ESPN: The New Front For Military Recruiters?


From guest contributor John Tarleton of The Indypendent:

    “Whatever I can do to help, I’m here to do,” says Drill Sergeant Alex Self.

    Self, however, isn’t stationed in Iraq or Ft. Jackson, South Carolina where he previously prepared recruits for the rigors of military life. Instead, he’s been cast in a supporting role alongside Hall-of-Fame linebacker Dick Butkus in a reality TV show about a smalltown high school football team that’s trying to change it’s losing ways.

    “Bound For Glory”, which airs on ESPN Tuesdays at 10 p.m., follows the ups and downs of the Montour (PA.) Spartans, which finished last season with a 1-8 record. Butkus and former Denver Broncos cornerback Ray Crockett are the coaches while Self is in charge of physical and mental conditioning. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but the economically devastated town where the show takes place is fertile ground for military recruiters.

    Self, who paces the practice field in full military uniform including his Smokey the Bear drill sergeant’s hat, is currently featured on the website. In his weekly journal he never misses a chance to note the similarities between football and the Army, including the fact that soldiers and football players both drink a lot of water. He also makes the best of his chance to talk up the Army.

    “One thing I find interesting,” he writes, “is that they [the players] are absolutely curious about the Army. I get questions like, ‘Have you ever killed anyone? Have you ever killed anyone with your bare hands?’ They don’t understand what we actually do. It’s a good opportunity to tell them what we really do.”


2 Responses to “ESPN: The New Front For Military Recruiters?”

  1. frank filia Says:

    I watched “Bound for Glory” yesterday and I must admit I was rather appalled by what I saw. It’s bad enough that we brainwash our kids at such a young age to be so competitive and vulgar. I played HS football in the Pgh area growing up and I don’t remember it ever being that bad. Things haven’t changed much in that area, which is the reason I left years ago. Not much progressive thinking going on. No wonder an Army recruiter would be used to exploit these kids. I wonder if one of the cheerleaders would give a “goodie bag” to a straight “A” student in English or Math. Probably not much of a chance of that happening. Fertile recruiting for fertile minds. What ashame!

  2. ArmySoldier Says:

    I did not see the show…but you say we are brainwashing our kids to be competitive and vulgar…and that recruiters are exploiting these same kids.
    Is this to give them some values and morals?
    It is wierd that the country had better values as a whole when there was a draft…and now that it is all-volunteer…the values of the country go to hell.
    Serving in the military does a lot for young Americans, teaches them to adapt, overcome, teaches them to work with others, teaches them that serving others is more important than serving yourself.
    Just my .02

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