March 7, 2020
The U.S. Civil War spanned four years from 1861 to 1865. When it was over, 620,000 soldiers from the Union and Confederacy perished, according to the 1889 book “Regimental Losses in the American Civil War.” Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at the Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865. There was one more battle at Palmito Ranch in Texas on May 13, 1865 before the fighting stop completely.
There was a lot of strategy that went into the Civil War. The Confederate Army got much of its funding from British and European bankers. Meanwhile President Abraham Lincoln decided to print his own money (“greenback”) via the U.S. Treasury. Blitzkriegs or blitzes were used to inflict massive damages to military installation quickly, knowing there would be high casualties among soldiers. Sometimes long-term guerrilla warfare was necessary to keep certain area from enemy infiltration.
The controlling powers recognized the gamesmanship associated with war and created a game to simulate it.
Parallels of war and football
Rugby was first played in Warwickshire, England in 1823. Elements of rugby and soccer were combined after the Civil War to form what is now American football. Rutgers and Princeton (known as New Jersey College back then) played the first ever college football game on November 6, 1869. The game hardly resembled what we know as football today. There were no forward passes or running with the ball. There were 25 players on each side trying to kick, slap or head-butt the ball into the other team’s goal.
Walter Camp was a Renaissance man who changed the face of American culture and athletics. The former Yale running back created the line of scrimmage, the four-down system, and 11 players per side rules that are the heart of football today. The first Rose Bowl, known as “Tournament East-West football game” back then, was played on January 1, 1902. Michigan beat Stanford 49-0 in what would become the first real turf war between teams from different sides of the country.
Football is a way for warring factions to settle their disputes on a field without killing anyone. Shotgun formations, blitzes, zone defenses and bombs are parts of both football and war. NCAA football players risk great bodily injury on every play, without any sort of compensation other than scholarships. The NCAA topped $1 billion in revenue in 2018. Meanwhile entry-level Army privates earn $20,172 per year, according to Defense Department data. That amounts to about $9.70 per hour based on a 40-hour work week, before taxes. Oil prices surged from about $28 per barrel after 9/11 to a peak of over $150 per barrel in 2008.
Profits and politics
War is about the only issue Republican and Democrat politicians always agree on despite resistance from the people who elected them. A 2019 Pew Research survey found that 62% and 59% of American adults said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting, respectively. But wars are not fought for the people of the respective countries. They are fought for the interests of wealthy individuals. Soldiers are simply the collateral damage, the “players” on the field.
There were 16,652 deaths of U.S. soldiers in 25 countries from 2006-2019, according to the Congressional Research Service. Tens of thousands more soldiers returned home with severe, life-altering injuries. The suicide rate among active-duty military men was the highest ever recorded in 2018. These men put their lives and well-being on the line for the same compensation as the average fast-food worker. The pay simply is not commensurate with the risk and honorable service of these men.
NCAA football administrators play a similar game with college football players. Though a California law aims to usher in change, players are not allowed to earn money off their likeness. They train 4-5 hours per day during the season, while also juggling full class loads. Some players are lucky and talented enough to be one of the 260 or so drafted to play in the NFL out of about 70,000 players nationwide per year. All of them risk debilitating injury, particularly brain damage, that effects their quality of life as they age. There were also 33 college football-related deaths from 2000 to 2016, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Athletic Training.
ALPHA by Prodigy Mindset Gym™, soldiers and athletes
U.S. soldiers make the ultimate sacrifice. They selflessly enter dangerous areas and carry out orders that could cost them their lives, limbs and well-being. Many servicemen return from overseas and enroll in the ALPHA by Prodigy Mindset Gym™. These brave men bring their battlefield mentalities back to civilian life, making things difficult for themselves and families. Activating your alpha brain wavelengths is key to adjusting back to your duties as father, husband and career man.
The ALPHA by Prodigy Mindset Gym™ is a fixture in many former college football players’ lives as well. Granted football players fight a totally different kind of war without the geopolitical factors and high risk of death. But these men are well-aware of concussions, lower body injuries and other trauma that alter their state of being post career. The people who profit from both war on the gridiron and war overseas are birds of the same feather.
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