Our friend Keith often suggests that when trying to start a conversation with someone who has an opinion different than mine, there is a better way to open the conversation than with my usual “What the hell are you thinking???” He suggests “Help me to understand …”, and so I am trying that here!
Could somebody please ‘splain to me America’s obsession with sports? Can you help me understand why seeing young men chase after a small, ovoid piece of pigskin is more important than the very lives of those young men? Could anyone enlighten me on why watching sports is a higher priority than almost anything else in this country, including libraries, education, health, poverty, housing, etc?
To date, 170,415 people in the U.S. alone have died of the coronavirus. A staggering number of people have no jobs. A jaw-dropping number of people have been or will be evicted from their homes due to their inability to pay their rent. School children are either learning online from home or are being put at risk of death by being forced to attend schools that have opened prematurely. And yet … despite all of this and more … people, including the so-called “president” of the United States, are more worried about whether college football will kick off on time than they are the loss of life and livelihood. Something is seriously wrong here, my friends. This nation seems to have its priorities seriously skewed!
Yes, yes, I understand that sports are ‘entertainment’, a way to relieve the pressure from day-to-day troubles, an escape, so to speak. And normally, I have no problem with that, though I personally find watching grown men chase after a helpless, defenseless ball to be rather silly. But these are not normal times and ‘entertainment’ is, in my book, so low down on the priority list as to nearly fall off the bottom!
But today, it seems that sports have turned into a political football as well! After a number of college conferences decided to cancel their participation in this year’s fall sports season, sports fans went ballistic and blamed … who else??? … the democrats! This line of reasoning, if it can be called such, was of course led by the talking heads over at Fox …
“The Left doesn’t care — they think removing joy from the fall will hurt Trump, so they’ll push to shut down football. It’s all political.” – Laura Ingraham
“We love normalcy. We love to be predictable and dream and pursue our dreams. What the radical left loves is chaos. They are doing everything they can, whether it be church and schools. Right now, football. These young men want to go out and play. The left is so concerned about keeping chaos in the process, they don’t mind who suffers in the process.” – Republican congressional candidate & former NFL player Burgess Owens
“College universities and athletic conferences need to put politics aside and come together to find a way to safely play college football this season. The players want to play. Shouldn’t their voices be heard too?” — Senator Kelly Loeffler
Now, help me to understand something else … why does everything … EVERYTHING … have to be political? Why must every issue either be left or right, democrat or republican? In this issue of “to play or not to play” football, for example … the real issue is the safety of the players. HOW is this a partisan issue, for Pete’s sake? It’s about the lives of these young men. Do some people, then, find their ability to have ‘fun’ more important than human lives? Oh wait … that question was answered when people insisted on flocking to the beach in droves.
“Life is about tradeoffs. There are no guarantees that college football will be completely safe — that’s absolutely true; it’s always true. But the structure and discipline of football programs is very likely safer than what the lived experience of 18- to 22-year-olds will be if there isn’t a season.” – Senator Ben Sasse
Seriously??? What about all those 18-to-22-year-olds who don’t play sports? They seem to manage to survive without the “discipline of football programs”!
When people are willing to put human lives in grave danger simply so they can be entertained, there is something seriously wrong with our society.