Sunday, April 10, 2011


I'm not really into sports. I mean, I like to play sports, but I could pretty much care less who wins the Superbowl or any other sporting event. I don't know anyone on those teams, they don't know me. Whether they win or lose has no significant bearing on the course of my life.

Sure, I can see how sports are entertaining for people. Here are athletes doing things with inflatable balls that neither you nor I can do. Do these players deserve $20 million a year to bounce that ball and throw it through a hoop? Do they deserve the obsessive attention (checking ESPN every minute during finals seasons) and blind loyalty that millions of fans give them?

I think that Noam Chomsky, American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and political activist, presents some thought-provoking views on sports and their role in distracting people from avenues of thought that matter and make a difference, such as politics.
He says, " the cultural environment you're a passive observer of usually pretty tawdry stuff; political and social life are out of your range, they're in the hands of the rich folks. So what's left? Well, one thing that's left is sports -- so you put a lot of the intelligence and the thought and the self-confidence into that. And I suppose that's also one of the basic functions it serves in the society in general: it occupies the population, and keeps them from trying to get involved with things that really matter."

I don't think there's a conspiracy to brainwash and enslave the proletariat or the Bourgeoisie into a lifetime of servitude to loving and following spectator sports, but sports are certainly flashier than politics, or other fields that "matter."

I don't know how to talk to people about sports and I feel the need to learn to aid in my relationship-building abilities. When I tell people that we're moving to Boise in a few months, the first thing they say is, "you'll have to become Boise State football fans now." And I think for a minute and finally respond, "uh, yeah, I hear they've got a blue field." Then the conversation sort of ends. So, how do you feign interest in something that you have absolutely none at all?


Denise Farrington said...

Intelligent discourse on the sad state of sports environmental dribble that permeates our universe. (I just tried to use as many big words as I knew!) Fun commentary Ryan!

Jon, Kaylene and Laila said...

Being a sports fan, I'll attempt not to stir the pot and approach the topic from an objective point of view.
I feel we as individuals have the right to pursue any personal leisure activity that we desire. I do agree that moderation is key... video games, movies, sports, jumping on the tramp, internet, working out, etc. Obviously, anything that consumes majority of our time will take away from things that are more important and therefore leaving us less involved and educated. Not meaning to offend but wanting to add to the discussion.

Chester B. said...

It's true and I'm not always the best at being moderate at those other things. I'm just a big goit who doesn't know how to talk to others about sports. I've gotta work on being sympathetic.

Janna said...