Why I Stopped Watching College and Professional Sports

I Wasted Too Much Time Watching People Play Games I was investing too much time and energy into watching people play games, grown people playing. I know the world is going to hell in a hand basket and everybody is looking for an escape, but guess…

Why I Stopped Watching College and Professional Sports
Photo by Nathan Shively on Unsplash

I stopped watching or following professional and college sports a few years ago. Now , full disclaimer here, I still buy my team memorabilia from time to time (Carolina girl here), but that’s pretty much it. There are too many important things going on in this country to be lulled anymore by entertainment. I was blind, but now I can see, clearly. America needs to get off of the entertainment cruise ship.

I’m off and I’m never going back.

I Wasted Lots of Time Watching People Play

I was investing too much time and energy into watching people play games, grown people playing. I know the world is going to hell in a hand basket and everybody is looking for an escape, but guess what? There is no escape. When the games are over, real life slaps me in the face. I could use my free time better doing things like reading, writing on Medium, finding a new place to visit locally, or doing something outdoors. Spending all day Saturday tailgating and all-day Sunday on the sofa, at friend’s homes, or at sports bars is a lot of time away from my own home where I could be doing something more constructive.

The NFL Protests

The NFL really opened my eyes and showed me the capitalism in professional sports. I stopped caring about professional football. I don’t want to patronize a business in any way that doesn’t take the concerns of my sons, my nephews, their friends, my male cousins, and my friends seriously. The NFL owners exhibited a form of power that had been out of eye shot. Black folks thought they had arrived by getting their kids out of the hood and onto the football field. If businesses don’t see the connection between the people who play in their leagues and the communities from whence they came, then they don’t deserve my patronage. People think it’s cool to sit and watch people play all sorts of games today, even professional sports video games.

I personally think it’s a waste of time, and that time could be used to socially engage with real people. Besides, technology makers don’t even allow their kids to use the crap…it should be a warning siren to us all. Instead we just ignore the warnings and act like its not big deal, until something bad happens.

It’s Just Not That Serious

I’m worried about 45 and what my status in this society will be if he gets his way to allow supremacist to reign supreme. They are ready to take up arms and defend their segregationist, fascist stances at a moment’s notice. They have infiltrated all our institutions. I don’t know who I am encountering on any given day. Suddenly, football isn’t important. I need to be focused, and I can’t do so if I am worried about who was traded, what plays were made on Sundays, Monday nights, and Thursday nights. I need to be getting my shit together. Nothing those players do on the field will impact my life in when things get real.

We’re Entertained Too Much

We all are too intoxicated on entertainment. If it’s not professional or college sports, it’s reality television, movies, video games, social media, or games on our devices. We are constantly distracted with superficial things that don’t really matter. I’m trying to reduce the amount of entertainment I access in my life. I’m enjoying the outdoors before I die, accessing the library more, and doing business stuff. The amount of time I committed to being entertained without realizing it is ridiculous. I drastically reduced my time on social media to zero, and I cut out football all day on Sunday. I fish instead. The clarity I gain is astounding.

I Watched Partly Out of Necessity- Life Changes

My sons played sports. They were year-round athletes. Not having any daughters meant I had to learn boy and men stuff. I spent a lot of time with a lot of sports junkies, so it was really like learning a new language. It was fun and necessary for a season in my life. My kids are gone now, they live out of state, so there is no fun watching football, playing fantasy sports, etc. Not only that, professional sports were one of the few things my ex and I did together besides fishing. I decided to let go of the old and embrace the new. The first year I stopped I really had to find things to do with my time. I had a huge void in my life. But as time went on, the withdrawal symptoms decreased, and I found other things to do with my time like sit at the beach and drink Red Stripes, listening to Caribbean music, people watching, and talking to strangers. Life is better.

Sports Are Tied to False Promises of Economic Development

Many states have had to find ways to supplement local and state economies over the decades. Entertainment has become the go-to, with the legalization of marijuana following close behind possibly overtaking that throne sports has held for decades. State and local public tax dollars have been removed from economies and reallocated as “subsidies” to college and professional sports teams in fancy vehicles we now call Public/Private Ventures (PPVs). These investments into professional sports were supposed to bring increases to per capita incomes, decrease individual tax liabilities of locals, increase individual per capita personal growth, and make the state/region better in general. Wait a minute, not so fast.

The truth is, in most cases there is very little per capita personal income growth regionally or statewide when a city has a professional or college sports team. In some instances, some studies have highlighted per capita personal incomes were less than they were prior to having sports teams. The types of jobs stadiums primarily produce are low-wage ones (like ushers, ticket takers, restaurant servers, janitorial/cleaning staff, guards, lot attendants) etc. Furthermore, the work is seasonal. While some people may say these people should be thankful for their jobs, the truth is we should look in the mirror and ask ourselves why is it that people can’t get a gig that not only pays a living wage, but also decreases the likelihood of them needing to get two or three jobs just to survive in over-inflated local economies created by having professional sports teams?

After you take the makeup off the pig, it’s still a pig. Professional and college sports don’t really make communities richer any more than Walmart of Amazon does. Only a few people get rich (the owners and shareholders when teams aren’t privately held), all others get used and fleeced. Sports is infused with capitalism, and people can’t seem to disconnect from the play to get to the business part. It doesn’t really make any cents.

At the end of the day, we are subsidizing many of the people who work for these types of venues twice. If they need public assistance, they seek that out on one end, but let’s not forget the local and state subsidies given to professional franchises year after year to just stay. To stay when a team’s presences does nothing but entertain. Black girl shrugs here. Let’s not even get into the big money in college sports, most of which are subsidized by taxpayers.

It’s Time to Wake Up

It’s time to wake up people. We have been lied to and fleeced for so long. A love-affair with entertainment has led this country astray. I’d even dare say America’s love affair with fake reality television gave us the most lying-ass, jelly back, throwing ya under the buses, thieving and most felonious President this nation has ever had…Donald Trump, from the Apprentice television show. A snake oil salesman. C’mon people.

America’s love affair with being entertained has put us all in a precarious state. Leaving the problem isn’t going to fix it. It just sits there until we come back to reality to address it. It’s time to detox from being entertained, before the next reality television star or athlete thinks they are smart enough to be the POTUS. It’s time to get your butt off the sofa, and your eyes off play things that don’t matter to refocus on the things that do matter. I’m choosing to engage in reality, that’s real ife. Our lives our depending on it.

It won’t get better until we all decrease the dosages of games and entertainment, and increase our dosages of real-life.

#nosports #WethePeople #WakeUp #resist

Marley K., 2018