My wife will never have to put up with me having to watch ‘the game.’ Living in The State of Oklahoma, I’ve been asked countless times whether I’m a fan of OU or OSU. It seems that college football in this state is more of an institution than college education. The fact of the matter is that I’m far more likely to spend my time thinking about dirt than spectator sports. I have friends that love to follow the teams and the games, and that’s fine for them. I’d rather spend my time doing more constructive things. Sports idolize the most depraved individuals that our society has to offer. From a very young age, we are taught to worship these scumbags. Beyond that, the skills necessary to play sports don’t really have useful applications beyond the court or field. The skills necessary to sit on a couch and watch other people chase a ball are nil.
Even at a very young age, when we are taught that athletes are gods, I was not impressed. I remember the school pep-rallies in which they would parade these idols like Roman gladiators, and expect us to swoon. I found the whole thing to be a little insulting. Can you run? Can you throw a ball? Can you catch a ball? Then, you can play ball sports. At one pep rally for the school’s sports programs, they were singing the praises of the team, and my brother shouted out in the noise, “BLA, BLA, BLAAAAAAA!” The trouble is that the sound of the assembly stopped just as this crossed his lips. Once he started, he could not stop until he had gotten it out of his system, no matter how he may have wanted to. Every eye turned on him. He had to ‘talk’ to the coach about his outburst. I never heard him express a regret for his action. Did they ever hold pep rallies for the academic team in these houses of education? Not to my knowledge. At my junior high and high school, they never once held a pep rally to extol the achievements of the choir or the band – and those were people with precision skills. The music departments were very good when I was growing up. Our marching band came home with many trophies, as did our concert bands. The orchestra also won awards for their performances. The skill set of chasing a ball around a court or a field don’t even hold a candle to the precision and artistic expression necessary to play an instrumental solo, sing an aria, win a debate, or perform a scientific experiment.
I was in the band. My sophomore year, we didn’t go to many of the football games. The coach complained that it was hurting the morale of the team players to not have their band there to encourage them. So, my junior year, we went to every game. The football team didn’t win any that year. So the band, which was highly skilled in the art, and had brought home many awards from many contests – marching, ensemble, and solo – were expected to cater to the whims of some boys who couldn’t even throw a ball straight. The idea is sick and backwards. Comments were made that maybe we should put the cheerleaders on the field to see what would happen, or to even substitute the band members in for the football team. After all, we were good at something. Once or twice, we got in trouble for playing the school fight song in a slow, minor key like a funeral dirge after one such defeat. The trouble was worth it for the laughs. We were constantly getting in trouble for heckling the inept players. Maybe if they weren’t drunk every weekend, they would have been able to play ball.
The anomaly of spectator sports glorifies horrible people. I don’t know whether there’s more sociopathic corruption in a prison community, Congress, or in organized sports. We make gods out of murderers and thieves like O. J. Simpson. Even though they couldn’t nail him for killing his x-wife and her boyfriend, it seems that he was determined to make it to prison, one way or another. Although it is questionable whether he is a cold-blooded rapist or simply an adulturer, Kobe Bryant is not someone whom should be modeled after. It is highly regrettable that a lifestyle animal abuser like Michael Vick made it to the top the way he did. If he were a normal person, he’d still be rotting in prison right now. Responsible gun owners everywhere are still cringing at the illegal, ghetto activities of Plaxico Burress, not to mention his personal career of violence and domestic disturbance. By supporting them, we teach our children to disregard the laws of society, and natural laws which teach us to respect each other. Granted, there have been good athletes that don’t get nearly the press. Whatever happened to those like Johnny Unitas, who was certainly not without his faults, but was a generally good person in the game and in his personal life?
I’m also just way too active a person to really get into spectator sports. Jen and I don’t watch a whole lot of television, and would generally rather spend our time creating things, and honing skills. We are doers, not watchers. I fail to see the appeal of watching a bunch of men (or women for that matter) chase a ball on a screen. Frankly, my cat will chase a ball, and he’s a lot funnier when he does it. Plus, there’s the very activity and interaction of throwing the ball for the cat. I’m not opposed to throwing a ball myself, but don’t have any desire to watch someone else do it. The skills that it takes to throw a long pass, run, dribble a ball, or hit a ball with a bat can be trained and developed by any able-bodied individual. How is it so impressive that able-bodied individuals have the desire to watch others play the games? I can kind of understand some of the lesser-publicized sports such as gymnastics, diving, or greco-roman wrestling. In these sports there is art. It takes an able mind as well as an able body to excel in these.
So, I see absolutely no reason to waste my time and energy following spectator sports. If you do, good for you. Don’t try to push it on me. It’s been pushed on me for thirty years, and I simply don’t care a thing about it. I don’t really care who won the game last weekend and I don’t have a team that I cheer on. I don’t understand why it’s so important that they gave the Hymen award to Tivo, and I don’t really care, either. My big screen hasn’t been used for the Superbowl or any other bowls, for that matter. If you want to talk to me, tell me something about yourself, not about some guy that you’ve seen on television. I find that people are nearly always far more interesting than the people they idolize anyway. So, there you have it. Not a sports fan. So sorry.
UPDATE *cheesy telegraph sound*
Yeah, like this…