Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 9
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Sports: Are they really that important?

Connor GuyThe baseball World Series is happening right now…I think. Maybe it happened last week, or maybe I’m thinking of the wrong sport. Whatever the case, I can’t say I really care.

There are a lot of people who do care, and that’s all right; I know that it can be fun to watch a sporting event.

But I think that people have a huge tendency to take appreciation of sports too far. I’m talking about the people who spend way too much money on front-row tickets and who pay for cable TV just for sports games. I’m also talking about people who spend way too much time sitting in front of a television set watching sports when they could be doing something more productive.

There isn’t anything inherently wrong with sports spectatorship, it’s just that there are more interesting things to do in life. How about actually playing sports? Or, we could forget sports altogether and do something more interesting, something intellectually stimulating maybe. It’s really disturbing to me, and I think it says a lot about our culture, that many people find watching a football game on television more interesting than reading a book.

Watching sporting events on television is even more mindless than watching normal TV shows, which really says something; we all know how mindless the normal programs are. I don’t think there is a more brain dead activity than watching a football game all the way through on television, and I really cannot understand how people enjoy it.

I cannot imagine a sadder adult life than one that centers around watching sports. I know that there are middle-aged men out there who don’t do much more than watch sports, drink, and work so they can afford to.

What’s sadder is that this is a cultural norm. You’ll see this in TV shows, movies, comic strips and anything else reflective of our culture. An unhealthy obsession with sports is always portrayed as normal: for men, at least. Getting drunk in front of the television set while watchin’ the game is considered a healthy part of any male lifestyle.

Some people take this to the next level and become so wrapped up in sports that they actually define themselves primarily as a fan. If you ever find yourself in a situation where people think of you primarily as a fan of some sports team and only then in terms of your personal qualities and interests, you should seriously re-evaluate your life.

It’s okay to be a fan of a team and enjoy watching them play, but always keep things in perspective. People often come out of sporting events feeling so involved that they say things like “we won” or “we lost.” I’m sorry, but no matter how hard one cheers at a game, spectators are spectators and players are players. Instead of reveling in someone else’s glory, go out and achieve something for yourself for a change.

It seems that at sporting events, an entirely different set of cultural expectations is taken on. Suddenly yelling, screaming and flailing wildly are all perfectly normal ways of expressing one’s support for a team. Devotion is measured in terms of craziness.

Now, I can’t say that I’ve never enjoyed watching a sports game, but in every such case, either I was participating or I knew people who were. I’m not saying that these are the only conditions under which people should enjoy sports, but I can’t understand how anyone could enjoy watching and root for a team of complete strangers.

So please, Whitman: As you enjoy the World Series, don’t go overboard. Remember that you’re watching a game, which is being played by people you’ve never met.

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