Copyright: 80schild / 123RF Stock Photo


Is this a familiar object to you?

If it is not, that is just fine, but for the love of god please STOP referring to yourself as a "warrior". Warriors know this object very well. They can probably pick it out of a drawer full of random ammo in the dark by weight, size and general "feel".

It is an ordinary 9mm round fmj. The point I want to address is the moronic and self-aggrandized view of "sportsmen" as warriors.

Those of us who compete may be tempted to elevate our sport and ourselves to the ultimate in competition...staying alive at the expense of another's life. While this fantasy may be exciting and even motivating, it misses the mark so widely as to belittle actual warriors among us. Any sports endeavor is NOT life and death.

There is no war. It is a competition and a struggle for dominance, complete with all the associated emotions...except the fear of death! It is a game. It has rules. And if you're about to correct me and vomit something up about the rules of war or the Geneva Conventions, just save it for someone who hasn't had a loved one serve. Ask any combat veteran if there are any rules in a warzone. Don't take my word for it.

There is a battle for sure going on in a sporting event and I am in no way minimizing that. I simply feel it is going too far to call it a war. Maybe a which there are "fighters", but no war. If you think by now it is me that's going too far in making a mountain out of the warrior molehill, I will refer you to the word itself which is BASED on the root word "WAR"! No war... no warriors. Is that not simple enough?

What athletes and competitors do may deserve no less importance or respect in each of our lives but it falls short of making us into warriors. We want to co-opt the term precisely BECAUSE it engenders so much respect and admiration to most. And it is akin in many ways.

IT JUST ISN'T WAR. That's another whole world away. You don't lose any intensity or status if you give up the pathetic reference to yourself as something you're not, you SHOW respect to those around us who have walked the walk. The veterans, the police and fire, and others who run the risk of death or dismemberment.

This is more than a peeve. It is dishonest to the nth. And it is not only inaccurate, it can hurt people. Not all veterans speak openly or at all even, about their service. You might be spouting all your warrior bullshit out right in front of an actual warrior and not know. It is ok, I suppose, to use the comparison. But the f@#$ing t-shirt? The swagger? No warrior that I've met yet has the swagger that the buffoons that insist they are warriors who have never fired a shot in anger at a human seem to prance around with. Oh, but there is oh so much we can LEARN from warriors! We can emulate them and model ourselves after them and even fight our particular battles like them.

I'm suggesting that we can have "The Warrior Spirit". We can carry the lessons and ideals with us into our fight. But I dont think we should cross the line into the sacred ground they have walked. We are sportsmen. That is all. But that is AWESOME! We get to fight again and again and again and learn from every battle even if we LOSE IT. Warriors don't get that luxury. Losing has a totally different consequence. We can fight on and possibly one day be victorious.

Find glory in your effort and fight and determination and perseverance. Don't try to " steal valor" from our men and women who have made the commitment to serve and become warriors we dont have to do it! If you know a vet, don't thank them, tell them you're proud of them for having the courage to sign up. Tell them you're glad they are on our side. They don't want our thanks. It was their JOB. They do, I believe, appreciate our appreciation. They just want us to notice and give a damn. Really, just a nod will do. If you are a vet, or a cop, or a fireman, or anyone who puts it on the line for real...I for one will say That I'm glad you do. The rest of us look up to you. Sometimes so very much that we forget our place and pretend we are one of you. We are not. But we are proud to be sportsmen just the same. Which is to say , we are proud to be who we are. Not who we aren't.


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