On sports

Note: If you like spending time watching sports and it doesn’t interfere with your other priorities, good for you!  This isn’t about being Captain Buzzill here.  I’m just sharing where I’ve saved a lot of time and broken some bad habits.  

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I watch very few sporting events for the same reason I don’t gamble.  In absolute terms, the pain of losing $50 is much greater than the joy of winning $50.  Same thing with sports: The joy of my team winning after a 3-4 hour investment is much less than the irritation of them losing. Same thing for college sports.  Do I really want to let a mistake of some 20 year old on the playing field impact how much I enjoy my weekend?

And consider how in most leagues your team has a 1 in 30 chance of winning the championship.  Even if you are as fortunate as I’ve been as a Lakers / Steelers fan (yeah!), you will still have many more losing years than winning years.

It used to be that your team could win a championship, then you’d read about it for a week or so in Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News and that would be it.  Now you get many times the coverage of every lousy team every week than you used to get in a year.  You can waste much more time than before.

And it isn’t just that these athletes don’t care about you as a person (given that they don’t even know you), it is that they often have contempt for you and your views. At the risk of using a cliche, there is way, way too much information about athletes now.  The more I learn about what they think, the more I dislike them.  Magic Johnson shilling for Obamacare?  Kobe tweeting support for Jason Collins?  (Yeah, because Kobe is the go-to guy for sexual mores, right?)  The Steelers’ owner stumped extensively for Obama just because of his race?  Ugh.  And on and on.

So if you enjoy sports, that’s great.  It can be a great way to spend time with family and friends.  But I found one of the biggest savers of time and frustration ever by being very judicious about what I watch and read about.

Switching gears, how about sports participation?  I’m a huge fan of exercise and its many benefits.  We should all do at least a little exercise.  But hobbies like golf can become their own gods if we aren’t careful.  This was an excellent piece about putting golf in its place.  I’ve known people who golfed both days every weekend then lived with the guilt of drug-addicted kids (possibly unrelated, but . . .).  It is easy to pick on golf because I’ve only golfed twice, and those occasions were under duress (work outings).  As I’ve always said, other than being too time-consuming, expensive and frustrating, golf is the perfect sport.

But before you golf lovers hate on me, I concede that our idol-factory minds can make gods of any hobby.   The challenge is to keep whatever we do in perspective and do it for the right reasons.

So I encourage you to take a zero based budgeting approach with your sports time and see if it is in balance with what you want to accomplish in life.

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2 thoughts on “On sports”

  1. Love me some sports. Current job will force me to DVR Bears games this year at least. Will only miss a portion of the 82 regular season Bulls games. Am a fan of both Cubs and Sox, but never watched or listened to all 162 regular season games of either. I do enjoy watching when time allows. I reserved Sundays for Bears and tried to catch every Bulls game I could. Not much of a hockey fan, but was drawn to becoming one with recent Blackhawk success. I resisted. Can’t afford the time to take on another team of any sport or level. Didn’t go to college so I have no dog in any college level race. Used to be into boxing, but have lost track of who’s who in the sport. If I stumble upon a match while channel surfing, I will check it out until it proves itself unwatchable. The last big fight I saw was the Manny Pacquiao/Juan Márquez back in 2012, and boy was I glad I did.

    My personal participation is fairly non-existent these days. Used to bowl frequently and made money gambling while doing so. Took up golf but don’t have the time for that, either. Martial arts? Not so much anymore. I actually have opportunity for some or all of it, but just haven’t worked it out. I’ve no doubt I would be more involved in some sport if I was retired, so I’m hoping I can retire sooner rather than later.

    It’s all entertainment and recreation to me. I’m not emotionally invested in my teams except that it all meshes with my competitive spirit. Sports helps to maintain the attitude necessary to deal with obstacles in life. Finding the way to win, to meet challenges and persevere. I get bummed when my teams lose, but only briefly because there’s another game coming up. I almost enjoy them more when they’ve not yet become great teams than when they are—it’s more dramatic.

    I don’t know if I would say that sports is my god, but it is my thing, if you know what I mean. So is music. So, of course, is my family. I strive to do all things in a manner that aligns with and hopefully is pleasing to my actual God.

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  2. BTW, this article has caused me to give some thought about my excessive love for sports. So during the game with the Aggies last night, I remained calm and was set on accepting the results no matter the outcome. 🙂

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