At Catapult, Nicholas Ward writes about loving and leaving football, and the violence we push against and get back, in a piece aptly titled, “There Is No Violence Here”:
But in high school, something shifted. It became clear what we’d need to do for success: lift weights, bulk up, get tough, stop having fun, and start getting serious. All the boys around me changed too. They all wanted the same thing, the same quest for greatness through physical will and toughness, through brutalizing themselves and their opponents. I knew at once I’d never last.