Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I have a secret

I have a secret that I've kept inside for a while.  I'm worried to tell you my secret, because if I spill the beans, your view of me would change.  It may change drastically. 

My secret is an opinion on something, an opinion that if revealed would be like your best friend revealing to you that your girlfriend is ugly, is no good for you, and that you should dump her on her butt.

My secret:
I think following sports is a waste of time. 

Before you kick me in the nuts, let me explain myself.
I know this goes against society, as people in the USA spend billions on direct TV, sport packages, season tickets, jerseys, and spend endless hours watching ESPN, listening to sports talk radio and reading only the sports section in the paper.
Don't get me wrong, sports are great for those who are playing them and I encourage everyone to play their favorite sport for as long as they possibly can and push themselves to achieve all they can.

The benefits of sports are unmatched.  There have been several studies that have proven the advantages sports can have on high school students' self-esteem, GPA and well being.  Its also been well documented that many life lessons can be learned through athletics.  I myself am passionate about playing and improving my game, which I think is good and healthy.

Being passionate about playing sports is one thing, but being passionate about following sports is completely different.

In a study performed in the psychology department at the University of Utah, professors discovered that depending on the outcome of a sporting event, a man's testosterone level will either go up or down depending on if the team they are following wins or loses.  Obviously testosterone levels can greatly affect a man's mood.  If the guy's team loses, they feel a little less manly.  But if the team they are following wins, they feel stronger, are more confident, and are in a better mood.

My question:  Why follow something where you have no control in the outcome of the game and subsequently your frame of mind?  I have friends who tell me they don't like to think about the Vikings 1998 NFC championship game loss to the Falcons, because it depresses them.  Losing a friend is depressing, but a football game (that took place 12 years ago), where they had no control in the outcome is not depressing!  Give me a break!

This isn't the main reason why I think following sports is a waste of time.  The main reason: There are SO many better things you could be doing with your life.

You could:
-Figure out what you are passionate about and find a way to make money off of your passion.
-Go play football with your son.
-Take the light rail into downtown with your family.
-Volunteer to help in your town or to mentor a kid.
-Talk to your spouse or even go on a date
-Read a book or two
-Learn a new language
-Give your parents a call on the phone

None of these suggestions above are perfect.  But they are better than sitting in front of the TV on a glorious Sunday afternoon in the fall.

I hope I don't sound like a hypocrite, because I do occasionally listen to the Twins on the radio, or go to a Gopher basketball game.  I admit, I admire what some of these athletes can do and enjoy watching that, but no longer will a win or loss determine how I feel for the rest of the day, week, or the next 12 years.

Just like a good friend tells you the truth even though it hurts, let me tell you this:  The professional sports you follow are a waste of time - you should dump them.


  1. BOOO. haha I was following you pretty well but you just lost me. Perhaps the excitement with the peaks and valleys is a good thing for 3 hours on a sunday. I myself like those lazy three hours were nothing is required of me but watching a 54 inch screen. Besides it keeps you in the loop for water cooler discussions the next day.

  2. Brother,

    You get a pass because you don't have a wife or kids (that you know of).