An Open Letter To Sports Fans
Dear Sports Fans,
Don’t worry, I’m not here to hate on you. You can like whatever you like, that’s fine with me. Have your football, your soccer, your golf, your water polo, your greco-roman wrestling, or whatever. It’s all well and good, I’m just not into any of it.
But what’s that you say? What do I do for fun? How can I go about my life without having somebody to root for, to get all worked up about when my life is otherwise uneventful? You had to poke the bear, didn’t you sports fan?
Let’s start with my biggest complaint about competitive team sports- they’re all boring. American football is only about ten minutes of action, the rest is just annoying commentary, relentless replays, and advertisements. Sorry but I’ve got better stuff to do.
“But c’mon, man, the game! It’s a chance to get together!”
There are a myriad of reasons to gather in somebody’s living room, drink beer, and eat buffalo wings. It doesn’t have to involve ‘the game’. You know what I like to watch? Shows about Sasquatch hunters. Even though I know it’s complete and utter ‘Squatch-scat, I find it much more entertaining than professional team sports.
“Yeah, fine, you don’t wanna watch the game”, the imaginary sports fan concedes, “But you don’t ever just go outside and toss the ol’ pig-skin around?”
No. I don’t. Sorry, I’m just not into it. It might be fun for you but it isn’t any fun for me. It never has been. If I’m outside getting exercise, I’m riding my bike or walking my dogs. I don’t have to frolic with a bunch of sweaty dudes just to be active.
Maybe it sounds boring to you but I’m not bored. I find things to do. I make stuff. Just because there’s no competition in it doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. And no human being should ever feel obligated to keep another human being amused- unless, they’re a professional comedian maybe or a juggler or something like that. That’s what jugglers make the big bucks for.
Speaking of big bucks, professional athletes make way too much. No amount of rationalization can justify the huge salaries these guys pull in (and yes, they are mostly guys).
“But they deserve it! They’re top athletes! They worked hard to be where they are!”
I’m not saying that they didn’t work hard or spend so many years training or whatever. But why do we make them millionaires? I do know the answer: because the professional leagues make millions off of ticket sales and merchandise and the athletes want a percentage. Fine, that makes sense. But you know who else in this country works hard? Garbage collectors. Yeah, nobody pays for tickets to watch the garbage collectors. Nobody wears a puffy jacket with the local sanitation department’s logo on it. But I’m a lot more thankful for my garbage collectors than I am for the New Orleans Saints. The Saints aren’t keeping my street clean.
“But what about Steve Gleason? He’s a real-life hero! He has a charity!”
Sure, it’s great that he’s fostering an awareness of ALS. You’re right. Go ahead and put a 37 sticker on your back windshield. Dump a bucket of ice water on your head and put it up on Youtube. I won’t deny that it’s for a good cause. Any time a celebrity raises awareness of something it does help the people who are affected by it. I believe in charity too even if it doesn’t take the form of Team Gleason.
The human condition in America is the same whether you’re a sports fan or not: you work some job for forty hours or more every week just to have a place to eat, sleep, and shit. And to break the monotony, you need heroes to admire. For you it’s the Saints or LSU or whoever it is you like. My heroes are mostly fictional. But just like you wouldn’t want to discuss Batman comics with me at work on Monday morning, I don’t want to talk about the Saints. Deal?