Allow me to start with a disclaimer – I am not a sports person. In fact, I never enjoyed the many possible benefits of sports participation, since I was small and fearful. Instead, I was the butt of bullies’ towel snaps, royal flushes, and ben-gay in the jock strap hi-jinks.
My exclusion from playing sports led to a disinterest, if not disdain, for spectator sports. I carried the caricature of the mindless screaming fan who, failing to grow up or forge his own identity, got stuck in the identity moratorium of his teens, and found his only identity in sports fandom. Insult his team and you were insulting him. That’s a tough image to shake, especially if you watch football beer commercials. In truth, I still view spectator sports as largely a serious waste of time.
Candidly though, I waste my time on movies and games (both board and electronic), so I’m not allowing for a little leisure activity. But I wish that people would admit to their own wastage of time on spectator sports. Sure, actually *playing* sports can forge character, and I am all for that, but mere cheering?
The amount of vicarious excitement and idolatry of modern sporting, including the Olympics, ought to be acknowledged, and even spurned by Christians. I realize that saying such a thing sounds as unChristian as questioning whether your country should go to war in the Middle East, but it needs to be said. Here are my reasons for spurning the Olympics.
I didn’t think it was possible, but I actually feel bad for Kobe Bryant. After losing to the Celtics in the NBA Finals, he has to hear his former teammate, Shaq, rip him in a "freestyle rap." I’m not linking it, but TMZ has the video.
The worst part is the catch phrase that Shaq closes out his rhyme with and the fact that the audience began chanting along with him. You know Kobe is going to get the infamous question at every road game for the rest of his career. I wonder when Kobe goes to the Olympics if the Chinese fans will chant:
Uh, Kobe ???????????!
That’s got to be bad even when you hear it in foreign language.
Tammy Thomas is a winning female cyclist. Too bad she’s been winning because of steroid use. Don’t believe it? Just ask the reporter who caught her shaving her face – better yet, just look at her before shaving!
What’s scary is that she is a biological woman, but her face shows signs of "severe virilization," as the doctor’s call it. I’ll say. What’s really funny is, this woman, who presumably has no gender issues, looks more masculine than the pregnant transgender woman being called a ‘pregnant man.’ Gender confusion and perversion are reaching new heights daily in our society, and it should alarm us. We need to pray harder, preach more, allow ourselves to be more transformed by Christ and His Word, and serve others more in order to help save our sick society.
Just in case, if my boss asks you – No, I am not watching the NCAA tournament live on the internet at work. I would never subscribe to be a March Madness On Demand VIP, so that I can get into watching the games even faster online. I’m not doing that.
I repeat – I am not watching basketball on my computer right now. Just thought you should now that.
In an odd convergence of circumstances, the newest non-NFL football league had to postpone, perhaps indefinitely, the start of their inaugural season, the same day the last remaining USFL player retired from the NFL. Both of those event coincide with the 25th anniversary of the first game USFL, the last league to be semi-competitive with the NFL since the merger of the AFL.
This begs the question, do we have too much football in America?
This has to be my favorite time of the year. Flowers are dotting the landscape. Temperatures are creeping up. Productivity is dropping rapidly thanks to March Madness and the NCAA tournament. Millions of work hours are lost with employees researching obscure directional schools, while being overly concerned about the tweaked shoulder of the shooting guard of a school they knew nothing about two days ago.
The tournament is such an up-in-the-air, unpredictable, loveable mess, here are my random thoughts on this years bracket.
As some of you know, I could care less about spectator sports – in fact, I’ve worked hard to not despise people who waste time with any ego investment in sports teams. So, my wife decides to invite our friends from church over to my house today for a super bowl party? Sheesh, in three hours my house is gonna be full of hot wings and soda. Sigh. At least I like the people coming over.
But what makes the super bowl fun are the commercials (last year I recorded the game and just watched the commercials). The funnest thing I’ve seen this year is the Doritos promotion where they asked people to submit commercials, and people voted on the winner. My absolute fav is the checkout girl.
Look at the slate of bowl games this year and explain to me how this is not a seriously flawed system.
After you’ve looked over that slate of games, tell me you are jacked about the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsetta Bowl. Rave about the two meaningless non-BCS bowl games played in the middle of the BCS bowls. Even the big bowls seem to lack something this year. Who can’t wait to see blue turf Boise State play an Oklahoma team without their best player? Who’s all excited for the big Louisville, Wake Forest Orange Bowl?
Remember when Gonzaga was an upstart that couldn’t crack the polls, but was a consistent tournament team and one that nobody wanted to play? Today the Bulldogs are a college basketball powerhouse with games on ESPN.
The next Gonzaga has arrived and they are located less than an hour from my house – meet the Winthrop Eagles. The #2 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels certainly did last night.
So, Rutgers rallied to beat Louisville. Now that leaves four unbeatens in college football: Ohio State, Michigan…Rutgers…and Boise State?!? Since when did Rutgers, Boise State and Louisville for that matter figure into big time college football?
Not that I don’t like the story and all, but I don’t think Rutgers escapes West Virginia and if Rutgers hasn’t played anybody, Boise State really hasn’t played anybody. That leaves us with all the regulars. The national championship will be between the winner of the Ohio State, Michigan game and the winner of the SEC (if they still only have one loss).
As much as I hate the non-playoff, number driven system of the BCS, it does make all these games more interesting.
After three mid-major teams made the Sweet 16,
after George Mason made the Final Four, after virtually every mid-major team playing well in the tournament, Billy Packer and Jim Nantz refuse to acknowledge they were totally wrong about including more mid-majors in the NCAA tournament.
After the whole Billy Packer debacle (I would have loved to seen him when mid-majors won the first two games), I began to question the intelligence of CBS and their analysts.
After going to their website and reading from their analysts, I no longer have to question their intelligence – I know they’re morons.
Watching Billy Packer and Jim Natz caustically dismiss the NCAA Tournament selection committee chair Craig Littlepage last night, would be like watching someone chastise David for using a sling in his bout with Goliath. Packer and Natz seemed to be upset that David was getting a fair shake: "Take your mid-major Cinderellas and go home, we want mediocre, underachieving Goliaths from the power conferences."
More reason for me to love J.J. Redick and Sam to despise him – It seems Duke’s all-time leading scorer is a Christian and has two Bible verses tatooed on his torso. All that could make it better would be for Duke to win a national championship and for him to thank Jesus. I could probably hear Sam scream all the way from West Virginia.
Many people have no idea who to cheer for in Sunday’s game. This may be the Super Bowl with the most questions about the two teams. Seattle was the NFC’s number one seed, but they played in basically southern Alaska and no one (especially the East coast) knew anything about them. Pittsburgh was the number six seed. They had to beat the top three AFC’s seeds, including the one seed and Super Bowl favorite Colts, to reach the game.
So many of you may not know who to pull for in a game that you are only watching for the commercials. Well I am here to add more confusion for you.