My thoughts on the role of sports in society have changed drastically over the years, ranging from a multiple-hours-per-day focus of my time personally, to “this whole industry is a bazillion-dollar bread & circus act, intentionally pushed to distract the population—especially men—from what’s really going on in the world.”
After several years of bouncing around, I feel I’ve nailed down the pros & cons of modern sports entertainment, and the best framework for deciding whether it’s a net-good or net-bad in your life.
First, a little background on where I’m coming from:
I grew up in a split household when it came to sports.
My mom came from a family of diehard Oregon Ducks, so she watches all the games she can.
My dad on the other hand, was always of the opinion that watching sports was an energy-sucking waste of time, and avoided it at all costs.
When I was young, I tended to side with my mom, for no other reason than I enjoyed the hype and eye candy as a young lad.
This mild interest in sports evolved into a much deeper part of my identity when I graduated high school, however, as I moved to Seattle to go to school at the University of Washington. For those 4 years, the Seattle sports culture became a huge part of my life.
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Many of my fondest memories at UW were in some way connected to sports. Whether it involved traveling around the country to go to Husky games with my fraternity brothers, pre-game sailgating in Lake Washington with new friends I met drunkenly walking around early-morning gameday house parties, or latching onto the back of a public bus to ride down to Pioneer Square to rage after the Seahawks won the 2014 Super Bowl (true story)…There is zero question that the existence of sports made my life more fun during that period of time.
A couple years after graduating, however, I fell into the Bitcoin rabbit hole, and well…we know how that melts the mind of a world-wandering, beer-guzzling NPC as I was at the time.
My thoughts on sports took a 180.
I felt that on the less extreme end, it was a waste of my own time and life to watch other people fulfilling their dreams instead of pursuing my own. On the more extreme end, I began to question just how big of a part these sporting events played in the global “sheep” effect, I.E. the classic “bread and circus” situation, preventing the masses (especially men) from using their drive and passion to build themselves and the world around them, rather than wasting it on beer and sportsball players on their television sets, and remaining in a state of hypnosis as the big-state bureaucrats continued to have their way with the 99% through inflation, and other stealthy means.
Put more simply: If you were to walk into any sports bar or super bowl party, and try to talk to people about real-world issues like those outlined in the video above…what do you expect the average reaction to be?
Queue the meme:
So, where do I stand today?
Having spent a great deal of time in both camps, my opinion on the habit of sports-viewing can be condensed into the following pros & cons:
- It can foster social interaction, comradery, and fun memories with friends old and new
- It can be a source of inspiration to push through adversity, work hard, and become great (I’d specifically cite UFC/MMA as the epicenter for this one, but that’s a post for another day)
Finally started watching @UFC in the last year, and I gotta say:
If you enjoy sports for the storylines, this is the pinnacle. The amount of adversity these guys go through to make it to the top is next-level motivating.
It’s not for everyone, but in a world that could use some… pic.twitter.com/Nf8bmCZB9b
— PRIMAL.NET/BEN 🦍🥩⚡️ (@benwehrman) April 9, 2023
- Unchecked, it can spiral into becoming a colossal waste of time, energy, money, and in some cases health (beer-drinking, consuming junk food are often culturally-associated with sports-viewing)
- It can act as an outlet for releasing passionate, competitive energy, arguably robbing viewers (again, specifically looking at the bros out there) of the ability to direct that primal drive toward more productive ventures
Overall, I’d say the main mindset sports fans should view this with is the following:
- Is watching [X SPORT] contributing to your life in a positive way, by fulfilling at least one of the criteria in “PROS” above? Or is this activity simply a distraction from you pursuing a more worthwhile mission in life?
- Does watching high-level athletes killing it in their craft suck you into a state of worship/hypnosis? Or does it motivate you to become better, whether that be while lifting at the gym, persevering through difficulties in your life, or being the best you can possibly be at whatever you’re passionate about?
By asking yourself these questions, it should become clear whether or not the occasional indulgence in sportsball can be a positive habit in your routine.
What do you all think? Please share your thoughts below!
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Alright…now that that’s out of the way. . .
🐺☔️ #GoHuskies #CollegeFootballPlayoffs #NationalChampionship2024