After careful observation and deliberation of Life, the Universe, and Everything, I have come to the conclusion, that [Drumroll, please!] Professional Sports are useless. Yeah, you read right. Maybe I should explain.
I am at school, watching my friends constantly check the scores of a game, where grown men hit small spheres with clubs made of wood. Or cricket, if you want to call it that. One is overweight, two cannot play the sport if their lives depended on it, and the fourth has yet to discover the outdoors. And yet they sit there, talking as if they owned the very teams they are supporting. Cheering for players they will most likely never meet, betting on countries they haven’t even been to. The match is now over. I casually ask one of them who won, in a way that portrays I care. Instead of answering, he aims a punch at my stomach. When I ask him whether his team lost, he goes, “Don’t talk okay. We just didn’t win. As if you know anything about cricket.” Like I claimed to. And isn’t ‘not winning’ the same as losing?
Anyway. Later on, I spot a slightly different group of boys, this time consisting of FIFA gaming addicts. They were talking about player stats. Player STATS. How does it matter? Isn’t the entire sport about kicking the ball into a demarcated area? At the most, they can rate their kicking and running. And even then, if some dude kicks some ball into some goal, does it actually allow us to rub it in another person’s face? Are they your teams? Do you earn money when they win? And it’s not like you’re going to go outside and try out some of those moves you saw. And why do you get so upset when “your” team loses? Is it worth it? Worth ruining someone’s day, not to mention your own? The fact is, people are very, very emotional when it comes to sports. And if you want to learn values that will assist you in life, I suggest you go look somewhere else. Sports usually brings out the absolute worst in fans. We beat you? Let’s throw a party! You’re not invited, sorry. No Barcelona fans. We were beaten by you? I’m going to point out everything bad about your team, and how “our” team was better, and how you won by fluke. And then I’m going to get into a fight with you.
Sportsmen are generally known for having terrible financial skills. In a census taken in the US, it was proved that 60% of all NBA players go bankrupt after retirement. And I’m not even going to bring up match fixing, or bribing, or blackmailing, or steroids, or Louis Suarez. We all know how dramatically aggressive professional sportsmen can be – especially footballers.
If you’re arguing, saying that watching people play sports also helps us discover teamwork and whatnot, and that it entertains and is motivating, well, so was the ‘Pursuit of Happiness’. And yet, we are told not to watch television too much, by our IPL-crazy parents, who never miss a match. And then comes the finances we waste on sports. Cable companies charge extra for sports channels during sports tournaments, because they know what suckers we are. We pay to get team franchise, just to tell people that, yeah, “I paid for this overpriced product so that I could show you how I support a sports team that wouldn’t affect my grades if I didn’t let it.” Also, if sports can be compared to a movie, why do we pay sportsmen so much more than actors? Highest earning actor: Robert Downey Jr., whose pay is approximately 80 million dollars. Highest earning sportsman: Floyd Mayweather, who is paid around 300 million dollars. See what I mean?
And if you state how music and movies also waste our time, I actually completely agree with you. But there is the fact that spectator competitive team sports can in no way beat the talent it requires to make people feel deep, raw emotions through visual stimuli. I’m talking about movies, by the way. And I think all of us will agree that Beethoven trumps Vince McMahon. In any case, listening to classical music will increase positive brain activity far more than scripted, grotesque, steroid-loaded wrestling matches. Exercise is what actually matters in the field of sports, not pleasing a paying audience. The theater was literally made for that. Watching strangers (Admit it, no matter how much you know about their STATS, or their media antics, you still don’t really know them) sweat their backs off is not what sports is all about.
And what about the brainpower lost in professional sports? People memorizing stats (there it is again), top players and probabilities of teams winning, while they could be studying for their upcoming SATs. Oh wait, yeah, I’m sorry, I forgot. Going to college and getting a good job, and being able to live a happy, productive life isn’t as important as sports, is it? And then there are people like me, who are, at the very moment, using up their brainpower to argue against professional sports.
Just to be clear on what my stand on this topic is – I in no way oppose sports, or at least the kind which are undertaken for recreation or exercise. I may not take part in them, but I do not oppose them. But I am very much against the practice of competitive stunts, tailored for the appreciation of people who have nothing else to do. Or at the very least, want to avoid doing what they have to.
There are those who believe that the Sports page of the newspaper is the only part worth reading. I believe that if the same people took the time to think about Professional Sports from an outsider’s point of view, we would save a heck load of paper.