Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Professional sports lunacy

Full moon
Moon by cherry tree
I read in this morning's paper that the Minnesota Twins will have a challenge to retain some of their key players within what might be the confines of a $125 million dollar budget for salaries.  How is it that professional sports have become so costly?

Pure sport? Unlikely to see it on ESPN. There seems to be an inverse relationship between the amount of press sports get and the purity of the sport. I was hoping to see the results from last Saturday's NCAA Division III National Cross Country meet in Sunday's StarTribune. Seems they didn't have room. Yet, the paper added a separate section on the 100th game being played later in the day between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings football teams. How pathetic that game turned out to be... 

A couple of weeks ago the state cyclocross meet was held with some amazing athletes competing in extreme conditions. Not one word of coverage was provided by the newspaper.  The last article in the StarTribune on cyclocross was three years ago. I've discovered that Ultimate, another wonderful, fast growing sport also receives sportsana non grata status with the media.

Moon with tree silhouettes
I'm finding it increasingly difficult to cheer for sports that have become big businesses, owned by a millionaires, being played by athletes making millions AND who demand publicly funded sports cathedrals, er, ah... stadiums.  Even the Olympics, once only for amateurs, has gone professional.  It has been sad to watch the drug doping that has become increasingly common at this spectacular international event.

Pure sport is about the athleticism, discipline, game smarts, strength and often teamwork. The motivation is simply to do ones best, improving if possible and hopefully winning the game/match/meet/race.  Sadly there are many parents pushing their kids from a very early age into sports, hoping that they might win a college scholarship.  Even more tragic are the millions of youth from disadvantaged environments that dream of becoming athletic superstars, often at the expense of study.

Want to watch a sport where it isn't about the business?  Seems best to watch any sport that doesn't get coverage by the newspaper or television stations.  Better yet, don't watch at all, play!

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