Survival of the Fittest
John McMurtry, in his essay “Kill ‘Em! Crush ‘Em! Eat ‘Em Raw!” states “that body shattering is the very point of football, as killing and maiming are of war.” The main points the author makes are based on words such as “for the kill” and “casualties.” There cannot be an equal comparison between war and football because football is entertainment, but by definition, war, in its purest form, is survival. The three differences in football and war are the draft, the attack, and the defense.
War and football cannot be compared equally. In war, anyone can be drafted. It does not matter whether the person chosen is smart, brave, or uneducated. For a war, the army goes around and picks anyone they want. Then when the draft is through, those men who are chosen are trained to shoot a gun or taught how to hide themselves with camouflage. In football, for a man to be chosen by the draft, they need to show a certain amount of strength and knowledge of the game. A football player is chosen primarily based on his previous play experience or his outstanding skills in throwing a football farther than the last man. Football drafts consist of the “best of the best” while war drafts consist of anyone who can be trained to carry and shoot a gun.
Attacking the enemy in war is much different than in football. In war, rushing the enemy is easier said than done than in a game of football. In a game of football, a man cannot die while rushing the enemy, however while a man is facing the enemy attack in war, he can be killed in one shot or taken captive by the opposing force. Football is a game that always gives a team another chance to score a goal. If the quarterback fumbles the ball in play, he gets a chance to redeem himself in the next play. A second chance is denied to a soldier of war. The soldier has only one chance to drop the bomb or throw the grenade before either the other force is demolished or until the soldier is killed. In football, the team that looses a play will go on because there is always another game next week. In war, it is either do or die, because the game ends when there is a fumble.
A man who fights for his life is going to defend himself better than a man who is playing for a trophy. For instance, a soldier who is deemed the most worthy is given the responsibility to drop the nuclear bomb over whatever opponents he is faced with. He has to work diligently to make sure there are minimal objects or forces in his way before going into the danger zone with his life and the life of his platoon on the line. A soldier will take great measures to deter his opponents because he knows that to make even one tiny mistake will cost him his life, not to mention the lives of everyone else in his care. The soldier is solely responsible for anything that could go wrong. In football, a player that wants to win the trophy knows that he will have more than one chance to succeed. Therefore, if his first run with the ball gets him knocked down, he will get back up and start the next play. No matter what obstacles are in the player’s way, he will try to force his way through without taking full notice of the dangers around him. As long as there is the slightest opportunity to reach the goal, then he will go for it. A football player depends only on what the current situations are, whereas a soldier depends solely on all the conditions, before and after an attack, that may arise.