Sports is Just Reality TV With Uglier Hosts
Anyone who knows me will tell you that, aside from pro basketball, I am a sports fan. I have season tickets to UM football and I am always the guy saying “You wanna go to the Marlins game this weekend?” I listen to sports talk radio, watch ESPN and enjoy discussing and analyzing the various aspects of different games. But the difference between me and a lot of other people is that I really don't care. It is all fun and a diversion from daily life, but at the end of the day whoever wins and whoever loses really makes no difference to me. I root for and against certain teams, but as soon as the final whistle sounds, the result of said contest matters about as much to me as who got kicked out of the house on "Big Brother."
What I don't understand are people who take sports so goddamned seriously. Like they actually are in a bad mood if "their" team loses. Look, pal, you didn't lose anything. A bunch of black guys who would hate you if they knew you lost, so stop sulking around like you just lost your job. The game was meaningless, as are pretty much all games in the grand scheme of things. Save for maybe 1980 US Olympic Hockey or post-9/11 baseball, the outcome of a sporting event rarely affects the world in which we live. So don't give me some attitude or go and beat up your girlfriend because you couldn't live vicariously through a bunch of people you don't know.
If you want to celebrate your group of mercenaries beating another city or school's group of mercenaries, fine. I will not rain on your parade. Whatever makes you happy makes you happy and I won’t bring you down. But for the love of God, don't act like you are better than me or try and get in my face if “your” team wins. A little friendly joshing is fine, but don't act like you did anything. You didn't do jack shit to win that game, and I did nothing to lose it. So if you want to be happy, be happy. But remember that you contributed absolutely nothing to that victory so you have no place telling anybody else that you are better than them. Again, maybe if I was dumb enough to bet money with you on the game and lost you could call me an idiot for making a stupid wager, but otherwise shut your mouth.
Athletes, for the most part, have zero loyalty to fans. Free agency pretty much eliminated that. And, unless you play for the Marlins, a typical pro athlete makes roughly 100 times what the average American does, so you can't relate to them either. This isn't the old days when the Dodgers backup catcher worked with Vinny and Mikey at the garage during the off-season. Athletes, even in college, are for the most part held up as Gods, so why should they care about us when everyone will love them no matter how they treat people? Similarly, since they have no loyalty to me, I have no loyalty to them. They win? Great. They lose? Who cares? I still have my job, but that wide receiver who dropped five passes may not. So if Hines Ward wants to cry after losing a big game, he is totally justified. But if you are in the stands crying because he lost, you really should examine your own life to see why you get so emotionally involved with a bunch of people who couldn’t care less about you.
Maybe it's because I've never lived in great "sports towns" (aka cities with no other recreational opportunities) or maybe it’s because I’ve grown up in the era of free agency and 9-figure contracts, or maybe, as my roomate suggests, it's because I'm from the West Coast where we really don't care much about anything. Any way you cut it, who wins and who loses doesn't affect me at all once I leave the stadium or turn off my TV. I watch sports like I watch movies: I root for somebody, and if they win great, I feel good for about five minutes and if they lose, that's too bad. The sun comes up tomorrow. I still have my friends, my job and my family, and the accomplishments and failures of people more talented than myself holds no real meaning to me. But it is still damn fun to watch.