Sunday, January 08, 2006

With the football playoffs just getting started, it is as good a time as any for my rant on sports fans...

Why in the world do so many otherwise sane people get so caught up in cheering for professional sports teams? Why, to cite an example close to home, do so many people in the DC-area get so emotional over whether the Redskins win or lose*?

It's not as if they play or ever did play for the Skins... nor are their kids playing... nor do they really know anyone playing for the team (and I mean really know, not this idol worship kind of knowing). Heck, I'd bet that, aside from the whole hero worship, most professional athletes are the kinds of people I wouldn't want anything to do with (for proof, just go down to the local basketball court and see how many white suburbanites are hanging around the players).

The Redskins, like every other professional team, have NOTHING to do with just about anybody in the area in which they play. Other than their tight circle of friends, the players don't come to our houses for Christmas parties, they don't hang out in the summer at the local swim club, nor are we are inviting each other to play golf, hang around and watch TV or babysit each other's kids. Except for the obligatory photo-op appearances at charity events, they do nothing for the community. With very few exceptions, they are not from the area in which they play... and they tend not to stick around once they're done playing.

Professional athletes are nothing more than very high priced entertainers. They're hired help, brought in to do a job and sent packing when management feels someone else can do the job better and/or cheaper.

Yet the city, as do cities across the country, goes crazy about people who care nothing about them. When's the last time a Redskin showed called someone up and asked them about their day? When's the last time a player actually called someone up and thanked them for supporting the team?

And what difference does it make if the 'local' sports team wins the Super Bowl? Are our kids going to get better grades because the Redskins win? Are our bosses going to give us raises because the Skins win? Are the customers of the business that we work for more likely to order from us because we're located in the DC-area?

The Red Sox finally won a World Series... and so what? People didn't decide to move to Boston because of that. Boston's property taxes didn't go down. Their schools didn't get better. Their criminals didn't stop committing crimes because the Red Sox won.

Now, watching sports is fun. But I'm crazy if I'm going to let how some bunch of strangers influence how I feel after a game is over. I watch the game and then I move on...

* those betting on a team are excused from this rant... provided they didn't place their bet on an idiotic knee-jerk support of the 'home team'.