Professional Sports – Why Watch Them?
I am a self-proclaimed dedicated fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, San Antonio Spurs, and Carolina Hurricanes – all professional teams. In light of this week’s events surrounding Atlanta Falcons QB, Michael Vick, as well as NBA Referee, Tim Donaghy, and let’s not forget the ongoing issue of steroid use in Major League Baseball, one has to wonder why anybody roots for professional teams when there seems to be a lack of morality by those that either participate or are involved in a sport in some kind of way.
Michael Vick. Though he is considered innocent until proven guilty, based on the evidence, I don’t think there is a soul on this planet wondering what on God’s green earth would possess anyone to not only gamble on dog fighting but endorse it amongst his peers and participate in the senseless killing of animals that “don’t make the grade”? Is there really a question about the immorality of this issue? I would certainly hope not. Personally, I am disgusted. Absolutely and utterly disgusted that anyone would find this practice acceptable. You have got to be kidding me! So, innocent until proven guilty? That’s a joke. The bottom line is the guy knew about it. If he were innocent, he would’ve told the authorities a long time ago.
Tim Donaghy. He’s accused of taking part in the largest betting scandal in NBA league history that involved games that he officiated in. Once again, innocent until proven guilty but his reputation and that of the league’s (to some extent) is already tarnished. Again, where were his morals? Is money that important to warrant the need to bet on games officiated by yourself? Just the thought makes me cringe. It’s stealing. Plain and simple. Once again, I’m disgusted.
Steroids. This topic has been up and down a bumpy road since the early part of this century. It not only affects the game of baseball but it’s now beginning to have some kind of reference in the game of golf too. Whatever happened to being talented and playing your damndest and accepting the good fortune that happens to you because of all that? Apparently, that’s not enough any more either.
We as a society want more money, more stuff, more recognition. As professional athletes, they are no different; they’re just reported on more. The thing is, there are young athletes, kids who pick up their first bat at the age of four, boys who dream of being the next Rookie of the Year, and girls who aim to be the next Mia Hamm, all of which watch these sports, dream big, and see the examples set by their “heroes”. Some heroes the Michael Vicks, Tim Donaghy’s, and steroid users of the world are, huh?
Yet, why do we watch professional sports? For some it’s the excitement of the game, the idea of sitting around a big screen TV with your buddies and watching Sunday Night football, an NBA Game 7 between your favorite team and their opponent, it’s a reason to root for something. For me, I root for my teams because each team I root for as a team collectively sets the example for others. Look at Greg Popovich, Bill Belichick, Terry Francona, and Peter Laviolette. They build teams that play well, that play as a team, and most importantly, that have character. It’s rare for any player from their respective teams to have done something that warrants a negative news story. I root for my teams because they stand for something.
Maybe that’s the key – rooting for teams that incorporate teamwork, talent, and character. Now, that’s something to consider. Maybe rooting for those kinds of teams, and the players that make up them, is worth rooting for. Don’tcha think?
All the opinions expressed herein are those of the writer and are not in anyway affiliated with any player, team, or participant mentioned hereof.