Hi, my name is Ricky and I come to you today to speak about a serious topic: Sports.
Now I’m not going to talk about how great being a fan of sports is. I’m not even here to talk about the “intricacies” or “beauty” inherent in particular sports. I’m here to talk about anti-sports people. You know the type: they roll their eyes any time anyone in ear shot mentions a particular sports team or rail on whatever social media site about how unimportant sports are and how hard it is for them to care.
Can it already.
Being condescending about sports doesn’t make you special. It doesn’t make you particularly interesting either (which is not to say loving sports makes you interesting, by the way). Here’s what you’re doing–you’re bemoaning sports, not because it annoys you, nor because it inconveniences you in any way. You’re doing it because you want people to know you don’t like sports as a way to build cultural ethos. It’s an “I don’t bother with sports because it’s a waste of time,” kinda thing. The implication is that a) you are the arbiter of social activity and b) your social events are never, in any way shape or form, a waste of time. You’re like one of those insufferable atheists who feel the need to insult anyone who has a modicum of belief in whatever deity they choose. In other words, you’re being an asshole.
I mean I could give a damn about Downton Abbey, yet my Facebook feed is inundated with “which Downton Abbey character are you” quizzes and references to plot points. Hell, I’ve gone on at length about how terrible Mumford and Sons are as a band and how they have absolutely no redeemable qualities and how you should really be listening to Frightened Rabbit instead.
But, here’s the thing *motions you over*:
I KNOW it’s all fucking subjective. I know that my music tastes are very different. I know that some people really like certain bands and that’s completely ok. I know that, just because I don’t really watch TV it doesn’t mean that others can’t enjoy it. Sports fans are seen as easy prey by lazy intellectuals and it’s very fucking annoying.
But you know what? Those athletes who do those things with their bodies day in and day out? They’re…get this…REAL FUCKING HUMAN BEINGS! They’re not creations of a writers room. They’re not notes from a guitar. They’re people who beat astronomical odds to get to where they are. They’re essentially pushing their bodies to extremes to do the things they do.
There is actual research on these athletes to better understand human physiology. Are there problems with certain sports? Abso-fuckin-lutely! But that’s the thing–we’re living in this world with those same athletes and most of us are aware of the various problems embedded in sport. That doesn’t make sports bad; it makes it more engaging.
So think about THAT next time you fire up Game of Thrones.