Sports Flu


From Walter Witty: “Is everything a sport? iThink so. Politics, culture, business, you name it. In sports, you have two sides, rarely three. This is why there’s no third party or team on the killing fields. (Gridirons.) What did George Orwell say? “Sports is war minus the shooting.” Spock: “Fascinating.” That’s Dr. Spock too. (Sex and babies is a sport too, alias. I mean alas.) Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451 (about burning books) has one of the firemen (who find books inside hollowed out TVs, and burn them) say: “More sports for everyone.” Videos on Youtube talking about becoming rich say things like, “If you’re not a player or ball club owner, or gambling on games, stop watching sports on TV. It’s a waste of time, and health. Like junk food.” Tasty, though! Alas, diabetes and obesity (and health care costs) are epidemic, to say nothing of concussions. Do we love sports like football because it’s a proxy for going to war, for feeling like winners? iThink so. Alias, the players and owners will change cities in a heartbeat for better parking and free booze (if not pills) elsewhere. It is a vicarious thrill, cheering, imagining it is us out there! (Or in the case of the Olympics, U.S.) More than just a game? Yup. A religion. There are fistfights in bars over games, cars overturned after games, riots and stampedes over the “score.” Everyone wants to “score,” even the President. He’s a wrestling fan, and former game show host. He and Kim Jong un are in a game, too. “It’s not a game!” people shout, but it IS. Everything is a game. But what exactly do we “win?” A bigger button? A trophy? Who even reads the record books, except overpaid sports commentators in Trivial Pursuit? What about FICA scores and exam scores and…and no doubt you’re angry now. Oh yes. You want to throw junk food at me at high velocity…send me to Gitmo for waterboarding with high fructose corn syrup. But consider: One satire book out of 10,000 about sports, and ESPN can’t bring themselves to mention it, even though the narrator of the audiobook version writes for ESPN?”


From The New York Times: “To say that Texans love football would be an understatement. Texans love football the way Johnny loved June. Texans love football the way Donald Trump loves his hair. Texans love football the way Kanye West loves Kanye West. The religious-like attendance at high school football games all across Texas is a testament to our devotion to the sport. The passion can get even more intense the further you get from the city. When traveling through small-town Texas on a Friday night in the Fall, it’s liable to seem like a ghost town unless you happen to pass the stadium, and the only stations you’ll get out in the boonies will be gospel, country, and broadcasts of high school football games.”