and use a rap song like everyone else.
For more North Carolina news, visit TarHeelIllustrated.com.
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