I confess to spending a shameful portion of my free time watching sporting events on tv. I had the Olympics on every night they were on. I often have a baseball game going on in the background when I’m doing internet research. I have been a member of a fantasy baseball league for the last several years as well as participating in college football bowl game picks. Money doesn’t change hands as most of my friends and I just do it to make the games more interesting.
The college football season starts this weekend. The state’s university football team, the Nebraska Huskers, is practically a state religion. I like watching the games even though the older I get the more I feel guilty about watching young men injure themselves for my entertainment. Plus many people in my home state take winning and losing too serious for my tastes. That’s why I avoid fan forums and online discussions, especially during years the team doesn’t do well. Last year was one of those years when the team had a losing record with a new coach. When the whole state follows something like that it’s impossible to avoid discussing it in conversations. Sometimes this causes me undo stress and anxiety, much like people discussing politics. Politics and sports fanaticism are two things I really hate because people just aren’t rational about either one. While I like watching football and baseball, I do think most fans have messed up priorities when it comes to supporting their teams. I know this isn’t unique to America as I’ve heard stories about soccer riots in England and South America. And just today I saw a news article stating a school district in Texas is going to spend over $60 million to build a high school football stadium. Seriously, how many high school players go on to play even in college, let alone the pros? I can’t imagine any school district spending that kind of money to improve their academics.
In short I do like watching sports as a diversion but I don’t take them so serious that it messes up my priorities.