Is it stupid to watch a lot of professional sports?
I dedicate a lot of time (and money!) to watching pro sports like baseball, hockey, football, etc. But the more I think about it, I feel like I’m wasting my time and that I could be spending my life doing other, more productive things. For example, I guess you could argue that, at its essence, baseball is nothing more than a bunch of grown men in matching shirts throwing a small ball around to each other. To me, that makes it sound like a huge waste of time, but it’s still somehow entertaining. What does everyone else think? Honest, unfiltered responses only, please.
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“A lot of things that are entertaining are more or less a waste of time. Even reading fiction.”
@Dan I disagree.
The amount of time the average sports fan spends time on sports is ridiculous. Not just watching games, but following stats, watching highlights, fantasy teams, filling their conversations with other people with the same shit, whatever. It’s borderline psychotic and the benefits are there but they are hardly observable. There are so many more enriching things to do with your time.
@Dan, I’m just trying to differentiate between the sports fan that sits down in front of the TV every Sunday afternoon with a beer and watches the football game and falls asleep in the middle of the game or is spending half the time tweeting about what this game will do for his fantasy team and those that actually watch the play at least semi-analytically(sp).
Another thing: in my experience, watching sports has made me/people around me want to try or continue playing more sports. I doubt many hardcore gamers are excited to exercise and participate in “real life” activities after playing CoD or WoW.
I don’t think that when watching sports people think about how they’re watching; they just do it. Yes, it’s entertaining, but it gets me fired up too, which can’t be all bad. But when I play Halo, do I want to go out and become the Master Chief? nope. which is probably a good thing, all things considered.
Sports offer insights into the human condition as well on the physical level. Music, athletics, and math were the areas the great Greek philosophers said a person should be involved in for a well-balanced life.
There are more direct routes to learning things then by watching sports on TV, or in person, then discussing them with friends; Then, by chance, learning something about the world, people, or your friends/family. Arguments abound here, but the bottom line is this: Great art is created by artists because artists NEED to create art. It is in their blood. If an artist were alone on an island, he/she would find some way to create art, despite the lack of “spectators”. It is a true human endeavor. The ONLY thing that truly separates us from the animal kingdom.
Sports are entertainment. Low-brow entertainment, if you will. It takes no intellectual capacity to watch them. It is not open to interpretation.
With that being said, I believe TRUE athletes who push the boundaries of human physical ability are artists. They do this not for attention, not for money, but because they must. It is in their blood. I would include decathlon athletes here, and perhaps a few others. Organized, professional sports..especially here in the states. No.
There are just so many better things to do with your time if you want to enrich yourself or others around you. Sitting on a couch or in a stadium isn’t on that list.
In short, yes, it is stupid to watch a lot of professional sports.
@Aaron exactly. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think most people would agree leading an active lifestyle through sports or playing a musical instrument is a valid way to spend your time. Thus, why can’t we watch these events, particularly if we’re trying to share our passion or learn from others?
@ Aaron. I agree with what the article says. I still think it’s a waste of time. If you want to build social intelligence, stop reading a book and go explore people. The only type of reading I find to be a highly productive activity is the type that poses problems and ideas. They are highly engaging for me. I problem solve along with the author with every word and stop reading frequently to sit and think critically about what I just read.
I’m from the UK where football is massive. I’m sure you’ve all heard of soccer hooliganism and as somebody who’s never had any interest in it, I feel like I have an outsider’s view.
I have friends who watch the game and say that they watch it for the beautiful football. What they mean by that is the constantly shifting geometry of the teams, the calculations the players have to make instead of just booting it towards the goal. These are the kind of guys who don’t seem to affected by a bad result. Often they’ll ‘act’ annoyed, but it feels like more of a jokey outward persona than something they really mind.
Then there’s the other fans. The fans who use their team to represent their pride in their hometown, and actually feel the ‘need’ to drink if their team lose (or indeed win). None of the players come from the town they’re playing for, and yet it seems like a hangover from territorial tribal days. It can be fucking disgusting seeing the way these people act like apes after a match. It is still a minority, but it’s a nasty one.
I agree with Manimal and Dan, its a crazy waste of time and an unfulfilling distraction. So much hype literally for nothing. Those that play the sports have more stake in watching professionals, but the hype over the sports games is the problem. This is one of the things that is a pain about going to Penn State in the US, the school has a big reputation because of sports, they invest so much in sports and the educational value of the university drops. I loathe my so far mediocre education there.
HELL NO! There are cells in your brain called mirror neurons that make you feel kind of like you are doing something that you are watching. That’s why it’s so badass to watch sports. Nothing is as fun as getting together with some friends and watching some fights!
@Brent [[You’re basing your opinion off of your assumption that people watch sports to be ‘lazy’ and to be ‘entertained.’ I believe people watch sports for the same reason people attend music concerts, read poetry, go to an art show, or go sightseeing. And that reason is to have experiences in relation with others.]]
It’s still just entertainment, stimulation with no purpose or benefits. Masturbation.
“The only type of reading I find to be a highly productive activity is the type that poses problems and ideas.”
@Dan How does fiction not do this? I would say fiction can be more productive as a method of familiarizing oneself with the subjective nature of existence.
I’d say a definite Yes, unless you’re studying the sport to play it better. Well I wouldn’t say stupid.. but a waste of time. A lot of things that are entertaining are more or less a waste of time. Even reading fiction.
@Brent No. I’m saying pointless, lazy entertainment of all sorts should be forgotten, wiped from history. People sitting on their ass being entertained, that’s the norm these days, and that’s why everyone’s so fucking miserable. And yet they complain and blame others for it, when it’s all because they choose to waste their lives on watching things. I’m not saying watching sports is as bad as watching reality tv or porn. And as the topic title says, this is about watching a lot of sports, not watching occasionally.
All this pointless stimulation… it’s as if every other person is a walking, talking clit rather than a human being.
I don’t mind watching them, I just don’t get into it (usually). And when people start talking about people’s stats and know SO much about them, I just can’t help to think to myself, ‘why do you care so much to go so deep into knowing each individual stat’. To me, that’s just caring too much about someone else rather than what’s going on with you. Then again, I love cars and know a lot about different models, so I may be a hypocrite. But, as I’ve said before, that’s why I have an open mind. Everyone has their open hobbies. To each his own!
@Manimal After I watch a sporting event, I often discuss the outcome with my friends. Yes, it’s entertaining and stimulating. Kind of like the entertainment and stimulation you get when you read a thread on this site (spectating) and then you discuss what is said. What purpose or benefits do you receive by spectating on this site and then discussing what you have spectated?
I agree that stories are a very great way for us to adapt our minds to new knowledge, but how much of your average fiction book is story and how much is just trivial bits about some time and place that doesn’t matter? All in all just seems like not the best kind of reading; but it depends on the skill of the story teller. Herman Hesse is a master, his stories are really full of story. Anyway though, the physical act of reading trains your attention to be linear by habit and that’s something that I really don’t need. So if I’m going to read I want it to be thought provoking as hell, not like I’m watching a slow motion movie.