While I'm not a huge sports fan, I do love a good game. I grew up in Southern Indiana, in a area where the nearest professional team was hundreds of miles away. In my hometown high school basketball was king and if you give "Friday Night Lights" a basketball motif you can begin to imagine how much those local games meant to fans. I also grew up watching minor league baseball. At the time, Evansville had a AAA team and I spent most of the home games in the stands. It was a small intimate facility--the same one used in the movie "A League Of Their Own"--and seeing those players up close gave me a love of the game and of the men who were trying their best to get into the big leagues. I considered myself a sports fan back then and I remember all those games very fondly.
While those childhood sports memories are dear to me, I can't say that I have the same appreciation for major league sports. Yes, the players are talented and I can appreciate in the abstract their abilities and the potential joy their games could bring. But I don't feel any emotional attachment to events that clearly exist to make everyone involved a lot of money. That overt greed from all participants, the corporate money that sucks all the innocence out of what should be a childhood game, makes it impossible for me to give myself up to the emotions of the event.
If there's one event that illustrates everything that is wrong with professional sports, it's the soul-sucking carnival of greed known as Super Bowl Sunday. With a week of mostly corporate events leading up to the game, with the focus on advertisers and endorsement deals and future contracts it's easy to forget that at the center of it all is a game that should be a joy to watch. Let's face it, if the highlight of many casual fans' Super Bowl experience are the commercials and the halftime show, then all of our priorities have gone horribly astray.
When last year's game was over and the last commercial aired what I felt was more relief than exhilaration. The non-stop hype about the event stayed with me much longer than the game and after thinking about it it made me decide that I can't watch another Super Bowl.
Why I Won't Be Watching The Super Bowl
I'm not anti-corporate or anti-sports or someone who is a professional curmudgeon. I am a guy who wants to love sports, but doesn't love what it's become. It's like falling in love with a beautiful girl who later becomes a drug-addled stripper. You can still love the woman inside while vowing never to look close enough to see what she's become.
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