Thursday, February 17, 2011

Professional sports fan no more

As much as I love watching sports I’m now ready to quit being a fan of professional sports.  Let me count the reasons why:
  1. Millions of our nation’s youth are more concerned about their sporting advancement than their education or other career possibilities.  They have aspirations of becoming millionaire athletes like those they see on television. Parents who can afford it are often more than happy to oblige them, starting them off in organized sports almost as soon as they’re able to walk or hold a ball.
  2. Professional sports often take a tremendous physical toll on athletes. For example, many football players have received multiple concussions.  Too many end up crippled or hobbled for life.
  3. Many athletes exit college early to take advantage of tremendous earning potential as a professional athlete.  Often they are ill equipped for life after sports.
  4.  Instead of actively playing sports too many Americans have become passive spectators.  We’ve got a huge obesity problem that isn’t helped by sitting down for hours at a time watching the tube, drinking beer and snacking on chips and dip.
  5. Too many athletes have become prima donnas; thanks in large part to the coddling and hero worship provided them throughout school years, and which then follows them into professional athletics. 
  6. Most athletes have very little long-term loyalty to their teams.  Few players now stick with a team throughout their careers.
  7. Our nation no longer has the affluence it once did to spend so extravagantly on professional sports and their luxurious venues.  It is simply wrong to be allocating taxpayer dollars on stadiums when we can’t even afford to fix potholes in the streets.  
  8. Given their special treatment, many athletes often become poor role models for our children.  We’ve seen scores of examples of this in the news. I shudder to consider all that doesn’t make the news.
  9. Sports have simply become “big business” with athletes seeking advantages to make the final cut and negotiate a big salary.  Too often drug doping results.
  10.  Professional sports cater to the wealthy.  Given the cost of parking, refreshments and game tickets in order for a family of four to attend a hockey, baseball or football game they might need to take out a second mortgage on their home.  New stadiums are built with primary consideration given to the luxury suites. And, oh, by the way, now most games are no longer available to the common folk on broadcast television or even basic cable.

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