Ithaca Blog

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Are Sports The Most Benign of Entertainments?

As a fan of the New York Jets football franchise since a tender age, we are excited about the prospect of them going to the Super Bowl this year for only the second time in their history. (The first (that is, only) time was over 40 years ago. Their current date with destiny is still only potential: one qualifying game away.)

We know it is a violent sport: much more so these days, with players strong and fast as torpedos, and concussive contacts encouraged for television.

Personally, we preferred the game in the old days, when some players were pretty athletic, but many were out there only because they ate more than most people.

Sports have the attribute of getting people happily excited, collectively, which is rare. You see it at good concerts, but those don't last long. People remember sporting events a long time.

Sports and concerts - good concerts, anyway - also share an aspect of unpredictability, or at least surprise. Unanticipated turns will occur during both, even for the performers.

We were out with friends last night who were all talking about the TV series they follow. Not only had I never seen any, I'd never even heard of most. I learned there are lots of shows on TV.
The only thing I watch on TV, about, is sports. I watch them because you absolutely cannot know what will happen. And yet, you hardly have to pay attention to find out.

The mindless entertainment of a TV series seems troublesome in its length. You have to watch it all year? Never for that.

I can commit to work and relationships over time; to avocations; not much else. Like, what else? Certainly not TV shows. A game is a few hours, one time. You barely have to pay attention. You can do other things at the same time. Do the dishes. Pay the bills. Broil. Just come back to the living room when you hear shouting.

Steve "Broadway" Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

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