Some Thoughts on… ‘Sports’

Billy Martin's last ejection (1988) and interview (1989) - YouTube

I grew up being taught all sorts of stuff about how sports build character, teach discipline and sacrifice, and courage, teamwork, blah-blah-blah. But I believed it, and I grew up playing all the different sports. And as an adult, I played men’s softball and basketball for decades.

Here are the lessons I learned by being personally involved in sports.

*Sports bring out the worst aspects of your character. Oh, boy, do they ever! Crybabies, fat-heads, cheaters, bullies, liars, quibblers–you’ll find them all in lush abundance wherever sports are played.

*Sports have a way of becoming much more important to you than they should be.

Now I’m talking about playing the sports, not just watching them. You’d need an entire conference of psychiatrists to cover that ground.

One winds up asking, every now and then, “Why play at all? Do I really need this in my life?” Well, one does require exercise; and for some of us, solitary exercise is just unendurably boring. And let’s admit it–socking a homer, sinking a game-winning basket: these are fun. We do need fun in our lives.

On the balance, though, I wish I’d found more constructive ways to spend the time I spent in playing sports. I am sure it didn’t make me a better person. Just ask my wife what she thought of that softball team I was on for so many years.

Walking is dull, but at least it won’t blossom into a fist-fight.

9 comments on “Some Thoughts on… ‘Sports’

  1. When I was in grade and middle school, a certain amount of participation in sports was required. I mostly found them boring. I would have much preferred being left alone to read, but that is not how it worked.
    After school, I said goodbye to alll sports for good. Haven’t missed them. A friend was once shocked when I said I didn’t like football. She said , “what’s wrong with you!?” I don’t know, I just think football is the stupidest thing I ever saw.

    1. I used to love football, until they dumbed it down and turned it into a money mine. And now we’ve got millionaire players showing their open contempt for our country.

  2. Sports are not my thing. Up until I was in high school, my father was involved in four different softball leagues during the summer, and probably more than that. I have fond memories of “watching” him play. Honestly, I was off doing my own thing most of the time but I did occasionally sit on the bleachers next to my mom and watch the games.

    1. Yep, my dad’s hobbies back then included softball, hunting, fishing, watching sports and annoying my mother. Since then he’s added watching the weather channel to the list and dropped the softball.

Leave a Reply