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.
Yes it depends on the author, and yes there is a lot of fiction that is trivial, but thats no reason to just write off the whole genre as such. Why read it if its not written by a master storyteller? Why read an average book at all? If it is written by a master, it will be thought provoking as hell on a very intuitive level. Intuition is important, and can be filtered to our detriment by focusing only on what is thought-provoking. I would argue that the “trivial bits” can easily become more important than the matters of kings, even, through a simple shift in perspective.
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.
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.
@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.
@manimal 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.
Are the artists, athletes, mathematicians, writers and musicians not spectators as well? Yes they create, but is their relationship with the meaning of their respective art forms any different than that of an uninvolved spectator? The same critiques can be made, the same emotional or intellectual connections can be made, and with the proper understanding of the specific art form almost the same experience can be had. Is this not the epitome of our purpose in existing? To relate to the world and thus gain a sense of empathy and connectivity?
I played ice hockey for 15 years. In that time, I watched about as much hockey as I played, whether it was professional, junior, house league, my brother’s team, games before/after mine, the competition, videos of my team/myself playing, etc. I watched to get better, I still watch hockey with the eye of one who wants to get better, noting the plays, technique, strategy of the players. It’s as much of a mental exercise as entertainment for me.
To add to @aaron‘s post, I would invite my family and friends to my games in an effort to relate to them better; I hoped that I could help them understand why I miss school dances, family parties, hanging out at the mall, etc. all to chase around a little rubber disk by exposing them to my passion.
@ Caitlin, You are a prime example of the rare person who watches sports attentively and intensively. How many really do that. Judging from my friends, a very small minority. And still, how much emphasis must one put to a GAME? Hardcore online gamers are getting very good mental exercise all the time but they neglect almost every other aspect of their life and because of it they are a worse person all around. Sports fans are a close comparison.
@brent Thanks dude.
@caitlin Great example. The parallel of that in my own life would be the sense of understanding I have with my family through experiences with music. They’ve seen me play so many concerts, shows, and recitals and the progression of my becoming a better musician that we are in mutual understanding about my very being.
@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.
@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?
@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.
@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?
@brent I don’t get much entertainment from this site. And I get a lot out of this site, I can learn stuff and I can teach stuff, and most importantly get new perspectives. This is very productive and beneficial.
And you couldn’t have learned these things (or better) without watching sports? And how much useless information did you pick up along with that good stuff?
There’s no sense in keeping this discussion going, you’re too firm in your defensive stance to change and I’m firm in my own stance and won’t change either. Let’s agree to disagree.