The Kids

The Kids

Monday, November 7, 2011

Worship Of Sports

Let me start by saying that I love to watch a good game.  I am competitive and you can always hear me cheering on my kids when they are playing soccer.  I get chills at the end of Remember the Titans, I cried the first time that I watched Hoosiers, and I even get a little emotional during the final basketball game in Teen Wolf.

However, I am having a tough time understanding the worship of sports.  How does a game impact so many emotions and actually ruin someone's day by its outcome?

As I woke up this morning and checked my facebook newsfeed, it was flooded by complaining, cursing of the refs, and bitter jabs at other fans.  Why?  Because a football team lost.

Yes, a team.  A bunch of guys who play a game just happened to lose one.

I get it.  I am married to a huge football fan.  When he was watching his own team lose in the beginning of their game yesterday, he became angry.  Then he was dancing around with the kids by the end of the game.  My confusion is why must so much emotion be invested in a game?  I mentioned to him that he was wasting energy (which he was) over a team that might win in the end (which they did).  He said that I was right, but I have a feeling that it was just one of those responses to keep me quiet.

Thankfully having our kids around has kept his emotions in check when it comes to watching football together.  After all, we do have slightly competitive children who need to learn lessons from us.

That being said, I will not be watching next week's Bengal's game against the Steelers.  I am staying far away from my husband that day.

I guess I am just struggling with why a game is so important.  And why we worship athletes.  Why are they getting paid millions of dollars to play a game?  I get the challenge of it all and how hard they work.  But, why are we not idolizing educators, farmers, missionaries, and public service workers?  Where are their millions of dollars signing bonuses when they decide to take on their jobs?

I also wonder what this world would look like if all of the passion and concern for a team was suddenly devoted to what is going on in the real world.  What if facebook was flooded by people who were outraged over the water problem in third world countries instead of the bad play calls of their team?  What if all of the anger over the bad calls of the refs was directed at the injustices going on all around us? 

I am not trying to put myself above this-I definitely have my own idols that I follow (getting more excited over watching an episode of LOST than going to church, for example), but I am just trying to understand what is going on.  How has it reached the point where the outcome of a sporting event controls our lives?

It is a game.  Games are supposed to be fun.  They should not determine our happiness.

I suppose I am a rare person to be thinking this.  Perhaps I will just avoid facebook on Sundays.  And Monday nights.  And Thursdays.  And Saturdays.

Or I will just join the social networking world when there is a day of the year that there are no sports on.  Oh, wait...

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