The following is not a sports post, but rather a rant on why sports should never be confused with reality. So if you like sports, read on. And if you really don’t give a shit about sports in the least, by all means leave a comment after you read on.
This isn’t to say that sports doesn’t have its place, because it does. Its just that, we should partake much like we would a really well done cocktail. Enjoy it sensibly, do not overindulge, and never take it too seriously.
A few examples? Why not . . .
Shocking the World- If your co-worker starts blathering on about his need to shock the world, you call security. But athletes do it all the time. With the ever expanding tentacles of social media, it has become the white noise equivalent of a crying baby in a department store. Athletes tend to mistake a few fan bases and media members for the world, when really . . they comprise maybe one tenth of one percent of the world’s population. And I’m being generous. The truth is, the world has much more important shit to attend to. Like death, taxes and who’s gonna win The Voice.
Child’s Play- These are men playing a children’s game, and that’s a beautiful thing. Except for those times when the men behave like children. Like Russell Westbrook does, lots. Westbrook is the point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder and he is one of the most dynamic players in the game. when he’s not acting like a first grader. In real life, you get fired for shit like this. In sports, you’re a competitor. I single out this player not because I despise him, but rather, because he is one of the few players in any sport I would pay to see. So when he behaves like a child, it pisses me off. Just play the game, man!
A safe haven for crybabies- In the real world, when you lose . . you just lose. But in sports, fans don’t go for such realities. In sports, a fan base will rail on about being cheated out of a win. Every loss is a conspiratorial scenario in which the referees are on the take, the commissioner is orchestrating the outcomes and the league is in bed with the Russians. Your team never loses, it simply gets cheated out of the win . . always.
Have a stupid argument? Be a sports fan!- When the Yankees lost Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, a Mets fan I know actually said the Yankees were not a great organization. Why? Because they weren’t great in Game 7’s. This was never minding all those world titles. This was ignoring the fact that the more times you try at something, the more times you will in fact, fail. You ain’t gonna win every time. The Yankees have failed scores of times, because they’ve been there more than anyone else. Simple math.
Teams Buy Titles- Only in sports can such an argument gain traction. Can you imagine saying “Shit, Apple spends WAY too much on R&D . . it’s no fair, they’re buying their success!”. I mean, you can say it . . and you can be laughed out of the room. Believe it or not, spending money on the product in order to be competitive is not a crime. The Yankees have always played the villain when it comes to this argument, and for good reason. Their owners have always aspired to give their fan base a winner. The nerve of those owners! But really, what’s worse? Putting money into the product, or pocketing the fans hard earned money and doing bupkis? This is why sports arguments are ass backwards. And one more thing. All those fan bases that derided the Yankees for spending ridiculous amounts of money on their club? Are plenty fine when it’s their team spending big. Funny how that works.
Hot Takes- Pretentious, isn’t it?
Get Out of Jail Free Cards- That’s what a ticket to a sporting event is, most of the time. If you stand inside a department store screaming all manner of bad shit about the manager and throwing merchandise at the patrons, you just might score a free ride in the back of a police cruiser. But sporting events are different. Not sure why they’re different, but they are.
I could go on but you get the point. Sports has its place, and that place should be a small one. Problem is, sports has become much too prevalent a place for most of us. We should be sipping, not gulping. We shouldn’t be more familiar with the stats line for our favorite players than who our elected representatives are. That’s bread and circuses shit, and it’s indicative of a nation that prioritizes gladiator games over real life business.
Rome burned for such a thing.
Skipping White House Visits- I’m sorry, but if you’re going to speak about social progress, you best put your mouth where all the money is. Skipping a White House visit because you don’t agree with the occupant is weak shit. Especially when you’re a high profile athlete with a platform, whose voice can be heard more resoundingly than the average dude. Which is why I was happy to hear that the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles are negotiating the terms of a visit. Stand face to face and go toe to toe! Do not forsake the opportunity most of us only wish we could have to voice our issues with the current President.