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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Why I don't Care about Sports Anymore

          This past year was the first time in memory, recent or otherwise, that I didn’t watch the Super Bowl. Not because I was trying to win some bet between friends of who could go the longest without finding out who won (though we did try that once we realized we had all missed it), but because I felt myself overwhelmed by a sense of apathy. Super Bowl Sunday is basically a national holiday in the United States. I should have been interested, but I just wasn’t. It took some time, but I think I finally figured out why.

            Remember those guys who were jerks in high school? The guys who dated only the most attractive girls and treated them terribly? The guys who beat up the nerdy kid? The guys who were constantly cheating on tests and homework? The guys who could do pretty much whatever they wanted because they were on whatever sports team your particular high school valued most highly? Professional athletes used to be those guys. In fact, I would venture to guess that they’re still those guys, they just have more money now. Money that sports fans gladly give them.

            Not only that, but sports to seem rather frivolous for how seriously people seem to take them. How many times have we heard that a moment in sports was supposed to go down as one of the greatest (insert noun) of all time? How many times have we heard of sports moments that would change the history? How many times has a newly drafted athlete been labeled the savior of an entire city? How many of those moments actually made some sort of significant historical impact? None of that compares to things that actually matter, like congressional elections, scientific discoveries, and rebellions against tyrannical governments in Arabic countries. Yet, I would venture to guess that more people could name the starting quarterback of the local sports team than could name their congressman, a famous scientist, or find the nation of Syria on a map.

            I understand that sports offer a welcome distraction from the mundane misfortunes of everyday life. Often, it’s a much needed distraction, especially in manufacturing towns with high rates of poverty. I understand that sports can bring people together who otherwise have absolutely nothing in common. There’s a reason there are so many sports movies where people set aside their differences to rally around the team. I will even go so far as to concede that it is probably true that not all athletes were jerks in high school, though I will only do so reluctantly. Sports don’t have to be important to be enjoyable. They’re no more or less frivolous than most other hobbies, including ones that I find myself engaging in a little too often (video games come to mind). However, my points still stand. Excuse me for not liking sports.


-JR

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