Everyone wants some entertainment in life. I have award shows; others have professional sports.
Facebook was all abuzz this morning, wasn’t it? I didn’t watch the games, but from the looks of it, some of my friends were happy and excited with the outcomes while others were sad and disappointed. Apparently, there was a player that gave a fired up interview after the second game; those few seconds seemed to overshadow the end result of that game. I had to scroll through many posts regarding his outburst before realizing that he was on the winning team.
I finally gave in to my curiosity and watched a clip of the interview, expecting to hear a swear word that slipped by the censors, or perhaps a choice hand gesture. I was even more curious when I didn’t see anything like that. Yes, he was obnoxious. But, I’ve seen my husband get all worked up after watching a game, so I guess I can see how a player could be even more excitable after actually contributing to a win/loss. He spoke loudly, he was rude; I’ve seen behavior like this before from athletes (and from people in a grocery store, but that’s another blog for another time). Why did everyone feel like this particular situation deserved so much time on my Facebook feed?
I should mention that I have very little appreciation for professional sports. Most of the time, I don’t care to watch them. I understand the value a team can bring the city in which they are based; money is brought into the city, jobs are created, a sense of unity is shared in the community. But beyond that, what is it that makes people care so much about professional sports? Absolutely, you should watch a game, cheer on your team, and relish their victories if you’re a fan. But when the game doesn’t end the way you’d like, does that warrant the tirades like those I’ve read today over last night’s episode? It can’t really have such an effect on your own life, if you’re just a fan in the stands or at home (unless, maybe, you’re putting money on the game, but even then…).
I just don’t get it. It’s a game. A game for which the players are paid obscene amounts of money, are treated like heroes, and then act like jerks…and we’re surprised by that! It’s like giving a child a ton of candy and toys, and then being shocked when they behave like monsters. We shower athletes with fame and adoration, then expect them to behave themselves all the time. I’m not excusing last night’s exhibit of poor sportsmanship. I just think that when we build up a surreal empire, all realistic expectations (including those where players properly behave) should go out the window.
I do recognize that not all players are like this, and perhaps that is why people keep watching? Are they keeping the faith that more will follow that example? There are some wonderful role models in professional sports, and I think they are worthy of admiration. I have a difficult time believing that their athletic prowess warrants such a huge payday, but again, I just don’t get it.
Sports fulfill a need for entertainment, and that is important. Beyond that, I’m still figuring it all out.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I will watch the Super Bowl…but only for the commercials. That’s entertainment enough for me.