Monday, November 15, 2010

Is rooting for sports teams (other than ones on which you or a member of your family plays) a sign of mental illness?

Given that I can't think of a logical reason anyone would invest so much energy and emotion and spend so much money cheering for a bunch of strangers who are playing a game (and picking a particular team to root for primarily based on where the team plays its games?), I think the answer has to be yes.

One has to be crazy to cry when 'their team' loses, and just as crazy to get as excited as they do when 'their team' wins. The fans don't benefit in any tangible way when 'their team' wins any more than they lose something of value when 'their team' loses.

In fact, one has to be crazy and delusional to refer to 'their team' in terms of 'us' and 'we'.

One has to be crazy to spend as much time as they do arguing about which team is better than another, or which player is overpaid or should be benched, or which coach should be fired.

In fact, society as a group has to be crazy to spend as much money watching sports as we do to allow the owners and players to make as much money as they do. (mind you, I'm not saying it isn't right for players to get as much of the pot as they do, I'm saying it isn't right that the pot is as big as it is).

It shouldn't be that grown men and women care so much about whether one group of players wins a game or whether they lose. It shouldn't be that the players are elevated to such levels as they are (someone can hit a baseball or dunk a basketball and that makes him a celebrity? Really?). It shouldn't be that thousands of people around the country are paid to report and cover the games being played or that there are as many media outlets which exist solely to cover sports.

It's fine to watch games for the entertainment value; watching people crash into one another can be entertaining. But that is pretty much where it should stop. Normal people don't riot after seeing a movie that really entertained them, how does one explain fans rioting after 'their team' wins, if not than by saying they're crazy? And just as normal people don't show up at a movie looking like one of the characters, doesn't one have to be a tad crazy showing up to a game dressed like one of the players?