Friday, November 16, 2012

Organized Sports

Among the myriad of things I simply cannot comprehend (as witnessed by the frequency with which I mention it)—and I am totally serious when I say this—is the appeal of organized sports. It is in viewing the rest of society’s reaction to these commercial activities that I find yet more strong evidence that I live in a world to which I do not belong. Does it never occur to anyone other than me that if a football game is divided into four fifteen minute sections, the game should be over in an hour? Has a football game ever been over in an hour?

As I have so often said, I am completely in favor and supportive of games involving physical activity, and to the active participation in them, yet this is exactly my point. I can see the physical and emotional benefit of playing any sport, but absolutely no benefit to or point in just watching them…let alone comprehend the beyond-all-reason fervor they engender in people whose most exercised muscles are those controlling the their elbows and jaws. What is gained by sitting at a bar stool or in a recliner chug-a-lugging beer with one hand while shoveling food into one’s mouth with the other is simply beyond me.

Am I the only one who realizes that tomorrow’s“BIG GAME!”, anticipated with all the fervor of the Second Coming, will, day after tomorrow, rapidly fade from memory to be replaced by the fevered anticipation of next week’s “Big Game!”?

If you will excuse me, every time I see a bunch of out of shape, overweight couch potatoes celebrating “their” team's win and yelling “We're Number 1!” I want to grab them by the throat and shout “No, you idiot! They're Number 1; all you did was sit there on your dead ass and watch!”

I can even concede, in an incredible display of nobility, that there is some interest in watching athletes perform. Grace is evinced in sports as it is in ballet. I admit I love watching Olympic diving competition and men’s gymnastics, but I have motives other than in seeing who wins. But, again, it is watching and not participating.

But to me, organized sports say volumes about a culture in which individuals who, by sole dint of their physical prowess in one sport or another, and despite their frequent inability to put together a complete sentence without fifteen interjections of “Ya know what I’m sayin’?” or just “Ya know?” make more money in one year than most scientists, educators, scholars, researchers, rocket scientists, and doctors make in twenty?

As with so many things in human existence, it is far easier to delegate as much of one’s life as possible to someone else than to put out the effort to do it oneself. This applies equally to mental activity, like seriously thinking about issues affecting all mankind or asking questions of anyone in authority, and to physical activity. Why should I get all sweaty and achy climbing three flights of stairs or walking to the grocery store two blocks away, when I can take the elevator, hop in my car, and then on returning from my arduous and exhausting trek, flop down on a comfortable chair or couch and watch other people—obscenely overpaid people—catch footballs and chase after baseballs or whack one another soundly with hockey sticks and do all those things I am too lazy to do for myself?

If anyone could explain to me how the billions of dollars spent annually on commercialized organized sport could not be better spent improving the human condition, not to mention improving the health and well being of those who spend the money for tickets, I would be most willing to listen.

And I am sure that the value and wisdom of my views will be universally realized, and the world will become a far better and healthier place. When pigs fly.

Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please take a moment to visit his website ( and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (


Kage Alan said...

I understand the idea behind publicizing the events because of the money it brings to a city hosting the games and such, but as you said, why are these athletes making such obscene amounts of money to run up and down a field or hit a ball?

Cap each player at a hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year and the same for the owners. Put the rest back into education, fixing the roads, funding law enforcement and the like.

Nikolaos said...

I detest organised sports. I too feel that I am an outsider, and always will be.