Damn, I hate Professional Sports.  Maybe I'm scarred by being the kid nobody picked for their team in PhysEd.  But beyond that, I'm mystified by our culture of professional sports. Michael Jordan retired yesterday, and his demeanor of decency drove home the fact that most athletes are glorified thugs.

Sports are, at their core, leisure activities.  A few guys get together, toss a ball around, and have a good Saturday afternoon.  When did we become so decadent, that we PAY people to play a game, so we can sit on our asses and watch?
Why do people yell at the TV when they're watching a game?  The little people in the TV can't hear you.  I'm at a loss to understand getting such a vicarious thrill from an athlete's performance.

"You see the game last night?"
[imagine secret-handshake and high-five gestures at this point]
Why does this happen? Are people so empty, that their only source of pride and excitement is a game played by strangers and watched on TV? I feel bad for these people, and they annoy and disgust me, and they're everywhere (you're probably one of them).  Is it MY defect that makes this behavior seem pathetic?
Why are athletes worth so much money?  Because they're graceful, gifted peformers?  Yes, that's probably it! Most folks probably only watch ball games during the ballet off-season.  Because pro teams give people a source of regional pride?  I'm boiling up a whole separate tirade on THAT pathetic issue.
OK, here's the truth- athletes are worth a fortune because they get your attention long enough to stuff some commercials down your throat.  They jump and scratch and pat each other on the butt, like trained circus animals, so you'll watch about 6,000 commercials during a game.  You can have animated animals and fake-breasted tramps sell you watery beer, and the athletes themselves will supplant their already bloated incomes to sell you some shoes and sportswear made in sweatshops for thirty cents a day.  That way, next weekend, you can sit on your lazy ass in a team jersey and guzzle piss-beer with your "Air-Shitbird" sneakers up on the coffee table. And you'll just be in heaven, until you see the next commercial for the next shoes...
The thing that sticks in my craw is that athletes are role models. This has long been the case, and long ago, it was for the right reasons.  Team sports represent ideals of fair play, friendly competition, and clever strategies.  These are all concepts I want my children to embrace. Unfortunately, as pro sports have become a huge commercial enterprise, these ideals have been abandoned.  The goals today are to WIN, and to GET FAMOUS, and to make as much MONEY as possible before your body breaks apart and you have to get a real job.  Without the sports industry, many of our *stars* would be washing cars, or in prison.  Why do we allow their ability to handle a ball, or to box, exonerate them from their profound failings?

Top Ten Things That Are No Big Deal If You're An Athlete:

  1. You can be convicted of rape.
  2. You can be convicted of drug possession.
  3. You can be convicted of armed assault.
  4. You can committ adultery hundreds of times, shamelessly.
  5. You can have condomless sex with hundreds of women, knowing that you're HIV positive.
  6. You can be a "college-educated" functional illiterate.
  7. You can bite a piece off your opponent's ear! On live TV!
  8. You can bounce in and out of re-hab to avoid jail time
  9. You can kick a TV camera-man in the balls (after you stumble and fall on top of him).
  10. You can go on strike (they're in *unions*!) to bloat your already ridiculous salaries.
I don't understand the "role-model" value of half-literate thugs who play a game by day and act like savages by night.  They are the contemporaries of Barnum's circus geeks, and should be kept in cages. This way we could enjoy them for their unique abilities, without suffering the social cancer which results from their status as celebrities and role models.  Thanks for listening.  If you get in touch with Mike Tyson or Dennis Rodman, let them know that I'd like to put them in a cage and toss them a chicken head.

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