It’s amazing how few articles there are worth writing anymore.
I’ve spent the last two hours blazing through sports sections, checking out college websites, doing obscure Google searches, but I’ve found nothing.Ok, I wasn’t expecting to find anything as heartwarming and sad as Laveranues Coles’s story from last year or moronic as the hiring of Dave Bliss, but I expected somewhere there would be something.
But in a media which becomes more obsessed with steroids each day, I found nothing.
Since December, good stories have been few and none between, nothing causing me enough outrage or sympathy to take 750 words of my time to comment. And it wasn’t that I didn’t try.
I tried to write about Tulane dropping half of their sports; I tried to write about Texas A&M Corpus-Christie getting snubbed by the NIT for the second consecutive season; I tried to write about how the New York Jets had the best draft in NFL History from the point of view of someone who has made it a hobby to hate the Jets; I tried to write about life. However, nothing was juicy enough. Everything was overshadowed or over-clichéd to the point that it insulted me to write about it.
I didn’t write about Tulane because it was overshadowed by the plight of the Saints, as if the existence of the franchise ever mattered before to the NFL.
I didn’t write about Corpus-Christie because nobody cared so long as Hofstra was left out of the NCAA’s in favor of the nobodies named George Mason.
I didn’t write about the Jets because the draft itself is the most cliché two days in the history of mankind.
And I didn’t write about life because in a world of repetition, it’s just too boring.
But enough is enough.
Every year in August I seem to have a mid-year crisis. I notice that the year is over the hill and nothing has happened.
Sure, I’ve graduated from high school and sure, next week I’m going off to college, but nothing really has happened.
Last year I celebrated by finally admitting I was a baseball fan and getting into contact with the sports editor of a North Dakota newspaper. This year I celebrated by wondering what happened to the world of sports?
And then it struck me: sports have died.
If sports were alive, we wouldn’t be talking about steroids and “increased levels of synthetic testosterone.” Instead we’d be talking about the resurrection of Greg Maddux in Dodger Blue or Corey Pavin’s return to the upper echelon of the sport he once dominated when it was still a sport and not a one-man exhibition.
But they’re dead and we’re ignoring this.
We used to care when the unthinkable happened, when Julio Franco in his latter 40s was hitting game-winning homeruns for the Braves and the like. But now we only play word association.
I asked ten people yesterday to tell me the first thing they thought of when they thought of lacrosse and eight of them said the Duke sex scandal. Eight. And that is with a dead story.
Nobody even remembers Lance Armstrong anymore. Or Roger Clemons. Or Jim Larranaga. All we remember is scandals.
And it’s sad.
Sport is defined as “Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively,” not the breaking of such set of rules. And with the focus on every bend or break or tear that occurs, we fall further and further away from what attracted us to sports in the first place.
I’ve always been an outspoken critic against steroids, not as a drug, but as a story, and I remain so to this day. My opinion does not matter any more than anyone else’s and I’m sick of hearing about it. And I know that whatever I say here will not affect the popularity of this “news.”
But if I could get one person in the mainstream to listen and just for once write about something intriguing, then I have done my part, even if it is just a façade so that we can catch our breathes.
Ten months ago when I wrote this plea for the first time, I ended by talking about a little kid who called the first offensive play for Notre Dame in a game that he died before getting to see what happened. A couple weeks later, ESPN turned that into a ten-minute piece on Sportscenter and a media bonanza. But that’s too much.
All these good stories need is a nod. They don’t need to be exploited for ratings- they need to be given a nod- because when you exploit them like you do steroids and sex scandals, it only makes them just as meaningless.
So give a nod every now and then, not to controversy, but to sports, and see what kind of reaction you’ll get. I’ve done it before and felt good about myself, not because I’ve changed the world, but because I haven’t.
Sometimes, that’s all we need.
3 replies on “A Midsummer’s Day Dream”
true Interesting point. I blame a lot of this on ESPN, the mainstream sports media giant. Sometime in the last decade they started focusing on hot topics (Chad Johnson’s dance moves. Who cares?) and controversy (Floyd Landis) rather than actual games.
S Smith Can you please tell me why you voted against this article? Voting against an article and not leaving feedback so as to help the author is not constructive.
I think that when you follow sports way too closely (like I do), then it gets a little boring. There’s just not enough unique stories to write about.