I have written in the past about our national obsession with sports. I criticized, rightfully so, our propensity to let those past-times rule our collective conscience to the point that we ignore so much of what ails our community. They can be a distraction, our modern-day bread and circuses while Rome crumbles around us. It is too easy to let our time be dominated by viewing and reading about our teams. This is especially true this time of year as football, and its counterpart fantasy football, start up for the fall. That said, I want to be clear that the games, in particular football, themselves are not bad things.
I personally love sports, all sports, but especially football. The guts and glory we see on the gridiron are high drama. We get to watch young, and sometimes not so young, men push their bodies to the limit in the name of competition, sportsmanship, and our entertainment. It is a sport that appeals to those merely seeking a primal thrill as giants and titans (as well as Giants and Titans) clash and throw each other to the ground. It also appeals to the more cerebral among us, as eager fantasy sport enthusiasts crunch numbers and armchair quarterbacks dissect a coach’s choice of formation, player, and play.
It has its heroes: the former stock boy in a super market who leads his team to victory in the Super Bowl, or the player who gives so much of his time and money to help the poor. It has its villains: coaches who get caught cheating, players who dope, and owners who move beloved franchises to other cities. It has victors and victims. It has pageantry and high drama. It has broad appeal for people of all races, creeds, and genders. Some of us hate it, some of us love it, some of us love to hate it, and others hate to love it. It can suck you in and drag you down, but it can also provide you with a Sunday afternoon full of fun.
We love our hometown teams, or maybe their rivals. We choose our loyalty based on memories, or some of us have no loyalty, loving the sport for its own sake. We get to share in the glory when our team wins the big game, and in the misery when a kick goes wide right. We wear our colors with pride no matter what and when the clock ticks down in Week 17 of our team’s 1-15 season we tell ourselves “they got it next year.” We do this alone in our office behind our monitors and we do this in weekly gatherings of friends, bowls of buffalo wings piled high.
I still stand by my assertion that we too often let it be a distraction, but then again, so many who eschew it choose other distractions. They choose movies, or music, or chemical enjoyments. The activities themselves are not the problem, it is our insistence on letting them take over our lives completely. Well I won’t let football, or any sport take over my life completely. I will let it take over enough just to let me enjoy the sixty minute (really, more like three-hour, but we all already know that) dramas. I will root for my boys and get my enjoyment from it and let it energize me for what is really important the rest of the week.
- Fantasy Football: Week 1 Predictions and Analysis (clevelandsportschat.com)
- ESPN coming to Xbox One, NFL.com fantasy football on Xbox 360 now (joystiq.com)
- NFL 2013 … Where every day is a Sunday (everything-pr.com)
- Fantasyland (graysonosgood.com)