Can’t Get Into the Game
I am sure that mine is not the only household where this is true, but it certainly defies stereotypes. My wife is far, far more interested in the start of the NFL season than I am. I was already feeling iffy about the sport giving its reliance on violence and the possible effect on players’ brains, but throw in the fact that the NFL has locked out its referees and I just can’t bring myself to care. I’m willing to at least listen to the conversation when a struggling business says it has to reduce costs to stay competitive, but the NFL is such a money-printing machine that I have no sympathy when it tries to avoid sharing that wealth with the people who actually make the games happen. (And yeah, no one watches the game for the refs. But who’d watch a sport where anything goes or where the players were expected to call their own penalties?)
Meanwhile the NHL is getting ready to lock its players out as well. Never mind that the sport already has a hard salary cap and that the last contract negotiation involved big salary rollbacks. The way TV networks are throwing insane money at live sports programming these days, I can’t really buy into the league’s claims of poverty.
I don’t even want to talk about the hypocrisy of college sports. But you can go read Michael McCann discuss Ed O’Bannon’s lawsuit against the NCAA.
I dunno. I used to be able to overlook the rooting-for-laundry aspect of sports fandom because these business, for all their mercenary nature, were supported by and helped to sustain a kind of civic identity. But if I don’t like the organization and what it does, should I want it to represent me? Should I tie myself to it just because of its location?
If you were to suggest that I’m going through this in part because I’m a Pennsylvanian whose state university and its athletic program are currently undergoing a major identity crisis, well, I don’t think I could argue with you. But I think there’s a deeper issue that recent events (and not-quite-so-recent-events like the Eagles signing Mike Vick) have forced me to think about, and that make it harder to be entertained by the games.
On the upside, it’ll probably improve my productivity if I have my Sundays free.