Do you feel that organized sports is too highly stressed in American society these days?
Why or why not?
Not at all, sports bring so much good in so many ways!!! I find the fact that American society promotes it in such an active way one of the great assets of the USA. In Mexico sports are completely disregarded and don´t even figure in most of the schools.
Bravo to Mexico for not including sports (games) with school (learning)! The US is filled with former sports stars from all levels who are disabled and have no other skills. And kids aspire to this against all odds of success and blind to failure.
It's anything but original to point out that we prefer to be distracted from our problems rather than meet them head-on -- and that we will pay almost any price to those who provide these distractions.
It has been this way for many years. If by "stressed" you mean that sports have too much importance and visibility, we have only to look at the science-fiction salaries that many professional athletes are paid. Is their contribution to our society in any way commensurate with the millions of dollars they are paid? To ask the question is to answer it: of course not. Popular music and movies provide a similar kind of escape, and these businesses are also rewarded out of all proportion to their contributions.
Compare that to the inadequate salaries paid to teachers, scientists and other educators who make the true contributions that enable the continuation and improvement of human life on our planet. The disparity has long since become a cliche.
Sadder still is that children continue to be encouraged to regard professional athletes as role models, as if their athletic prowess also makes them exemplary human beings. We have learned in nauseating detail know how grotesquely untrue this is in most cases. In addition, big-time college football and basketball players continue to be portrayed as "student-athletes" -- a fiction that high visibility universities and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are complicit in perpetuating.
Those seeking a remedy to this financial corruption of our sports-factory institutions are encouraged to read Rick Telander's 1979 book, "The Hundred-Yard Lie." It recommends that universities drop the fiction of the student-athlete and sign football and basketball players the same way professional sports teams do. These players can seek a college degree if they want to.
I believe that the current imbalances will end only when the TV money runs out, which it will -- someday. When it does, there will be a lot of athletes, agents, boosters and drug dealers looking to replace incomes that have vanished.
(No need to disparage the fact I had to ask the question to start the discussion.) I agree with the meat of what you say. 21st century "Bread and Circuses". But athletes: how much $$ to forever cripple their bodies? Not what they get now, but what?
My apologies to Laura: I did not intend to disparage the question. I should have used some word like "overemphasized" or something like that. No disrespect meant.
No problem, mfb71 :-). I was probably over-sensitive in the first place. Loved your 'sci-fi salaries' adjective. So apropo! I was really hoping we'd get a rousing discussion going on both sides, rather than complacency/acceptance. (sigh) Cheers!
Football, basketball, and baseball seem to have had a high emphasis as Hollywood in America for many decades. I think those are mostly for entertainment. However, some of the organized sports like CrossFit are being more emphasized on television, and I think it's great because it gives people motivation and hope as it's something they can actually do themselves. We need more of this in American society since statistics show that we are an overweight, obese, and unhealthy society.
Of course it is. There are so many athletes who make more money than the president. That's not right. I love sports, but let's not forget, these athletes are playing a game. The stakes shouldn't be so high as to lead to the harmful effects of head injuries in football, for instance, which have brought on early dementia and depression. You could say the athletes deserve the money, especially considering the short career span and the longterm dangers of participation, but these are industries where ticket prices increase at a faster rate than inflation. And when you consider the obesity epidemic it strikes me as a crazy thing that an unhealthy person is spending money to watch someone else stay fit.
Tim, I agree 100%! It's disgusting to watch highly trained athletes destroy their bodies permanently. I'd much rather watch a game of pick-up basket ball at the local playground for free (while swinging, high as possible).Thanks, Tim! Glad we agree!
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