The Tender Side of American Football
The combination of wolves, griffins, bears, and bulldozers sounds like just another plot for a dystopian novel. Yet, we saw all of them simultaneously at a much more conventional place and time – baseball field “Porter Park” last weekend, April 4- 5, 2015.
Four teams were competing for this year’s Griffin Bowl Cup: the “Sofia Bears” and the “Sofia Bulldozers,” the “Plovdiv Wolves,” and of course, the “AFC Griffins.” Although the players were not fully equipped with the necessary shoulder pads and helmets, all the participants looked professional and determined to go that extra mile.
I have to wholeheartedly admit that I have never watched American football before; actually the closest to that was watching my high-school friends play NFL video games and it looked pretty brutal to me. However, when I got to the field last Saturday, the energy was not that boisterous at all. I expected criticism from my fellow AUBG colleagues because I was wearing a t-shirt of one of the other teams. Frankly, it was a social experiment that I was testing out. I could have afforded not to wear the top in order not to cause any conflicts, but I felt the urge to instigate some tension and see the reactions.
I got some friendly criticism or insinuations like “traitor” but in a totally harmless manner. My findings proved me wrong of having assumed that American football and its adherents are wild and rampant. The games were civilized, the players- full of sportsmanship, with the exception of a couple of occasions. There is more to it than that. Walking around the field between the games, I stumbled upon many smiley faces and romantic expressions. In the first days of spring, I would like to provoke all of you to look at the bright side and cherish beauty in all of its shapes: in people, in nature, in art, even in sleep deprivation. Enjoy some of the best photographs from the Griffin Bowl.