Sunday, February 05, 2017
I have a serious Superbowl problem. I'm a long-time New England Patriots fans and was delighted when they knocked off the Pittsburgh Steelers (have you stopped weeping yet Roger?) But I've discovered that Patriots QB Tom Brady, Coach Bill Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft are Trump supporters. It's one thing to cheat and lie, but this is crossing the line.
I couldn't care less about the Atlanta Falcons but an article this week about their quarterback, Matt Ryan, made the prospect of cheering for them a little more palatable. Ryan attended William Penn Quaker prep school which strives for academic and athletic excellence while upholding some of the key values of the Society of Friends. One of those precepts is silence and every week students and their teachers gather in a meeting hall and sit side-by-side on long wooden benches in sustained and still quiet for 40 minutes.
It is also a central Quaker belief that no individual matters more than the community.The school’s ethos discourages self-aggrandizement or drawing attention to oneself. Penn Charter athletes celebrate team victories rather than personal accomplishments. A football player scoring a touchdown has been instructed to find a referee and simply hand him the football. Quakerism is the antithesis of Trumpism.
Although Matt Ryan is an NFL star, he is a low-key athlete amongst those who often engage in elaborate, crowing touchdown dances and big stops. Another prominent athlete who attended William Penn admits that in the beginning the practice of silence seemed crazy, but after he graduated he missed it.
Will this be enough for me to switch teams today? We'll see.