Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sports just not worth it anymore

I would never have thought there would come a day when I would feel this way, but I am completely fed up with big-time professional and college sports.

It's odd to hear myself saying that. For 16 years, I made my living as a sports reporter in seven different states, covering some of the biggest sporting events in the world.

Super Bowl? Been there.

World Series? Done that.

Final Four? Twice, including the amazing Villanova-Georgetown game in 1985.

But other than a few Dodger games -- I still love going to the stadium -- I haven't watched a sporting event all the way through in close to 10 years. I don't think I've watched pro football on TV at all in five years.

There's just too much ... I can't think of any other way to say this ... shit going on along with the games. Steroids, mega-contracts, gambling, thuggish behavior on and off the field.

I feel like weeping for young kids growing up who really live and die with their favorite teams. How do you explain to a young kid that because he doesn't live in a large enough city, his favorite players won't stay? How do you explain to him that his favorite quarterback enjoys watching dogs fight to the death? Or that his home-run hero cheated, lied and took all sorts of drugs to do what he did?

My son isn't a sports fan. He loved playing sports, and we go to ballgames, but he doesn't follow any teams. He gets excited when the World Cup comes around -- he was born in France -- but that's about it.

That's why I didn't have to explain anything about Sean Taylor to him. (Of course, he's 22. I don't have to explain much to him) I don't know if Taylor was a random victim of crime or if his death had some connection to his own past. It doesn't really matter. It's tragic either way.

Heck, we grew up in a simpler time, cheering for Sonny Jurgensen and Charlie Taylor, for Frank Howard and the rest of the hapless Senators. Probably the happiest day of my life to that point was Dec. 31, 1972, when the Redskins beat Dallas to advance to their first Super Bowl.

Do kids still care that much? Do we even allow them to care that much?

I still read the sports pages. I still check for scores, and I still feel a twinge if my formerly favorite teams lose. But that's all it is. A twinge.

Mostly I get about as much enjoyment from sports now as I do following politics and business.

Which is to say, not much.


Anonymous said...

the games of life
sports, politics, wall street

music is timeless
am having a jethro tull flashback
richie havens still going strong
they put melanie on cd
and the doors
some say jim died in a nursing home; living his days in perpetual trance mode
arlo guthrie
john prine
moody blues
johnny winter

ok, i will stop.
i just never tire of 'our' music, as my kids would say.

luv, nan.

Sean Kennedy said...

Mike, I'm pretty much right there with you. I still go to the National's games, but am mostly fed-up with professional sports. Too many bad actors / performers, drunk fans, and owners who think I'm there at the stadium solely to buy their advertisement (hats, shirts, etc.) I'd rather read a book on foreign policy (and that's not a joke).

Nan, your comment on music hit a chord (excuse the pun). I saw your mention of John Prine. What a writer.

I saw someone at the Birchmere the other night that reminded me alot of him. If you like John Prine, try Mary Gauthier. Great lyrics. Mostly about relationships. She has a way with words. Even sounds something like him.

John Prine..."there's a hole in Daddy's arm where the money goes. Jesus Christ died for nothing I suppose"... who's writing stuff like that today?? LOL. Sam Stone was a favorite...

Anonymous said...

thanks, sean.
i will check out Mary Gauthier.

Anonymous said...

sorry, mike...am off your topic !

sean, mary does remind me of the younger john prine.
i liked john's 'hello in there' and 'donald & lydia'.
mary would be good to listen to when you are down...
i don't drink anymore.

actually, what i listen to are cd's like tony bennett's duets...
or any native american[or others] drumming, flutes, chants.

anything that will remind me of our connection with mother earth and that to keep smiling/singing/dancing.

sports are ok....
my son is active in cross country, tennis, and former little league.
i try to keep up !

we need sports and politics....!!
they reflect us.


Sean Kennedy said...

Nan, glad you liked her. Yep, her lyrics can be a bit dark, but it forces you to think about what she's saying. The friends with me the night I heard her had no interest. I thought they missed an opportunity for some reflection.

Today, I listen to a mix. I "discovered" Django Rheinhardt, this gypsy guitar player. Played in the 30's. Just remarkable player, lots of what they call gypsy swing or gypsy jazz. If you saw Chocolate, with Johnny Depp, you've heard his music.

I love a good acoustic fingerstyle guitarist. They get so much music out of the strings that you think three other guitars must be playing along with them.

Professional Sports... I guess when it turned to "entertainment" with more non-sports moneymaking enterprises, I started to lose my interest. I love baseball,but the rest I no longer watch.

This week we have seen many stories of Sean Taylor, a Redskin who was murdered in his home this week. They appear on TV, on sports radio, and above the fold on two consecutive editions of the Washington Post. I'm not sure which is the greater tragedy, his death or all those in the Washington community that get so little coverage.