By: Will Stevenson
Sometimes, Sports make me sad.
There, I said it.
I’m from North Carolina. I’ve cheered for the Panthers since high school, although I am a Patriot Fan since Drew Bledsoe, I still have a place for the Panthers. Bandwagon? No, I don’t think so. I’ve watched almost every game for the past decade, even that 1-15 season. Even the Hornets are decent by Carolina standards, and that’s pretty good for us.
Golden State is awesome. I’ll watch Steph Curry on a Wednesday night at 10:30 and lower myself to the local broadcast, which is listening to the local guys gas-bag about the plus-minus of Brandon Rush and how Ian Clark is an assassin from the Corner 3. I’m not a superfan, nor do I go to many games, but I follow them as much as I can.
I like sports. Now I am not invested the way I use to be (Redundancy, Takeover of ESPN… I have other things in life I need to do), but I still follow along. I try to stick to the games. I omit pre-game and post-game shows, interviews, coach talk, player talk, fan talk, predictions, and post-game analysis. Pretty much anything that has nothing to do with the actual game. Most times I turn the volume down and watch the game in silence. I do have an affection for the emotion of the game. The ebs and flos of a single game keep me interested. I use to play sports in grade school and intramural after high school; basketball, soccer, flag football. I never reached any elite level in anything, but I always admired how others had the talent to compete and the work ethic to stay at the top of their respected game.
And then I grew up…..
I read. I study. I analyze. I research. I use to do all of these things for sports, and now I do them with life. I think about every person that bought a ticket for the NFC and AFC Championship games and I wonder: Where is that type of support for justice? For Learning? For Schools? For Programs?
I’m not blaming sports fans for doing something they love to do, while getting away from the bleakness I speak of for a few hours out of the day. I can’t blame them, because we all do something to bring us a smile, peace, happiness, pride, etc. And on top of that, we will pay a premium price for it. Now these are not the only thing about sports that makes me sad, there’s more.
1. Sports narratives: Sports narratives are so redundant, it’s ridiculous. The storylines that come into play are continuous throughout all mainstream sports. We’re told how we should perceive a team or player, and our reaction to it is priceless every time.. Remember the talk of this past NBA Season? Remember how Lebron was a villain and Stephen Curry could do no wrong? Remember how the Warriors were a real team that played beautiful basketball? Remember how that all changed towards the end of the season and in the playoffs? We change narratives so quick that these opinions are now looked at as fact.
2. Sports coverage: How many ways can you dissect a game. 4 hour pregame shows, 2 hour post game shows, halftime shows, shows leading up to the game all week… My head explodes when I get trapped watching a piece of Sportscenter or listening to Mike and Mike when my Tune-In App isn’t working. With all of the selections on television, it just seems as if the pregame and postgame shows are all the same. Many times the presentation is, analysis, and predictions are all the same as well.
3. Local Broadcast: I can’t do it. It hurts me so much. With the redzone channel, I rarely watch a full NFL game; Monday/Sunday/and Thursday Night Football are exceptions. NBA games are a different story. Hornets broadcast is sad, even when it’s a good game. There’s not much objectivity for both teams when it comes to local commentary. It’s all Homerism and non-bashing, along with monologues on how the referees are not calling the game right.
4. Major Sports Importance: I follow NFL, NBA, MMA, and…That’s it. i try to get in an NHL game every other week, but I often wonder why I watch what I watch. I use to watch NHL games when they were on espn and fox. Nowadays I have no excuse because I stream all sports, so I can watch what I want. But for the masses who only have cable or limited to less than that, they will only watch what is put in front of them. Couple that with the “Big Game” talk (College Football) and I completely throw up. I can easily be interested in Ball State vs Marshall as Ohio state vs Michigan (which is usually an uninteresting game).
5. The Rise of Social Media: Alright, I like it, and I hate it. I’ll explain it this way: The Rise of Social Media in Sports is equal to a guy or girl in high school, just had sex, and they start to tell their friends, I say about 4 of them. So 5 people know, and they all talk about it. Social Media is equal to the whole school now knowing every single detail about what is going on, and they all debate about it. Now is twitter awesome, yes it is. But there are fools in this world, and you don’t need to have knowledge to have an opinion, all you need is Wifi.
6. Contracts: I hate contracts. I hate them all. The way contracts are done in this era is laughable, and the way they are explained to us are laughable as well. In football, signing bonuses can be avoided if you release a player before training camp. Snap bonuses, game bonuses, 5 year deal with 2 years guaranteed only if kind of contract… Remember Donovan McNabb’s five year contract with the Washington Redskins? He was benched that same season and retired after that season as well.
7. The Draft: Imagine being 17 years old, senior year, and you’ve already filled out your applications for college. It comes time for graduation, but you haven’t received any acceptance letters for college. The principal calls out your name to get your diploma, but when they call your name, he says “Lorey Jenkins, senior, this high school, has been drafted by…. Kmart, Wyoming”. You’re puzzled, thinking how could you not get into college, and why couldn’t you make your own choice? Well, not you work for Kmart, in Wyoming. And that’s what Ben Simmons feels like.
With the football season, both college and pros, on the horizon, I like to choose wisely when it comes to my sports. Some of the things that filled my time and gave me pleasure just don’t do it for me anymore. If you are someone who listens to all of these coverage, then you are invested as I use to be when I was younger. When it comes to betting lines and Fantasy Sports, knowing the WAR for David Price or the TSP for Bradley Beal is very useful.