Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sports

A funny post about the pointlessness of sports:
I'm specifically talking about getting some object in some pre-designated place so that my team will receive (imaginary) points, which if we end up with more than the other team, we will WIN! Wow!

Win what? Nothing but the joy of having won. Lotsa folks somehow translate this over into a feeling of superiority over the other team, as though we are somehow better than they. But so much of competitive sports, when the teams are balanced in ability as they usually are (and if they aren't the game is kinda moot), is about the luck of the bounce, the direction of the wind, and other uncontrollable and intangible things. Thus when the ball bounces one way rather than the other, makes the winning point, and the winning team screams at the other, 'You suck! We are the champions!' I am mystified by the supposed alchemy that endows this seemingly random and meaningless superiority. It's like a neighbor and myself deciding that on cloudy days I win and on sunny days he wins. So, I walk outside on a sunny day, and my neighbor appears, smiles, and says, 'You suck! I rule!' How much sense does that make?

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yahmdallah: You think sports are pointless? You should try creating an utterly unremarkable blog!

Oh, wait, you have.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are leaving out something called effort. In good sports - that SHOULD be the difference. In bad sports- like the current NHL- a bounce or weird ricochet is the difference.

I am usually on your side- I feel sports are way exaggerated in importance.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Fersboo said...

What is the purpose of playing card games? or board games? or video games? of doing your best at a job interview? of studying? of getting an A on that Calculus test? of the Olympics?

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Fersboo said...

those should be 'or' not 'of'

2:32 PM  
Blogger Stuart Buck said...

Sure, sports are fun, as are other types of games. But you don't see an entire newspaper section every day on how local teenagers did at the video arcade.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think effort or desire makes a difference? How hopelessly naive!

What makes a difference in most sports is natural talent, plain and simple. The genetic lottery is about as arbitrary as it gets, buddy. And winning that lottery is roughly 95% of what sports reward. Hard work and drugs make up the rest.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think effort or desire makes a difference? How hopelessly naive!

What makes a difference in most sports is natural talent, plain and simple. The genetic lottery is about as arbitrary as it gets, buddy. And winning that lottery is roughly 95% of what sports reward. Hard work and drugs make up the rest.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Sports is a ritual whereby we pretend to have mastery over fate.

A tie game, and the ball is rattling around the rim as time runs out. At this point, victory or defeat signifies nothing real. The contest is inconclusive, and the chance event of the ball descending within the perimeter of the basket or outside of it should not, if there's any justice, cause pain or pleasure.

The ball goes in and we scream. He made the shot! Our guy made the shot! Our team won!

We superimpose a narrative of control and mastery over chance events, over fate. The arena is where we concentrate our uneasiness with being at the mercy of an indifferent universe; we ritualistically slay fate and steal meaning from chance, making it our own.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Joseph Buck said...

I suppose that one could argue that art is also pointless. I enjoy playing basketball. It's fun to work as a team and to try to overcome something.

John Wooden said that sports don't build character, but they reveal it. And I think that he used basketball to reveal his players' character, then worked with them on their character, and then their better character was revealed in winning many championships. So one aspect of sports is that they can help you know what areas of your character you might need to work on, such as laziness, selfishness (not being a team player), and so forth.

Also, sports are a fun way to get exercise. Playing basketball or soccer or tennis or some other similar sport gives plenty of cardiovascular exercise while not being monotonous. Walking or running are nice ways to exercise as well, but some people would rather play a sport to get their exercise.

We can also learn life lessons from sports. Sports not only reveal things about our character; they reveal things about life. Look at how John Wooden applied his pyramid to basketball, and look at how his pyramid can apply to life (www.coachwooden.com).

So several things come from sports: character-revelation; fun exercise; and life lessons, among other things.

Those are some good reasons for playing sports; but why should anyone want to watch sports? They may have a love for their favorite sport(s), and so they are interested in seeing it, just for fun. People may also want to improve themselves at their sport, so they want to analyze others playing. Perhaps this seems pointless. But those who don't watch sports just find other ways to do pointless things that are fun. It might be watching TV, or going to a theater, or reading fiction. All of these things could be pointless, if perceived a certain way. On the other hand, maybe all of these things are just ways to relax and have some fun--something that shouldn't be done too much, but something that is okay to do sometimes.

Finally, there is the question of the sports section in the newspaper. The newspaper is going to print what people want to read. Why would people want to read about something as pointless as sports? Stuart says, "Sure, sports are fun, as are other types of games. But you don't see an entire newspaper section every day on how local teenagers did at the video arcade." This is not a fair analogy. Teens at an arcade are analogous to pickup games on the schoolgrounds, not pro sports. Pro video gamers do receive some coverage in limited ways. Some websites will talk about computer game tournaments, and the best players are "celebrities" within their own communities of video-gamers. This stuff would be in the newspaper also, except there isn't a widespread interest in video game tournaments such as there is in an NCAA tournament.

Even you, Stuart, have an interest in the pointless. You enjoy a few TV shows. And if you had to miss an episode of Alias and couldn't record it, you might well want to read a written synopsis of what happened so that you would be up with what was happening. How is this very different from someone reading about a game in the sports section because he wasn't able to see the game for himself?

1:22 PM  
Blogger Uncle Mikey said...

That sounds like a great game, the sunny/cloudy one you mentioned. I'm calling my neighbor right now to challenge him. I hope I get cloudy at the coin flip, I'll be telling him he sucks and I rule immediately.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Sports Junky said...

I agree,

I love College Basketball. and recently I have bought stock in it. Not like real stock on Wall street, but a stock market that is strictly for sports.

You have seen it? Its pretty cool. You buy issues for your favorite teams and you make real money. Not like a fake stock simulator. I cash out Dividends each time the team wins. Also I can sell my team stock when the price goes up.

check it out if something like this interests you.
heres a link http://allsportsmarket.com
you can log in and check it out for free..

They just released IPOS for College Basketball this week, so there are alot of good deals there.

Hope that helps
-Erik

1:19 PM  
Blogger Sports Junky said...

I agree,

I love Hockey. and recently I have bought stock in it. Not like real stock on Wall street, but a stock market that is strictly for sports.

You have seen it? Its pretty cool. You buy issues for your favorite teams and you make real money. Not like a fake stock simulator. I cash out Dividends each time the team wins. Also I can sell my team stock when the price goes up.

check it out if something like this interests you.
heres a link http://allsportsmarket.com
you can log in and check it out for free..

They just released IPO'S for Hockey this week, so there are alot of good deals there.

Keep up the good work on your blog!
-Erik

3:00 PM  
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1:29 AM  

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