Like a soap opera, football’s weekly narratives are both engrossing and inexhaustible; like reality TV, nothing about the sport seems quite real. Not even its inherent violence. I mean, everyone knows that football physically destroys its participants from the outside in — breaking bones, smashing shoulders, shredding ligaments. It’s just that no one really cares. We feel sympathy, not empathy. We’ve made our peace, the way we’ve made our peace with all of the terrible things horse jockeys and runway models do to their bodies in order to stay thin. A football player goes down, writhing in pain. A trainer jogs in from the sideline. Cut to commercial. The end.