The Dilution of Sport

DJ Byrnes's picture
April 23, 2013 at 1:28p
45 Comments

In a week that saw the bombing of the Boston Marathon.. its subsequent manhunt that put Boston under martial law... a dilapidated fertilizer plant blowing up in West, Texas that killed at least 35 people... an earthquake in China that caused 200 deaths and over 8,000 injuries... a bomb in a popular Baghdad coffee shop that killed at least 27 people... a quadruple murder in Akron that still lacks motive or suspect... the continued American use of extrajudicial international killings via flying kill-machines...  and a plane crash that killed an Air Force Major General... I have found my palette for sports entertainment suddenly lacking.

Granted, this is a trajectory I have been as my body rots with increasing age, but last week was kind of a smack in the face for Americans who do a rather remarkable job insulating themselves from world news and the plight of their fellow human beings. (LOL if you think I don't include myself in that last sentence.)

This is why I have come to detest the camera-whoring antics of the likes of Buck-I-Guy or whatever ridiculous moniker some grown-ass man has taken before caking himself in levels of makeup that would make a prostitute blush and heading down to the Horseshoe. Have people like that ever removed themselves from the bubble of adolescence required to make their behavior acceptable?

How privileged and unbecoming am I, the guy who feels real emotions over a team of millionaire strangers kicking or passing a ball about a field? What the hell would I be able to say to somebody who lost their legs in the bombing of the Boston Marathon? Or worse yet, somebody who lost their legs in the woebegone effort in Afghanistan?

Somebody will read this, hop off their leather recliner, (spilling the latest powder-infused Frito Lay chip all over their grease-stained sports shirt), and guffaw something like, "BUT THIS IS WHAT THE TERRORISTS WANT, TO TAKE MY FREEDOM AWAY!!!11" In this scenario, I'd point out that ONE nineteen year-old stoner on the lamb was able to put a major American city under martial law, but I feel my point would be lost on my astute, fictionalized, chip-mongering critic.

I don't understand the notion of "healing through sport," as if my running a marathon is supposed to bring back the dead or ease the daily horrors that plague this world. To me, continuing to find the same utility in sports would be akin to sticking my head in a vat of sand. There is nothing special about sports, it's just another pointless activity used by humans to kill time as we hurdle through space on a galactic pebble. Sports has the same healing power as knitting or conventional baking.

Will I continue to watch and try to enjoy sports? Yes, because like all human beings, I am a creature bequeathed of deep flaws rooted in hypocrisy. I don't know any other way.

But I doubt it will ever be like it used to be, and perhaps that's a good thing.

Comments

rdubs's picture

Uh oh DJ is having an existential crisis.  On the other hand, DJ RANT! DJ RANT!! DJ RANT!!!

buck-I.8's picture

Don't encourage him

NoVA Buckeye's picture

I wonder what Warren G. Harding's take on this would've been...

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

smith5568's picture

I disagree with you regarding the healing power of sports. Physical activity can be a very cathartic experience that relieves stresses, much like I'm sure your writing does for you. To feel better some people engage in sports, others write, others cry and eat a pint of ice cream. One is no better than the other. The activity one engages in does not "bring back the dead" or "ease the daily horrors that plague this world" but it helps them cope with it, which in turn should help them address the issues and continue living their lives. Everyone has coping mechanisms and they vary from person to person. 
Further, it is completely acceptable to be passionate (to a certain degree) about millionaires kicking or passing a ball. The person you would struggle to speak with who lost their leg in the Boston bombing or in Afghanistan is likely extremely passionate about something that could be seen as equally "unbecoming". They may even be emotionally attached to the same millionaires you are, which could actually bring you closer together. I think you are over thinking this a bit. Those individuals you mention are people and all you have to do to speak with them is relate to them as people, nothing more or less. 
Good and bad things have happened forever and they will continue to happen. Don't let always let the bad alter your world view.  
 

AngryWoody's picture

What the fuck is this? Please stop posting these terrible entries. You suck so bad. You're not an intellectual. Stop now for the love of God.

EDIT: Seriously though, this has nothing to do with OSU. It's just some bizarre rant form a guy who is either depressed or mildly disturbed. This would fit a lot better on a personal blog or perhaps in a discussion with your therapist (If you don't have one I'd consider it), not on a public site devoted to tOSU.

Our Honor Defend!

BrewstersMillions's picture

Pretty impressed you can diagnose depression\mental disease after reading a few hundred word article....

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

Earle's picture

I can name that condition in three paragraphs...

Italics are for emphasis.

MN Buckeye's picture

I can name that condition in three words.

Earle's picture

Well, I guess we have to play this out now: Name that condition!

Italics are for emphasis.

MN Buckeye's picture

Depression, disillusionment, discontent.
Earle?

cajunbuckeye's picture

I upvote anything that's triple D.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

Earle's picture

Guy Fieri fan, Cajun?

Italics are for emphasis.

cajunbuckeye's picture

More of a cup size fan actually

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

Earle's picture

Yep, got the joke. Just didn't execute mine very well, I guess.

Italics are for emphasis.

Hovenaut's picture

+1 for saving the thread.

I am not the Last Dragon, therefore I do not possess the power of the Glow.

Earle's picture

Well done, MN. I was prepared with an answer full of technical jargon, but for the sake of brevity I'll put it in layman's terms: Unhinged.

Italics are for emphasis.

MN Buckeye's picture

I like Unhinged, as well.

Triv's picture

I take it you weren't here when DJ wrote for 11W? 

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

buck-I.8's picture

If not, you didn't miss much.

AngryWoody's picture

He worked for 11W? Are you kidding?

Our Honor Defend!

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Yep. He did Monday Skull Sessions littered with Warren G. Harding references.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

9Route's picture

...In this scenario, I'd point out that ONE nineteen year-old stoner on the lamb was able to put a major American city under martial law...

I get what you're saying. And, yes, that terrorist was a little stoner loser...but...he wasn't on his own. He and his older brother had help. Not just financially, through student VISAs and welfare, but it will eventually come out that they were trained terrorists. These extremists are taught to assimilate and blend in with the culture, which makes people welcoming and complacent...then they strike. I know he was only 19, but this was definitely not your average 19-year old. I love how the media, the AP, releases stories about him and they include a picture from when he was 14. Why? To humanize him, create sympathy?, etc.. God knows why. It's like the Trayvon Martin story, the media would use that picture of him from when he was 14. Corrupt mainstream media being corrupt.
The older brother had a myspace page with 22 pro-Taliban videos on it, after he came back from Russia for 6 months, which was after  the FBI interviewed him. Unbelievable.
The FBI interviewed the older brother in 2011. The older brother actually tried to convert the FBI agents to Islam! The older brother was also in trouble for assaulting his wife...(Sharia law, etc.).
The local authorities, Boston Police, etc., deserve the credit for a job well done. But, the FBI dropped the ball here.

I'm just happy to be here

chitown buckeye's picture

Where did you get your facts on the older brother? Media? Hmmm....

"I'm having a heart attack!"

9Route's picture

...NOT the mainstream media, jack.

There's a huge difference between researching and finding the truth in alternate forms of media vs. the mainstream biased, agenda-driven media. I'm not lazy, either. If you want sources, I can post :)

I'm just happy to be here

cajunbuckeye's picture

Reading that crap gave me a headache. DJ, stay out of your head. It's a scary place and you obviously shouldn't go in there alone.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

4thandinches's picture

I don't think people are going to run the Boston marathon next year for 'healing.' I think it is more of, you tried to take this away from us and my oh my look how you have failed. You won't scare from doing what we love. 

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

LABuckeye's picture

That is exactly what it is. Every road runner I know that is fast enough to qualify is planning on entering Boston next year for exactly that reason...

phxbuck's picture

I don't have patience for sports waahhhhhhhh

LABuckeye's picture

DJ, those are some interesting thoughts. I don't agree with you, but I disagree with people all the time and find what they think interesting. There are a lot of aspects of sport that should or could be considered in that thought process. Does watching sports really help bring people together? It could. I meet lots of fellow Buckeyes at alumni viewing parties. How about participating? I don't know about every sport, but runners - or at least trail runners - are all super supportive of each other and races in general are giant running/party/love-fests. It's hard to be pissed at someone when you are running long distances and have a running high.
I think if everyone ran, world peace would probably happen. I'm kinda kidding, but kinda not...

jestertcf's picture

~Because we couldn't go for three~

MN Buckeye's picture

Sounds like DJ needs a hug.

Kurt's picture

DJ, I like you.  

jestertcf's picture

in all seriousness though, it has always been sports. More than anything football, not so much for healing, but at least a return to a sense of normalcy. Maybe just a three hour reprieve from the chaos that has come up.
When I was young I remember being nervous and or scared when the persian gulf kicked off, but it was football that let us decompress. Having said all that, can think of few things other than sports that can unify our country so quickly.
and this.... I still get goosbumps.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Sports don't always heal, they often open the wound more. Ask any Cleveland fan, myself included.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I guess that's how some become alcoholics.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Jack Fu's picture

This reads like a drunkenly-written facebook status update.
Yes, bad shit happens. We deal with it in a lot of different ways. One of those ways is diverting our attention to other things. One of the most popular diversions is sports. Is this really some kind of epiphany?

AirForceNUT's picture

I don't see an issue with the drone attacks whatsoever...

IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

I agree the media tries to humanize jackasses who murdered innocent people, even women and children. The only thing we can do with that is just not tune into their channel or click on their sites, which is what I do on a daily basis because of all the negative news these days.
As for sports, they're supposed to be FUN aren't they? Anything fun for me, whether it be doing peyote in the desert and "looking at the size of that chicken" or carrying on a conversation with Jim Morrison through an Etch-E-Sketch, is meant to be an escape from this madness. Yet when they attack the sporting events it kind of even takes that away, too.
I like random stream-of-consciousness rants. It's why I miss Dr. Hunter S. Thompson so much. Sometimes, you just have to say, fuck it.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

buck-I.8's picture

How grim is a world in which to live when we look through this seemingly hopeless, nihilist lens? The answer to that is exactly why I won't write 760 eloquent, albeit smug, words about it (edit: actually came close) and sit back and gaze at myself fondly in the reflection of my own computer screen as some sort of voice of reason for the community that is just so lucky to be exposed to my drivel. I try to stay facetious when I respond to such musings, but it's so exceedingly difficult to come onto a website that many others and I use as a distraction and have to read the close-minded, stream-of-consciousness ramblings of a formerly respected blogger after his fall from grace, at least in this arena. If you don't understand "healing through sport", you don't understand the concept of healing in general. When I got my knee replaced, it left a scar. When I struggled as an adolescent like many do, I didn't try to act like my past never happened. When my family members went to rehab they didn't deny ever having an addiction. Just like no one running in Boston a year from that fateful day will be hoping they can forget or bring back the dead. An enigmatic character, and personal example to myself once said, "The hardest thing to do is be true to yourself, especially when everyone is watching." I don't think in this latest rant, you're being true to yourself. The triumph of the human spirit spreads from some strange places, and I don't think you believe what you're writing, rather than simply being the jaded voice of a tired generation. I don't pretend to know your life, DJ, but if this is truly the axis through which you view the cyclical progression and regression of society, know that my pity is for you.
I suppose in conclusion, I'm saying the dilution of sport is all in the subjective perception of such. As long as sport remains a way to make connections, its strength is a limit to infinity. And I think people  underestimate the life-completing power that certain connections have for humanity, at least in this specific subculture. A personal anecdote, take it however you may: I'm still, as many of you know, immersed in my undergraduate education, and some also know that finals week takes a special toll on me because of the expectations I set on myself (and also explains why this is being written during a study break at 4 am), but this week something special happened. Upon entering my laundry room /basement, I found a tiny, dirty, matted, stray kitten. I picked it up, brought it upstairs to my apartment, cleaned it, fed it, and studied while it shook in fear, hiding in just about every crevice and dark space in my room. 
But that's just the way of the aggregate human condition. Like sports isn't on a level playing field with some of the issues of international and domestic daily life, the like of an animal is (arguably) not on par with that of a human. But the triumph of the human spirit is to find connections in these little things that make us significant every day, and the point is that putting yourself in this shell is doing only yourself a disservice, for I doubt very strongly that anyone is getting any catharsis out of your rants. 

DJ Byrnes's picture

Hello sir,
  I would just like to point out your "rant" clocked in at 573 words, whereas mine came in at a crisp 505.
May Your Sunshine Be Eternal,
D.J.B.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

BuckeyeCrew's picture

Wow, buck-I.8, I am sure after perusing thesaurus.com, and performing the most pleasurable mental masturbation (at least for someone of your ilk), you are very proud of yourself. Oh, and nice cheapshot at DJ.
I must say also, that you did well in segueing from one paragraph, to the other, considering your thought stream.  And truly, I commend you for taking care of the kitten.  (Absolutely no sarcasm, there)  You are a compassionate man, among many meatheads.
However, like many here, you are illogical, in spots, and all to defend the pleasure of watching sports?  Perhaps, you do so to defend its status as being more important than socioeconomic issues that effect extreme suffering on other humans.  Nevermind the political climate that leads to an incident such as the bombing, and who cares about a bunch of sheep herders, getting blown to bits by drones,  in Pakistan/Afghanistan/(who-cares-because-most-Americans-count-all-of-them-as "A-RABS", and- have-the-geographical/cultural-knowledge-of-a-carrot)?  We live in a box, and if certain unpalatable facts sully our enjoyment of rooting for athletes, then we should ignore them, mock those who discuss them, and chant "USA! USA! USA! USA!", to drown it all out. 
I mean, as you said, it is difficult to come to 11W and "have to read the close-minded.. ramblings of a formerly respected blogger"Yeah, because you "had to" read it, and then you "had to" go on a LONGER rant than the OPs to express your disdain, while shooting yourself in the foot by mocking the OP for making such a thread.
NOOOO HYPOCRISY HERE.. just MOVE ON. 
Oh, and I completely agree with you interjecting your knee-replacement experience. That alone gives you moral high-ground, and the the inherent right to tell DJ (and his ilk) to shutup. Nevermind that it didn't add one iota to your (weakly constructed) argument.  Personally, I think it gives you the ethical prowess of a god.
And if all of that fails? We just give you a pass, because you write your post at 4am, and you have finals.  (Boo-hoo) 
 

BuckeyeCrew's picture

Oh wow.. fox-face.  I am humbled..