Thursday, February 01, 2007

The truth about sports, and why I love them anyway.

Start here. Matt from A Bowl of Stupid wrote a pretty remarkable post about his issues with sports, which I confess is spot-on. It's a scathing condemnation of professional sports and what it has become, and the foolishness inherent in following it seriously.

The only problem is, I disagree. I originally wrote an exhaustively long comment on his site, but then figured it's not fair to bore his readers with my bullshit. Plus, Matt doesn't swear very much, so I always feel bad when I lace my responses with my usual fucks and shits. So I figured I'd respond here, bore my readers with my bullshit, and we could do a little cross-blogging. Anyway, read his essay first. Also, please note that this is written as it was originally drafted - that is, it's directed at him. So you doesn't mean "you", reader. Unless that reader is Matt. In which case, you means him. Or you. Or something.

Note: This is not me. Seriously.

I agree, in some way or another, with the majority of your points. However, I think that the argument is somewhat disingenuous. I will freely admit to being a pretty avid sports fan, as you may have figured out from some of the posts on my site. I don't delude myself into thinking that the players all truly "love" the game itself, or that it's not some giant corporate fuckwagon. That said, I still enjoy it. I enjoy the speed, skill and ability involved. I enjoy watching competition. I enjoy the sense of regional pride I get from watching the local teams. And yes, I know that Manny Ramirez and Paul Pierce and Tom Brady don't give a fuck about me, but who cares?

I think the fundamental oversight in such arguments is that you've chosen a specific media outlet for criticism, while ignoring the others. What makes athletes any different from actors? They're the same - they're in the business of entertainment, and some of them are genuinely talented individuals who love what they do, some of them are fucking hacks that are in it for the money and nothing else. What make the NFL or MLB or NBA any different from Hollywood? Hollywood is a machine just like the NFL is - it exists not for the art, but for the profit. It's about marketing and billboards and smaller theaters and wide releases and squeezing the most dollars out of what are usually inferior products.

Anyway. Assuming you're still reading this - I don't mean to shoot down your theory, because it's a valid criticism of an ugly aspect of today's entertainment industry. But since I know you're a movie fan, it seems a bit of a double standard. I don't think there's any difference between rooting for a sports team and having a favorite actor. There's no difference between the Super Bowl and the Oscars. It's 90% spectacle, sure. But to those who really do enjoy the medium, be it sports or film, can get some genuine enjoyment out of it. But the reason I make the comparison is because I've seen movie buffs or film snobs or pseudo-intellectuals or whatever you wish to call them - I've seen them repeatedly come down on sports and sports fans, without seeing that there is a fundamental similarity between the two. Not that you, dear Matt, are a pseudo-intellectual film snob dickhead.


Anyway. I love movies and sports, perhaps equally. Perhaps I just love anything that comes out that pretty, shiny box of noise. By the way, make sure to check out Matt's site (caution: shameless plugs may be flammable!). He's got some good stuff there, without the profanity-laced tirades you'll find in this fucking dump.


Anonymous said...


your "fucking dump" as you call it, is damn funny. even if I do say so. but that picture of norm in the patriots hat is too much. where the hell is cliff claven? he's not still hanging out with eddie doyle down at that cheers shithole, is he? hell, while norm is oogling the cheerleaders, claven is probably wanking off vera's spank zone.

you can blame bowlofstupid for my being here. carry on.

Punky said...

Listen, that's why you say screw the NFL, NBA and that stupid thing called baseball and embrace the NHL.
The NHL is filled with a bunch of blue collar Canadians who love the game. Yes. I am shamlessly promoting the hockey game. But it's true. We rock on so much better than the other professional sports and are so much less-Hollywood than the others.

We kick ass...Go Hockey Go.

And yes. I. Am. Canadian. I also like beer.

TK said...

If a hockey season started in the forest and no one heard it... did it actually happen?

I may have mixed up my metaphors there.

I can't watch hockey. I still haven't forgiven Boston for the Adam Oates trade. And don't get me started on the Joe Thornton one...


New Texan said...

I am with you... Harry Sinden destroyed my love for hockey... i've fought to get it back, but the Bruins are so pathetic now, I can't muster the energy... and living in Dallas, I can't get excited about a hockey team that if they made the cup finals would likely be playing a home game when the temp outside was 108 degrees.


When I was in college (University of Miami, of course!) I was leaving the Orange Bowl with a group of friends, after UM defeated Florida State. The game had been terrific and exciting, regardless of who won, thanks to the ongoing intra-state rivalry between the two schools.

Anyway, on our way out, we pass a group of FSU fans. Not drunken frat boy types, just a FAMILY that had driven down to Miami to see the game. I mean Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma, and uncle Joe.

One of the guys in our group -- an acquaintance, not a friend of mine -- who was of course purple-faced drunk off his ass, stormed up to them and began chanting just inches from their faces "YOU GUYS NEVER WIN THE BIG ONES, YOU GUYS CAN'T WIN THE BIG ONES! FUCK YOU SEMINOLES, GO HOME!"

As if these poor senior citizens from central Florida were the athletes who had just lost.

This is sports fandom gone utterly, embarassingly awry. I was ashamed to be near that guy.