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The Religion Of Sports


Neon Genesis
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Does anyone else also get pissed off with how fanatical people can get over sports, like it's a religion or something? Like one that annoys me is when parents try to indoctrinate children in a sport. Like when I was a kid, my dad always made me try to play a sport even if I had no interest in it or if I was terrible at playing it. Like one time my dad asked me if I wanted to play baseball and I said I didn't care about it, but then he insisted I had to play it anyway even though I'm terrible at sports and I ended up getting kicked off the team for being horrible. There's nothing wrong with letting kids have the opportunity to play sports and it can be a great way to teach kids self-esteem and teamwork but this only works if 1)you're already popular or 2)you're actually good at sports. If the child is horrible at it or doesn't fit in with the team because they aren't popular, then I fail to see how this is going to boost their self-esteem. I also get annoyed that sometimes parents act like sports is the only way to teach kids these things. I stopped playing sports and my self-esteem isn't much worse than most other people. I also don't get why people act like being introverted = lack of self-esteem or that all kids must be extroverted and it's unhealthy if they aren't. Another thing I don't get is why do some people continue to worship their state's team of whatever sport they like even if the team sucks. Like my dad every year keeps ranting about how our state's college football team sucks, but the next year he keeps watching them anyway. Since when is there a rule that says you have to worship your state's football team?

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Sports is the purest example of modern tribalism. "My team" has replaced "my tribe," but that's about the only thing that's changed.

 

The reason most people seem to think introverts have something wrong with them is because most people are extroverts - especially the biggest celebrities. People tend to equate fame with success, and knowing most famous people are extroverts, they further assume one must necessarily act like an extrovert in order to be successful. There's certainly a boatload of logical fallacies in that "reasoning," but that's the way society seems to see it.

 

Most extroverts just don't "get" introverts - how we think, how we can enjoy doing things they find boring or unpleasant or how we can hate being around other people. It's not usually malicious - in fact most people, parents especially, have only the purest intentions when trying to encourage introverts to be more outgoing. They simply don't understand.

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Yes on all accounts. Parents pretty much ruin every sport you try to play in high school. They get so competitive and pretty much drive the kids into not caring. There's a pretty good South Park episode about this actually. But I remember more than a few family feuds were started because of sports when in was in school.

 

Most extroverts just don't "get" introverts - how we think, how we can enjoy doing things they find boring or unpleasant or how we can hate being around other people. It's not usually malicious - in fact most people, parents especially, have only the purest intentions when trying to encourage introverts to be more outgoing. They simply don't understand.

We need to just start our own nation somewhere. No extroverts allowed. :P

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We need to just start our own nation somewhere. No extroverts allowed. :P

Its called the "internet." Heard of it?

 

mwc

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In college I had a roommate that was a sports fiend. He and his clones would gather around the tube and go through cathartic emotional highs and lows together over a ball being tossed about. He caught on that I didn't give a rats ass about sports and he said to me emotionally one day "You hate football don't you?!" I replied that I didn't hate it, it was simply irrelevant to me. Maybe I'm a football atheist... Nah, I know it exists, I just don't care.

 

I can actually watch German soccer though, and occasionally American baseball. I enjoy playing volleyball with friends, and liked softball back in school in PE class. That's about it.

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My pet peeve with sports is the insane, insane amount of money people are willing to pay for the sport. Not only to participate but to attend the events as well. Tickets go for an absolutely gross amount of money. I can’t help thinking if only people had the same enthusiasm for paying for their police force, their fireman, their nurses, their military how much we could change the world. I myself am a nurse and have friends that are police officers and fireman and friends fighting in the war. I think especially for them. Why do they do it, it’s not like people appreciate what you are doing. The fireman and police officers, military never know what they are getting into with each stop of the car; knock on the door, fire they attend patrol they go out on. This could very well be the last thing they ever do for about 30-40 thousand a year, when we pay our sports “heros” millions of dollars a year without batting an eyelash. Then to make the matter even crappier, you are always covering your ass against lawsuits. When was the last time a fan sued his sports hero for not performing his job as well as he expected him to?

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I've never understood why grown men like to watch grown men chase a ball around... never made much sense to me as a kid, either.

 

The wife has drug me to a few baseball games over the years. She always has to explain what's going on after I've spaced out for a while. I mostly just pay attention to the beer.

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Great topic Neon!

It's just nuts down here isn't it? I was always the book worm, and by contrast my older brother by six years was a sports fanatic(Still is). Football, basketball , and softball. The damn jock worship in high school has always made it suck for guys like you and me, who'd rather read or do more "nerdy" things.

 

 

Isker, glad to see I'm not the only who finds football utterly boring. I remember back in 1986 going to a Alabama Vs Temple game because our College and Career Sunday School teacher got us some free tickets. I tried to get into it...

I started falling asleep in the stands.

 

Football fucking scares me down here in Alabama. Bear Bryant has almost been elevated to godlike status down here, and the way the carry on about current Tide coach Nick Saban, you'd think Jesus came back.

With the fanaticism down here, it wouldn't Surprise me if one morning,I read in the Birmingham News that someone had sacrificed an infant to Bear Bryant.

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I've never understood why grown men like to watch grown men chase a ball around... never made much sense to me as a kid, either.

 

The wife has drug me to a few baseball games over the years. She always has to explain what's going on after I've spaced out for a while. I mostly just pay attention to the beer.

Lots o' folks will say otherwise, but this is, in fact, the only optimal way to experience a baseball game. Other sports are slightly more engaging, but they're all better when there's beer available.

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For me sports have always been on TV. We don't have a national Football, baseball, hockey, or basketball team for our state. Only in the last 15 years or so have we had a Regional Hockey team.

 

So for me, growing up, sports has been like a boring tv show. Only as I've gotten older have I bothered to take any interest at all in the nuances of football. I enjoy football...but I don't pay much attention until the playoffs. I don't give much thought to stats or anything.

 

When Regional Hockey came in, I admit, I enjoy that. But not to the extent that I have to attend EVERY game. I'll go to one here and there maybe.

 

Last year, when I was visiting my BF in Indy, his dad called and invited us to watch the Colts game. I had to get clarification that this was "Live" and not a gethering taking place at a house to watch tv (they thought this was funny and cute...I felt like a goof, but oh well).

 

So My First Football game took place in a ground level suite right down on the field in the endzone of the new stadium. You could have touched the cheerleaders, flag bearers and mascots. We were CLOSE. And standing there looking UP and AROUND at a mass of humanity that numbered greater than the population of the city I LIVE in..... O.O Introvert overload!!

 

I mean..... REAL fireworks were going off INSIDE the building!!! And...the Field goal kicks were getting caught in a net over our heads! And when the offensive line were facing us readying for a play....when you are right on the same level, these guys look and feel like they are going to come right through you! Holyshit!!

 

It was a heck of an experience...but not something I could handle every week!

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I think football can actually be fun to watch on TV, but it requires being in a certain mindset, and even then it's rare I can actually sit down for more than a half hour at a time. Basketball is similar, but I lose patience with it even quicker. Hockey, much as I love it, really needs to be seen live - I can't explain it, but there's just something lost when the game is broadcast. Baseball bores me to tears regardless.

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Sports saved my life in high school, and I'm introverted. I don't know where people are getting this idea that introverted people won't enjoy any type of sports. Just because you don't get energy from being around people all the time doesn't mean that you can't enjoy being on a team. I liked that I didn't have to fake being outgoing or in a new social situation, because I was comfortable with my teammates.

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Over here we have three football codes, Rugby Union, Rugby League, and Aussie Rules, a version of Gaelic football. Union is a "Thug's game played by gentlemen"; League is a "Gentleman's game played by thugs"; and Aussie Rules is known to those who don't like it as "Cross Country Basketball". Then there's horseracing of which we have flat racing, trotting, and a modified form of steeplechasing. Of horseracing, our Melbourne Cup is the horse race, but more on that later.

 

Then of course there's Cricket, one day matches and Test Matches, but you don't want to know about that. Most Americans simply can't understand Cricket. They're not alone; nor do I understand it. Then there's the minor sports, like wife-beating, Mexican PT (otherwise known as sleeping), and elbow-bending (better known as drinkin').

 

All of the major sports mentioned have their fanatical followers. Rugby League, Aussie Rules and horseracing are The Big Three where I live, League being the biggest by far. Every year we have The State of Origin match between Queensland and New South Wales. That's because we never had a Civil War in this country, y'see. However I must say, even though I dread the time of those three League matches (you hear nothing but talk of them and this player or that), that it's at least better than a Civil War. We can well be doing without that particular "sport", thank'ee very much. On the other hand, we have zillions of people who could, if they were pressed, name every Melbourne Cup winner from Archer onwards, but know nothing of their own country's history, nor the history of any other place. Sad really.

 

I have little against these "idols of the marketplace" as they were once known, in general that is, but I do have two things against them in particular. One goes back to when I was at catholic boarding school. Every Saturday afternoon in season, we boarders were forced to watch our 1st XV play, whether we would or no. If it were an away match we'd be sent in buses, but the worst of that was having to chant this or that on cue, including the damn team song, which was based on the US Marine's Hymn. Yes, you heard that right. Now if I'd enlisted in that outfit, I don't suppose I'd have any objection to singing their song; as it was, being forced to sing a parody of it seemed to me the last word in fawning, toadying, arse-hole creeping, and sucking-up in general.

 

Besides which, the school's policies being fascist, I really didn't see why they couldn't have adopted the Horst Wessel Song to the purpose, or failing that, a catchy little tune known as Wenn Alle Untreu Werden, or, in extremis, Deutschland Erwache!. You can find all of these tunes on You Tube if you can be bothered to look. I know they wouldn't have liked the first tune, but that's only because the words were written by a pimp. The last tune goes to the air of a well known Anglican hymn (in addition to being just a little racist) so that's why they wouldn't like it, but the second one being full of "Loyalty unto Death" and various other bits of eyewash, I really don't see what possible objections they could have had to it.

 

My other objection to modern sports fanaticism is the number of "Monday morning quarterbacks" it generates. When I was a member of a local big-bore rifle club many years ago, we had a few members who could have co-authored a large volume on the subject. Every friggin' footy season they'd be on about sacking this or that team member, and what they'd do if they ran the team. Same with the cricket, and all this from people who firstly were so unfit they couldn't have run out of sight on a dark night, secondly, most of whom for years had lifted nothing heavier than their dick, and thirdly, were nonetheless known to boast they didn't dare to drop that with a crash, "On account of it'd break me leg!"

 

One such of our members once got our club Armourer to bed a rifle for him. For those of you not acquainted with the shooting sports, that involves a lot of work fitting a rifle's action and barrel to its stock so that the weapon will shoot with consistent minute-of-angle accuracy every time it's fired. Not a task for the faint-hearted, and not a task that suffers fools gladly. Well, said Armourer bedded said rifle for said member, who then complained it wouldn't shoot properly. Despite the Armourer's not-so-subtle (and proven) hints that this was "down to the nut behind it", said member took to the bedding himself. After that butchery, the rifle couldn't have hit the back wall of a barn from inside of it.

 

When the Armourer saw that, his reaction was a well-deserved classic: "You fucked it, now you fix it!" Makes one wonder what some people would achieve if they really did coach/manage various sports teams, don't it?

Casey

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Sports saved my life in high school, and I'm introverted. I don't know where people are getting this idea that introverted people won't enjoy any type of sports. Just because you don't get energy from being around people all the time doesn't mean that you can't enjoy being on a team. I liked that I didn't have to fake being outgoing or in a new social situation, because I was comfortable with my teammates.

 

 

It's not that introverted people don't like sports or being on teams, we aren't saying that at all. But there is a factor to sports you are leaving out...and that's where introverts can have a problem. Being on a team is good...you have a job to do, a goal to perform, and that is that. But you are completely disregarding the experience of being an introvert in the audience watching the sport. Totally different experience. When you are on the team...the audience is "fenced out"...the mob is not all over you until maybe the end of the game, and a lot of the time not even then.

 

For an introvert in the stands....the experience of attending the game is different. We are IN the crowd, not observing the human mass from a comfortable distance. There is no escaping the crowd...go to get food tons of people. Get a beer...tons of people. Head for the restroom...tons of people. Complete strangers passing through and sitting within our comfort zone for 3 hours or so. Yelling and hollering the whole time. Exhausting.

 

It's different when you are the performer. Be it a play or a game field, you recieve input from the audience from a known distance. Introverts do quite well in that scenario.

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Sports saved my life in high school, and I'm introverted. I don't know where people are getting this idea that introverted people won't enjoy any type of sports. Just because you don't get energy from being around people all the time doesn't mean that you can't enjoy being on a team. I liked that I didn't have to fake being outgoing or in a new social situation, because I was comfortable with my teammates.

 

I was forced to participate in sports as a kid. I was usually ostracized and brutalized by the other kids. (I have Asperger's Syndrome.) All I remember is gripping apprehension before every meet, constant violence (at least this retard knew how to fight back, I am proud to say) while the coaches looked the other way, and me yelling and screaming at my dad for making me go and him bellowing that I wouldn't grow up to be a "real man" if I didn't do sports and shit like that. Not to mention him telling me "don't be such a pussy" when I would bitch about the other kids fucking with me.

 

He eventually relented, but by then, I was already mentally ill and couldn't even go to school anymore. (Had pronounced schizophrenia-like symptoms between age 13 and age 16. Occasionally, Asperger's expresses itself in such an aberrant fashion.) That wasn't why, but it sure didn't help.

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I was really into football when I was young, like 9 or 10. This might have been pressure from my dad, but not direct. More like I joined because for some reason I felt I had to. I wasn't half bad, but I wasn't that good either, and I didn't like it very much. I told my dad I didn't want to play anymore, and he was cool with it. Like, really cool with it, it didn't really matter to him. For the record, I have really awesome parents so that wasn't very surprising.

A few years later I got into baseball almost as much. Basically the same thing happened.

After that I came to the same conclusion most of you have, its kind of an elitist/tribal thing. I still admit to being a passive fan of The Bears, and a big fan of The Cubs, but I enjoy the game and don't get caught up in it much.

I have to admit however that watching baseball is one of my favorite things to do, it's just not something to go crazy over. Its just something to sit back and relax/watch, and get a nice rush of excitement every now and again.

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Sports strikes me as a total waste of a person's life. I don't get the win/lose thing. On either side people end up looking like jerks. It seems pointless, yet look how highly our society values these teams and players, showering them with loads of cash.

 

My father has always been completely hooked on watching this stuff on TV. Almost any kind of sport and its on 24/7. If its not that, its FOX News. It must be just like a drug for him. I always had the feeling he would rather watch TV than be with his family.

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Nothing ruined sports for me than those stupid people who felt the rules were important and those god-awful people who insisted that “we should keep score!” I played softball with the neighbor kids all the time when I was very young and had a great time and got some good exercise. Then I got to middle school and suddenly one of my favorite pastimes was destroyed with regimentation and a fanatical drive to WIN! For six years I was FORCED to play sports. Back in the 1970’s in California, physical education (gym) was required every single freaking semester! The only time we got out of it was when it rained, but I lived in LA and hardly ever rained. I loathed every moment of it. I did not learn sportsmanship nor did I make great new friends. Instead I learned that if you are not good at sports you are a target for humiliation and ridicule. Even after six years of forced sports I never learned the rules of football or basketball, I did not want to know how to play it, so I forced myself to ignore everything that went on around me. I once made a touchdown (some dolt threw me the ball, and I actually caught it) for the opposing team. I thought it was funny, but for some reason my teammates failed to see the humor in it.

 

I am completely baffled by the emotions I witness with so many men who view sports. This bizarre affiliation for a group of people you have never met is just weird. How can a bunch of guys on a field throwing a ball around hundreds of miles away make their dick shrivel or expand, it’s just odd. Sports fans also have a tendency to make themselves part of the team. I keep hearing, “WE WON! WE WON!” No you didn’t, you sat on your ass eating Doritos! They won! You have no more right to feel pride about the win than I do, and I assure you that I felt absolutely nothing . :thanks:

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I grew up in L.A. too, but they made us do PE inside the gym when it rained. And there was indeed a rainy season, between about... oh... January and March, maybe? It would rain like a motherfucker for several weeks. The washes would flood over, oak trees and telephone poles would be uprooted, hillsides would collapse burying families of five, the corpses of homeless dudes would wash up in Malibu. And then you'd see not a fucking drop for the next nine months. It actually rains more frequently in Las Vegas. Just not nearly as much.

 

Well, sometimes it would be a bonus because we would get to play Earth Ball. Anybody remember that?

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I grew up in L.A. too, but they made us do PE inside the gym when it rained. And there was indeed a rainy season, between about... oh... January and March, maybe? It would rain like a motherfucker for several weeks. The washes would flood over, oak trees and telephone poles would be uprooted, hillsides would collapse burying families of five, the corpses of homeless dudes would wash up in Malibu. And then you'd see not a fucking drop for the next nine months. It actually rains more frequently in Las Vegas. Just not nearly as much.

 

Well, sometimes it would be a bonus because we would get to play Earth Ball. Anybody remember that?

 

I grew up in Orange County to be a bit more precise. When it rained we had gym inside too, but we got to play badminton with the girls on the basketball court. I actually like playing badminton, I like any sport where if you miss the ball (well shuttlecock in this case) you don't have to go chasing after it. I could usually find other players who just wanted to see how long we could keep the shuttlecock going over the net, rather than doing something stuipid like trying to win. Also, I found that tennis is much more fun without a net!

 

Yea, I have to agree about the rain. When it rains in California it pours. After leaving So Cal I moved to San Francisco and lived there in the 80's and 90's. In the Bay Area in rains A LOT during January and February and you think it will never end. Then it does for a long long time.

 

IBF

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I like any sport where if you miss the ball (well shuttlecock in this case) you don't have to go chasing after it. I could usually find other players who just wanted to see how long we could keep the shuttlecock going over the net

This just needs a missionary fantasy and we've got the best (mildly offensive) gay joke I've ever told. :HaHa:

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This rant gets five ***** from me, lol. :-) We've never forced our children to participate in sports and we aren't fans of any either.

 

When my oldest, now 14, was born all I heard was, "Wow, he's definitely going to be a football player!" He was a big baby boy and now he's 6'2, slender and DOES NOT play football. He prefers to workout on his own and play "sports" with his buddies in the street--he chooses not to play on a team. He'd make an excellent addition to a swim team but refuses to wear speedos, lol.

 

I don't understand the hype surrounding sports figures anymore than I do people idolizing celebrities. I agree that the price for tickets to sporting events is outrageous, and I think athletes are overpaid. They run a ball down the field and make millions whereas those risking their lives to save others are paid peanuts--and no one seems to be bothered as they continually shell out cash to go to athletic competitions.

 

That said, I know many sports fan and think the world of them--but I still don't get the obsession. :-)

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I like any sport where if you miss the ball (well shuttlecock in this case) you don't have to go chasing after it. I could usually find other players who just wanted to see how long we could keep the shuttlecock going over the net

This just needs a missionary fantasy and we've got the best (mildly offensive) gay joke I've ever told. :HaHa:

 

 

Go for it Woody, I left myself wide open with the use of "shuttlecock" just to give you an opportunity to express some humor. I would be disappointed if you let it pass.

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Sports saved my life in high school, and I'm introverted. I don't know where people are getting this idea that introverted people won't enjoy any type of sports. Just because you don't get energy from being around people all the time doesn't mean that you can't enjoy being on a team. I liked that I didn't have to fake being outgoing or in a new social situation, because I was comfortable with my teammates.
I don't mind people that like sports even if I think sports are boring. What annoys me are those parents who think that absolutely everyone must play sports even if the child has no athletic skills and is terrible at it and obviously not enjoying it. You don't see parents insisting that children should play chess because it helps sharpens the mind or whatever but for some reason, kids are expected to like chasing a ball around for two hours.
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