Are we playing, or waging?

Yesterday, a good portion of the Western world watched two American teams wage football.  I mean, it sure didn’t look like they were playing.  To me, ‘playing’ means having fun, like on the swings, or tossing a Frisbee back and forth; not keeping score, just having fun.  I like to throw darts, and I will do so for a long time, just practicing, passing the time, and not competing with anyone.  I also like to play on the swings.  To use the word ‘play’ for the wildly different activities of swinging and tackling someone is just difficult.  I know that I am ‘playing’ when I am swinging back and forth, so how can I relate to lineman blocking as ‘playing’ a ‘game’.  Especially when the language gets unprintable and threatening gestures are being made.  That looks likes lots of fun!  So, do you wage tennis?  I used to wage hockey, but not very well.  Strangely enough, you don’t ‘play’ wrestling, you wrestle.  I never did figure out what was fun about wrestling.  But I loved to swim, playing ‘Marco Polo’ by the hour.

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