Saturday, April 25, 2009

We Really, Really Love Sports

“ Jordan , for three – AND IT’S GOOD!” I’ve said it and you’ve said it, as we fire another piece of wadded up paper towards the trashcan. We all love MJ, but that’s not the point here. We love sports, a lot.

To start, we have this strange infatuation with sport stats. People rattle stats off as if they are solving a metaphysical quandary, or like they are doing the business of splitting the atom. We listen to them intently – “In 2007, Kobe became the youngest player to reach 20,000 points. Hank Aaron used to hold the record for most career home runs in the Major Leagues with 755, until he was surpassed by Barry Bonds. In the 2007-2008 season, Cristiano Ronaldo scored 42 goals. A-Rod signed the richest baseball contract in history at $275 million.” Blah, blah, blah. If you aren’t betting on the games, why bother memorizing these stats? It’s like you have to know stats to justify that you are a sports fan. Can’t I just enjoy watching the game? I’m a fan of you shutting up about field goal percentages – that’s what I’m a fan of.

I was sitting around the other day and began thinking about the playoff hockey games that were going to be aired later in the night. I didn’t stop there, I picked up my phone and started reading predictions, injury lists, line orders, and so on. I did it like it mattered. I guess what it comes down to is not whether or not it matters, but how much it matters. Does social justice matter? How about poverty? But damn, those Red Wings look good on paper.

We talk about teams like they are our teams or as if we are a part of them. “Let’s go boys!” we scream. And when they win we say, “We did it.” Personally, I didn’t do jack-diddly. I drank a beer and barbecued. The only sweat I broke came from the flames of the coals. But anyway, “We did it.”

Game's on, gotta go.

Photo by Steve Lipofsky


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