02-03-2013   2 comments

Don’t you just love the month of February?  We get to celebrate Ground Hog Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Valentines Day, and of course this year, Super Bowl Sunday. I wish I had all of the money spent preparing for and the celebration of a stupid football game.  Do I sound like a sports hater?  I’m not exactly sure but I think I just may be one.  

I played a great deal of sports in my life and thoroughly enjoyed all of those activities.  I had a great deal of success in my endeavors with Little League Baseball, Pony League Baseball, High School Baseball, Basketball and Football, American Legion Baseball, Semi-Pro Baseball, Racquetball, Bowling, and others I’ve probably forgotten.  I’m not bragging but trying to show many of the reasons why I should be a screaming and hollering fanatic for all sports. Why is it that that watching sports except for possibly Little League Baseball is like getting my teeth drilled without Novocain.

As a younger man I often got caught up in following the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers and considered myself a loyal fan.  That being said, I hate watching their games even when they’re winning.  I’ve never been  able to admit my dislike of watching sports because my father would have disowned me.  He was an avid fan of most sports and was quite the accomplished athlete in his own right.

So why?  I’ve only mentioned football because of all the Super Bowl hoop-la over the last week or so.  My better-half who in truth is a fan, a fan of the parties and get-togethers, and interaction with her friends but only a so-so fan of the sport.  I think the great majority of fans are just like her.

I’m reminded of our addiction as a society to sports every time I watch an episode of Spartacus.  I suppose the human race has advanced from the Roman’s version of the Super Bowl held at the Coliseum where gladiators killed Christians, animals, and themselves in great numbers. With crowds of thousands cheering, betting, and orgying their hearts out. They called it then “bread and circuses” which allowed the political caste to maintain control over the great unwashed.

Do you see any similarities?  These days we make it possible for our gladiators, the biggest and strongest of us, to be paid great sums of money to punish themselves and many times damage themselves critically.  The money and glory, as in Rome, were all that ever mattered.  Does that ring a bell for you? It not such an honorable profession when you see a super successful man like Mike Webster, formerly of the four time Super Bowl winning Steelers, suffering from amnesia, dementia, depression, and acute bone and muscle pain after his retirement. He lived out of his pickup truck or in train stations for years between Wisconsin and Pittsburgh.  Webster’s wife finally divorced him six months before his death in 2002. He was only 50 years old.

Of course, Webster was responsible for his own decisions but in my opinion the system was responsible for the pressures of money, fame, performance enhancers, and steroid use that ultimately destroyed him.  Unfortunately he’s not alone.

Maybe that’s what makes celebrating these sports so difficult for me.

2 responses to “02-03-2013

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  1. At least in the Coliseum we didn’t have to listen to interviews with the losers! That would be an improvement.

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