A Sport’s Fan Manifesto

I like sport

I like watching and playing, although I am better at the former than the latter, at least at my age now.

I can watch any competition, at least for a little while, and enjoy the artistry of it, the passion of it, the emotion and strategy of it.

I like rooting for teams I like, but I need not have “skin in the game” to enjoy a match that is well played and enjoyed by players and spectators alike.

I even like showboating, if the player really can pull it off and show me something that makes me have an “Oh damn” moment.

What I don’t like is competition with bounties for hurting people. I don’t like players being played by the game instead of playing the game (professional football players can have their lives shortened by decades for simply playing inside the rules and padding with no guarantee of care in those last precious years of life.) I don’t like college players who generate millions, maybe even billions, in revenue and getting 0% of that wealth (there is a word for that, but it was supposedly outlawed with the Emancipation Proclamation). What I don’t like is the pressure to “juice” just to compete. I don’t like owners (who also should be outlawed by the Emancipation Proclamation.) I don’t like a system where teachers, nurses, and firefighters make in a year what a ball player makes in a day AND the ball player is still being exploited because the owners, who couldn’t get anyone to pay to watch them do anything, are making more in a season that the players will see in their lives. I don’t like stadium deals or stadiums named after corporations. I don’t like fans who attack players for not being loyal and don’t attack owners for not being human. I don’t like the Olympic committee.

I do like the stride of world-class sprinter, the precision of the triple play, a diver in an arm-stand back double-somersault with one and a half twists in the free position who, after doing all that, can still pierce the water like a spear.

I love the games

I hate the gamesmanship.

And if you don’t think the athletes are in a fight with the owners, with the regulating bodies, and with the corporatocracy in general, …
… then you haven’t been watching the game.


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