The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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Sorry, Dad

Growing up on a farm requires a lot of work and a lot of time to do it. There’s no time to play games when there is work to do, so it is not so surprising that my farmboy-father strongly disapproved of games – all games.

Games may vary from checkers to football, but they’re all the same, he said . . . a waste of time. Sports are different from games, right? Coach-type people like to say sports builds character. My father would frostily reply: “You want to build character – join the Army!”

In high school, I was encouraged to tryout for the football team as a wide receiver and was badly disappointed when my parents refused, fearing that I might get injured. So, as soon as I was old enough, I joined the Army and volunteered for everything, including infantry service in Vietnam.

A few years later, an economics professor insisted that sports is merely a silly game designed to sell advertising in order to sell more beer, cars, and assorted consumer needs.

In spite of all that, I grew up and became a devoted fan of the Dallas Cowboys football team . . . sorry, Dad!