Let’s take a break from serious topics. I am a sports fan. On TV, I watch NHL hockey at least once a week during the winter, CFL football somewhat regularly, soccer during the World Cup and occasionally at other times, NFL football during the playoffs or on rainy Sunday afternoons, NBA basketball occasionally, Major League baseball during the playoffs, both winter and summer Olympics in patriotic fashion, even a rare tennis match when Milos Raonic is involved. I also watch our college teams play basketball and volleyball and have watched my sons play soccer in the rain for the past fifteen years, and once every few years I attend an NHL game.
I did watch most of the Super Bowl this past Sunday which was a testament to the cliché that defense may win championships but it does not make for exciting viewing. American football has to be the most boring of all team sports to watch; perhaps this is why they have to have so many auxiliary activities surrounding the game. The whole idea of spectator sports is an odd phenomenon dating back to the gladiatorial games of the Roman Empire which doesn’t make me more comfortable with the idea. Playing a game is one thing but actually paying to watch somebody else play a game seems somewhat absurd when one ponders it even momentarily. It becomes ridiculous when considering the billion dollar industries surrounding teams and the multi-million dollar salaries of people who entertain others by playing a game, never mind all the cheating, doping, gambling, racism, sexism, and corruption that are part of the industry.
Why do we watch sporting events? Is it a diversion from real life similar to sitcoms on TV? Does our obsession with watching sports indicate how bored we are with real life? What does it say about us that entertainers are of the wealthiest people in our society?
So, pushing all the ethical and social justice issues aside for a moment, what do you think is the most interesting team spectator sport in North America?
- Hockey wins primarily for the speed of player and puck movement.
- Basketball is second because they score the most points and players are always moving.
- Soccer has some player and ball movement but with only one or two goals a game it gets boring.
- Baseball is very slow with only two players engaged most of the time while the rest of the players stand around waiting for something to do.
- Football spends more time in the huddle than actually playing and after two weeks of media hype the Super Bowl was disappointing this year.