We all know somebody who doesn’t get it.
We really dig our sportsing— whether directly, or only by proxy—and someone comes along with their nose in the air.
Sure, the argument that sports fandom is just another flavor of cosplay holds water… but then you get these <sarcasm>NPR-listenin’, advanced-degree-holdin’, Prius-drivin’, quinoa-gobblin’, Mozart-lovin’, scrawny-neck’ed, performative culture hounds</sarcasm> who take one look at you, one look at the television, and then sniff and say “but I would never.”
[Note: Yes, there’s a political subtext there that stomps regularly through this community with golf shoes on, but let me make myself clear: I’m a Yellow Dog Democrat who enjoys sports very much, from a family of people mostly like-minded. That litany was shared for the sake of parody… but I digress.]
…Thing is, neither fandom nor hate are that cut-and-dried. Few things ever are. Once more unto that breach strides Kate Wagner, architect, critic, journalist, and mistress of world-class dry wit, with news:
Intellect and sportsing are wholly compatible.
Wagner offers up some salient points for those privileged few willing to parse a rational argument, as opposed to the too-often emotional identity of sports-hater.
Her general points are conveniently broken out, each assigned to the popular complaints which she describes as follows:
- Personal reasons, among which jock bollying is given special attention
- Sports steal the bandwidth of the fine and performing arts
- Corporations Are Bad
- Pro sports are in the vanguard of forces toxic to neighborhoods, which as an architect Wagner is especially qualified to discuss
- Militarism, violence, propaganda, &c.
- It’s all dumb, DUMB, DUMB
…So. The holidays are upon us. With them come basketball and hockey in full swing; NFL, college football, and MLS playoffs; and college basketball waking from its customary nine-month slumber.
You will encounter complaints, or at least wrinkled noses and evil eyes.
Respond to those out loud, if you dare.