Football as Chess

Of all the sports, American football is most like chess.

(The other football is the most like dance.)

Look at a Sunday game and then at the chessboard.

The two teams in their light and dark, away and home.

Rows of pawns, offensive and defensive lines, charging each other — clash.

But these are heavier, slower pieces, just a square or two at a time.

The opposing sides are desperate to get to one key piece, the quarterback-king, who must stay well-defended. If he gets trapped that’s trouble.

What does the knight do but a quick out route? Tight end.

The rook with its go route, the bishop with its slant. Speedy receivers.

What if the rook played QB in college and did a quick castle? The king’s suddenly out wide, playing receiver.

After each play, a stop — time to tweak your strategy, thinking multiple moves ahead, and make the next play call. Adjust the board and your headset, because you’re the coach.

Make it to your opponent’s endzone with a pawn and score another queen!

At least that many football players don’t leave the field with injury.

Play football, risk brain damage. Play chess, risk madness?

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