Television and internet have brought the Roman Coliseum to the masses. I grew up immersed in sports since my father is a veritable basketball, baseball, golf and American football junkie. He worked at ESPN for over a decade and has umpired, coached, and refereed countless games. I found myself green with envy whenever I visited my childhood friend’s homes and listened to their intellectual discussion. My parents did not foster this clear-headed communication because the patriarch was always fixated on the game or preparation for the next game. While I am sure there are few level-headed folks out there who watch sports in a healthy manner, I find the whole affair of spectator sports to be disgusting indulgence.
Before I was ten sports represented a clash of powers (war with etiquette) where demi-gods magically imbued their will into a ball and drama ensued. However, this naïveté waned as my brain ingested all of the toxic advertisements and shady officiating that the commentators brush off as if nothing detestable happened.
Advertisements are principally western medicine with harmful side effects and suspect efficacy, alcohol, sugary soft drinks, machismo automobiles, dairy/animal product laden food, and the new smart phone/laptop. Nothing advertised is good for societal health. I have grown to consider the whole affair a slow gas chamber for fools.
Not only are the fans shackled but the players are too despite their exorbitant contracts. Former NFL lineman David Carter is a fantastic example. He went vegan in the last few years and saw his performance and recovery drastically improve. Team chefs made meals aligned with his healthy diet but eventually his coach was forced to let him go since his diet did not accommodate the team’s mentality. David may have “retired” from the NFL but he has not gone back on his healthy dietary decision. Moreover, the league advocates animal and dairy consumption to dumb down society as implied in the preceding paragraph (Nutritionfacts.org is a resource devoted to rigorous nutritional studies you can check out if you’re curious about the deleterious health effects animal products have on the human body).
Overwhelming hubris and utilitarian ideals are manifested in these ludicrous affairs. The paradox is the super fan. He/she/they are mentally sodomized by following their local team while being fed never-ending slop every time a commercial turns on. They cheer as if being a couch QB vicariously willing their team to victory is their life’s calling or jeer at opposing fans lurching and groping within the same cranial goop as them.
Games are fixed routinely to satiate billionaires and gambling crooks wishes (See Tim Donaghy (NBA Ref), Pete Rose (MLB player/gambler), etc…) Golf obviously doesn’t suffer from match fixing but gross commercialism and the absolute abuse of water for a dude to whack a ball with a metal club is beyond inane idiocy. Here is a decade old piece on America’s obsession with golf and the resultant water waste: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91363837
The beneficent things about sports are camaraderie, athletic excellence, and if done well, fun. Televised sports undoubtedly provide this but the cost is a gaping black hole of a brain since the purity of the sport is ruined by media, commercialism, and unscrupulous billionaires who are often oil tycoons or successful bean counters/investors whose narcissism extends to the hampering of their fellow human being’s journey through life. Obviously watching sports is hardly an intellectual affair, but it can be made purer by genuine love of fellow human beings. Healthy advertisements are possible with big pharma and Monsanto releasing their stranglehold on American psyche. Also, by ceasing the perpetuation of animal products as directly linked with machismo or strength people may stop funding garbage fast food businesses and alter our whole conscience for the better.
Unfortunately, these changes are a far cry from the reality we live in where our president is creating systematic segregation in the same vein as Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini. My recommendation is to turn off the television and actually play sports since vicarious activity only depreciates your most important asset save for the heart. The brain loves exercise not watching a circus of utilitarian indulgences dedicated to keeping the proverbial sheep in the pen.