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June 9th, 2005

The Lessening Importance of Sports

Perhaps I’m just getting to be an old fogey, but I’ve realized that sports mean almost nothing to me anymore. While I was never a rabid fan of any sport, I used to follow pretty much all the major sports, professional and college, to a degree. These days, though, that’s changed.

Football is as close as I’ll come to following a sport. During the season, I’ll keep up with it pretty closely, though I can’t really rattle off names of players from teams other than the Cowboys. Baseball I’ll occasionally look at the standings for or go to a game, but that’s about it. Basketball and hockey? I am totally indifferent towards both and probably couldn’t name a combined total of more than 15 current players. College sports? I don’t really pay attention to any of them. I don’t even fill out a March Madness bracket anymore.

I enjoy playing sports much more than watching them, though I don’t even get to do that much these days.

Has anyone else started to feel this apathy towards team sports in recent years?

Posted in Sports

FROM: Monica
DATE: Thursday June 9, 2005 -- 11:09:56 am
depends on your definition of "started" and "recent" ;-)

It's hard not to catch some excitement when you're in a college town with a decent basketball team and an okay football team, but I can only stomach 20 minutes or so of listening to sports announcers.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday June 9, 2005 -- 12:03:26 pm
I suspect being in a college town would change my attitudes a bit.

Also, I meant to mention that my least favorite segment of TV news is the sports segment.

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday June 9, 2005 -- 12:24:21 pm
Going to a ig sports college would have helped too. Whose gonna get excited about University of Mary Wasahington sports? :)

I think a lot of has to do with the increase in options. Back in the day, football was your only option on Sunday. Now, I can always spend my time reading the Ping archives.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Thursday June 9, 2005 -- 3:30:52 pm
Never was a big fan, myself. I love to play and played sports in high school--a future Heisman Trophy winner was on my high school football team. I told kids my freshman year of college that he'd go on to win the Heisman--this kid was so awesome in high school. If only I'd known a bookie back then. What would have been the odds of picking the Heisman Trophy winner four years out?

I grew up w/ my family having two TVs on and the radio, plus the sports page spread out all over the floor--but this was in Cleveland, where professional sports meant getting your hopes up and your heart broken in the clutch. John Elway's career defining "The Drive" was against Cleveland. We'll never live it down.

At least the Indians have gone to two World Series recently----and lost.

For me, it's just too much. Plus, when I think of what these guys get paid now--it makes my head spin. You used to be able to feel that you might have something in common with the athletes on the screen--something that could get you vicariously involved. Now it's like, what the hell do these guys have anything to do with me, and why do I care that they get hundreds of millions of dollars and still don't know how to behave around women in hotel rooms.

I think the high salary/bad behavior combo has gotten me disgusted with most pro sports. It's just so high budget. How's the average guy supposed to relate?

Bring back Johnny Unitas! Where are the scrappy guys of yore? Give me a Jim Brown any day--he didn't complain that he actually had to work carrying defensemen four and five at a time into the endzone for the pittance he was paid. Now, a guy gets paid $5 million a season, not to mention the tens of millions more for sponsorship, and he complains about whatever.

Of course, the fact that sporting goods companies say it's too expensive to do business in the US, put US workers out of work so that they can pay Koreans pennies (which reduces US international good will), just so they can turn around and sign multi-million dollar sponsorship contracts with thousands of athletes just blows my mind.

And Americans keep buying the $200 friggin' sneakers!!!

Oh, you got me started . . .

FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday June 9, 2005 -- 3:33:43 pm
As a full-blooded Penn Stater, I enjoyed many many successful seasons, not recently of course. There is something about loyalty that will make me sit in a stadium for many hours or watch for many hours, still cheering as if they are the only team that matters.

Other than that, I enjoy men's tennis. Come on female pingers: what's better than watching these terribly fit, mostly European men run around while sweating? (Andre Agassi is Iranian, so he is a pleasure to watch as well.)

That's about it.

FROM: Monica
DATE: Thursday June 9, 2005 -- 11:08:41 pm
oo, I agree with you about the tennis. My boyfriend is an avid player, and it shows.

... plus, tennis isn't as long to watch as soccer, but soccer beats golf!

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Sunday June 12, 2005 -- 11:01:50 pm
Oh my God. Women think male tennis players are studs? Why did I waste my time on football?

Oh yeah, I remember: I can't play tennis for shit--probably because a good racket costs a few hundred bucks, which I didn't have in high school. It's a friggin' elitist activity. Plus, you need lessons to learn how to play. No one needs football or baseball lessons. Tennis just sounds wimpy and rich.

Of course, maybe I'm bitter because I just suck suck suck at it. I keep forgetting that the object is not to hit the ball out of the park.

But, if my neighborhood friends found out I was taking tennis lesson, I might as well have admitted to taking ballet. Only moms had tennis lessons.

Not that ballet is bad, or anything. I just knew that if I took ballet, I would have gotten beaten up and ostracized. But, I also found out from a friend of mine, who was a professional male ballet dancer, that women don't really go for male ballet dancers. He was very frustrated.

Perhaps he should've taken tennis lessons instead of ballet lessons.

And since when are European guys studs? Yikes. I could see women thinking Formula One drivers are, but that's about it.

Europeans don't wear deodorant or anti-perspirant though, so look out ladies. Whereas, we American Pingers are simply obsessed with anti-perspirant and deodorant issues.

I do agree with the ladies that soccer beats golf. But they all come in second to a great game of street football.

FROM: Don [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday January 2, 2006 -- 11:14:06 am
Your feelings are perfectly understandable to me --but then, I never liked ANY kind of professional team sports. I couldn't tell you the names of any of the players on any kind of team --except for the ones you hear on the news like John Rocker and Meshack O'Neil. I don't even know when the seasons for sports start --except I have a clue that baseball season just got over --because FOX canceled (without notice) several nights of my favorite shows recently --for baseball umm.. championships.

So, anyway, in my humble opinion, I think you're perfectly normal (although arriving at this condition rather late in life). :)

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