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I find you're comments to be exactly what I expected...well thought out, clear, and respectful. Thank you for taking the time to even reply Ryan, a lot of guys would not have. I can tell you with a very high level of confidence that I will forever be a fan of your columns, and of you yourself. Outstanding work Ryan!!!!
Thank you for the comments on my Bulletin. I appreciate the respectful manner in which you choose to address an issue.
First I would like to say obviously there is no intent to suggest or diminish the value or horror that ensues in actual military combat. My hope is that people will understand the context of the comparisons, which are done not to equate sports with the military, but to describe my personal feelings of what those moments are like while living them.
Having never felt the pressures of combat myself, I can only tell you that the guys in those NFL locker rooms are very much in a combat-like mentality. Which is where the comparisons are applicable.
The psychology of men under extreme pressure is an interesting thing to examine. I can only imagine what the men in combat go through mentally and assume it must be much more dire, but from a personal perspective, I couldn't avoid the comparison based on the level of fear and nervousness that can take place in anticipation of an NFL game.
My father is also a military vet and I know he doesn't take my comparisons in a way demeaning of military men and their sacrifices.
Think of the comparison more like a kid up to bat in his little league game for the first time, for him, feeling the pressure of the moment is likely similar to the pressure of a real rookie in his first at -at in the majors. From the outside they may not seem comparable, and perhaps rightly so, but from the perspective of that kid, the feeling must be similar in his mind. This is what I'm trying to explain. I hope this makes sense.
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Moving forward I will be more mindful when making similar comparisons and attempt to be as clear as possible in regards to context.