Obsessing about sport. It's a safe bet in our politically correct times

Published 10 months ago on August 8, 2017

Yeah, sure, why not obsess about sport, any sport? It's a safe bet in these politically correct times and you always have something to talk about with other people who have no life. I know, I know, it's bit harsh on people who like to watch sports and then share their joy, or disappointment, with similarly minded individuals or whole collectives. Especially as it's a pretty harmless hobby and takes your mind off the worries of the day. But tell me, hand on heart, honestly: can you say that you recall a single football or baseball or basketball game or a tennis match that were worth the time you spent watching and then discussing them with your buds? And I mean a sporting event that you can claim was worth more to you than spending time, say, with your family, friends or, if we raise the stakes, a bottle of great Scotch? Come on, be honest about it! Admit that you could have easily skipped watching any of these games or matches and it would have only benefited you. Watching sport does not enlighten you in any way, does not teach you any skills and, what's most interesting of all, does not encourage you to take on sport. What it boils down to, if you want to know the whole truth, is you watching professional athletes earn enormous amounts of money, while organisers of these events and TV companies make even more moolah out of tickets sales and advertising. Oh yes, and betting syndicates, both legal and illegal ones, make a fortune as well, as these days a lot of sports fans bet on their favourite teams and individual players. That is it. People who are watching sports, both at the stadium or on the box, will learn nothing and mostly lose the money that they bet. And most of them forget about the whole thing the next day. Not to mention that some of the games and matches are rigged and some of the athletes are using performance enhancing drugs, so it is actually a con in more ways than one. Although I will be the first to say it: let professional athletes use dope openly. They are doing it anyway, most of them at least, so why not stop playing these games and just allow them to have that so much needed boost of energy. And then more world records would start falling and it would be much more exciting than it is now. And once we are on the subject of cheating in big sport, let's take a glance back at history. In the 4th century Emperor Theodosius I banned the Olympic Games on the grounds that they were a pagan ritual and that they involved too much cheating. Yes, that was in the 4th century AC. And for the next nearly 1600 years Olympics did not happen. People were wise enough to understand that sport did not matter all that much. They had other things to do. And it was only in the very end of the 19th century, the so-called enlightened years, that several opportunists in France figured that the world was stupid enough to buy into the concept of Olympic Games again. And the first modern Olympics took off in Greece in 1896. Only to be quickly turned into colossal corporate events that were also used by governments to plug themselves and for developers and the mafia to make a fortune. No one is saying that exercising and even achieving impressive results in sports is a bad idea. But professional sport is a completely different matter. It actually hurts the people who are involved in it. Professional athletes on average live shorter lives than other people and some end up in a very bad shape very soon after they retire. It is all about the money, people, professional sport that is. And you're wasting your time watching it instead of doing something worthwhile.