You know, over the last few weeks/months I’ve read a lot of folk saying very critical things about sports- from NFL football to MMA to, why yes, the Olympics. I always arch a brow when I read these things, because I am sure it is no secret that I am both a sports fan and a bit of a jock. I can understand people being critical of a huge amounts of money headliner pro athletes make, or the abuse of athletes in sports, or the commercials played in sporting events, or the sexism (hello, Canadian Women’s Hockey Team) in athletics. I can absolutely understand why people get upset when famous athletes assume they are above the law and not subject to the same rules as the rest of us. I even cheer people who hate sports announcers, a great deal of the media surrounding sports, the nationalistic edge to sports journalism, all of that…
But hating sports?
Humm. I have some thoughts about that. And they start with this: A great many people who complain about sports, how they are stupid or add nothing to life, society, historical culture (hello, Greece, anyone), so on so forth…well, to me they always come across sounding like the arrogant, oh-so-hipper than thou look how hard I am trying to be so intellectual folk who…back in school…always sucked at sports. You know, the last picked for gym, brutalized in dodge ball and Red Rover, couldn’t run a mile with wolves chasing them people who there for decided sports-all of them, and the people who engaged in them- all of them, were some how lesser. Now admittedly even I can imagine wanting to pop the asshat football jerk in the head- back in highschool- but to make universal decrees about the worthlessness of athletics and the people who do them???
Please, I’m a nihilist, the angst and disdain are not going to impress and move me.
I also have a little something I want to say to these people:
For some folk, sports are Their Only Way Out of a Shitty Life. They are the springboard to something better. AND YES, I do get as pissed as anyone when someone with a crap academic record gets into a university rather than a hard-working quality student because they can run, catch, swim, whatever…because universities are supposed to be academic institutions. I hate how female athletes and athletic programs are almost universally secondary to male athletes and athletic programs. I dislike all these things…however, that said…
Even though I managed to maintain no lower than a 3.5 average throughout highschool and college, I can tell you this: sports made a huge difference in my life. Sports offered me a lot of opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. Sports helped me stay healthy. I made friends via athletics that were solid and remain friends today. I got to go places I might have not otherwise been able to travel to. Sports inspired me in other areas, including academic and artistic ones. Sports helped teach me the value of hard work and confidence. Sports have always been a good and positive thing in my life, and this is not unique to me.
Thus I do not understand how some folk can just so loathe sports- in and of themselves. It makes no sense. It’s like saying you hate music, or art, or carpentry and such things are stupid. They may not be your cup of tea, but that alone is not a reason to relegate something to the realm of idiots and idiocy.
In fact, that is what seems terribly stupid to me.