Friday Fire: Do You Still Love Sports?

Writing sports you precluded from loving games with fan eyes. You have to be objective no matter what and I don’t know it that’s a good thing. Some writers use stats to corroborate their “expert” opinions and others–including myself–want to know why, where, what and how. I speak from the fan’s mind because there’s information I want to know. What was the moment that sparkled grand in a young athlete’s mind and spurred her onto the path of game highs and lows ultimately leading to greatness? Why did you lose this game tonight? How did that old scruffy dude on the street influence you to becoming the amazing player you have become? That thing with your bat…who taught you that? When did you fall in love with basketball? Do you think we should know everything about you regardless of what’s going on in our (writers and fans) personal lives? Are you damned if you do, damned if you don’t? Do you really need a coach at the pro level? As the media climate gets crazy and more jaded by another violation of the shot clock, I have to ask the question: Do you still love sports?

21 Responses to “Friday Fire: Do You Still Love Sports?”

  1. HarveyDent says:

    Do I still love sports? The games themselves yes I do but the periphery cottage industry around sports today is what gives me pause. Today with our 24/7 media its all sports all the time with no particular sport having an offseason anymore. In a way that’s good because as a fan of the Eagles I can read and listen to news about them any day of the year. The bad is that because this is a 24/7 world all kind of dirt comes across the wire mixed with a few nuggets here and there. I could care less than a damn if Tony Romo went to TO’s b’day party but I do want to know if his aching back will affect his play against the Ravens on Saturday night. That mix of the trivial with the substantive with a lack of the objectivity sports reporters and all reporters in general are supposed to have is what taints the love I have for sports. If there are going to be reports on Adam Jones littering then there should be reports about Brian Giles beating down a pregnant woman and causing her to miscarry. If the reporting isn’t going to be fair and balanced to turn a phrase then don’t report because all yellow journalism like that does is create faux heroes and villains which is an intersection of sports and drama. When I want sports I’ll watch NBA TV when I want drama I’ll go back to watching ‘Days of Our Lives.’

  2. Mizzo says:

    That’s what I’m talking about. Thanks brothaman!

    Uh…you watched Days of Our Lives? ;)

  3. HarveyDent says:

    Every weekday for two years in the early ’90′s right after ‘Generations’ while in college. Hey, had to do something between classes and me being the contrarian I’d watch ‘Days’ while everyone else would be in the common area watching ‘The Young and the Restless’

  4. des says:

    HarveyDent,

    Did the same thing when I was at Morgan State. Stefano was the man…

    Do I still love sports? Yes, but my love has gotten more specific these days because of the b.s. being dished out these days. Take the N.F.L. for example. I love watching the games, I still miss watching them with my dad, but I’ve had my fill of NFL 24-7. My love for baseball has turned into like mainly because my team, the Orioles, have sucked for 11 years, with no end in sight. Now college basketball, I always loved it, warts and all. From Midnight Madness to March Madness, I’m all over it. And there’s nothing like watching to see if players can make the transition from college to the NBA. So that’s where my love is right now. I’ll say this though, because of sites like this and Sports On My Mind, it makes me appreciate what I watch even more.

  5. GrandNubian says:

    I’ll admit this much….with all the controversy and headlines that overshadowed the game(s), be it basketball, football, boxing, etc., I grew tired and started not liking what I was seeing or hearing. I longed for the days when I could turn on the TV and watch the NFL Today with Brent Musburger and Irv Cross. I longed for the days when I didn’t have to hear the OPINION of either a ‘washed up, ex-jock who wasn’t really good to begin with’ (i.e. Chris Collingsworth, Ron Jaworski) or a ‘non-athletic, jealous, middle-class white guy, who thinks he knows it all and who was probably bullied by athletes growing up’ (i.e. Bob Costas). I’m the guy who love to hear about the ‘Xs’ and the ‘Os’, the schemes, the rivalries, etc. I don’t care about what a player does off the field because it’s none of my f***in’ business.

    What I disliked the most was the one-sided and unfair journalism and “ticky-tack” reporting by media outlets such as BSPN, FOx Sports, NBC and others.

    The cure for my illness? Stop watching BSPN, FOX and other media circuits. I also stop listening to local radio stations in Atlanta, except when the 2-Live Stews take the air from 1 – 4p.m. Once I did all that, my love for the games returned. If I want the 411 on the NFL, I watch NFL Network. If I want to run-down on the NBA, I watch NBATV. Now granted these networks are NOT perfect but as of right now they’re the ‘lesser of the evils’ among the clowns in this media circus.

    On the NFL Network, ex-players such as Deion Sanders, Terrell Davis, Rod Woodson, Brian Baldinger, Sterling Sharpe, Jaime Dukes seem more interested in the ‘Xs’ and ‘Os’ rather what happens OFF the field. On NBATV, Steve Smith, Kenny Smith, Antonio Davis, Chris Webber, Gary Payton and Eric Snow care more about the game moreso than the controversy.

    So, with that being the case, i’ll say this to the rest of the media outlets as I take a quote from my man Ice Cube from his CD “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted”, track 1 (“Better Off Dead”)…

    “Yeah, I got some last words…..’FUCK ALL YA’LL!”

    Peace

  6. GrandNubian says:

    Two-Face/Mizz,

    I watched “The Young & The Restless” when I was in college at Fort Valley State. I had a crush on Olivia and Druscilla. :-)

  7. origin says:

    Great comments everyone.

    I myself still love the game………well at this point I could care less about College Football and the NFL because of their good ole boy politics.

    But as far as the MSM………..I stop messing with that mcrap….sportingnews radio, ESPIN, SI, ABC and Fox pregame………and the rest could go to he11.

    I tell my wife that I have killed more brain cells watching and listening to that MSM ignorance then I did in all my years in college drinking.

    To me NBATV and TNT are the best. The fact that TNT took a segment to talk about Derrick Coleman work says alot.

    The fact that I can watch those shows and get balanced info is refreshing.

    Plus they actually talk Xs and Os. Very little comments on off the court incidents and other junk. Just straight to the point.

    Watching ESPIN NBA pregame is like listening to teenage girls gossiping about who kisses the best. Just straight ignorance.

  8. origin says:

    Oh and Harvey………..days of our lives was the joint in the 90s.

    Me and my roomate in college would tape it between clases and come back to the room and watch it.

    LOL!!!!

  9. GrandNubian says:

    origin,

    Yall know Days couldn’t touch Y&R!!! :-)

  10. Co Co says:

    Yes, but there are certain media outlets that may very well change that. The tough thing is that there’s barely any way to get away from it because they have a contract with all of the major sports so if you want to watch any of the games you almost have to come in contact with their madness. Sorry for the run-on. I still love sports, but I can do without all the tabloid journalism and over-reactions to simple things.

  11. Temple3 says:

    Ditto what HD said.

  12. Temple3 says:

    GN:

    They’re still fine.

  13. des says:

    GrandNubian,

    Bo and Hope were the latter-day Luke and Laura. I won’t lie, I had a thing for Ashley on Y & R, but there was a sista named Stephanie Williams on there who had a body built for sin. Memories.

  14. jimmy paz says:

    We all seem to agree that we still love sports, but we sure don’t like the way the MSM covers the games we love. Unlike some of the posters, I don’t think the “good old days” were any better. In spite of all of its racism, hype, and hypocrisy (I could go on for a while), I’d still miss ESPN. The alternative for NFL highlights, for example, was Howard Cosell at halftime of MNF. Just when I think I can’t stand one more second of the world-wide leader, I remind myself that any outfit which gave us Robin Roberts and Keith Olberman can’t be all bad. What’s worse than ESPN for me is local sports talk radio. What’s especially annoying is the extent to which almost all of this idiocy is in fact politics in the guise of sports talk. The AMAWG’s and AWOG’s who host the shows and call in to them talk about sports, but what they’re really saying is that wealthy African-American athletes should be grateful, lose the tattoos and dreads, and keep their mouths shut; that our society is too permissive; that kids need to be spanked; that people should shut up and do what they’re told; that today’s young people are spoiled; that we’re a nation of whiners; that gays are deviant; that the same competitive spirit that drives sports teams and athletes should also guide our country’s social and foreign policies, and so on. I live in Michigan, where a bridge loan to the car companies has widespread public support, for obvious reasons. Everywhere, that is, except on the sports talk radio shows, where the almost unanimous opinion is that the government should let the Big 3 go out of business. Competition, you see. Or to punish the Ford family for what they’ve done to the Lions. You’ll notice that it’s not just politics–it’s right wing politics. So far, I’ll bet many of you are with me. Now we’re probably going to part company. I think American sports culture has an inherently right-wing bias. The cliche that playing sports builds character is true up to a point: sports teaches the importance of discipline, hard work, teamwork, and loyalty very well. But sports does not teach critical thought, tolerance, honesty, or empathy very well, if at all. And it almost has to be that way. You couldn’t run a football team with a bunch of critical thinkers who heard different drummers, empathized with the opposing team, and called their own violations to the attention of the officials. And American football additionally requires a great ability to tolerate, if not enjoy, violence. I know I’ve greatly over-simplified here (I’m trying to write an article on the relationship between sports culture and right-wing political thoughtJ), but there it is. I still love the games themselves, but I realize that in order to do so, I have to hold in abeyance for a while my knowledge that the ideology of American sports is largely on the opposite side of the political spectrum where I live the rest (and more important part) of my life. Even though I know better, I mainly watch for entertainment. For better or worse (and I think it’s often for the worse), I was raised in the sports culture. It’s the main way men communicate with their male friends.

  15. Dredded One says:

    Nice thread, fellas. Shout outs to des (Go O’s!! **sigh**) and JP for his insight. Can you let us know when your article is published? Sounds very interesting.

    Y’all have covered most of it and I think O said it that college basketball is pretty much the best sport going because of its lack of drama but high pagentry. To me, the fact that is not year-round like the other sports is a sigh of relief. You actually have a lot of anticipation leading up to March Madness.

    As for the soaps, I went to a George Mason which is a commuter school. So instead of watching tv in 1 set place, everyone would watch a show somewhere else and talk about it at the Black Student Union. Our show was “Generations”.

  16. Miranda says:

    The fact that so many of you guys watched the soaps…gives me great pause………………………………..I’m gonna have to process that information before I can even begin to respond to the actual topic at hand.

  17. HarveyDent says:

    Tell ‘em, Dred, because they don’t know about ‘Generations’ which is where I first say Vivica A. Fox…before she lost her gotdarn mind but she was a cutie then.

  18. HarveyDent says:

    EDIT***where I first SAW Ms. Fox I should say

  19. Matthew Fudge says:

    I love sports. I just don’t like the players much anymore. And this is from a person who, when the Bulls lost to the Pacers in Game 6 of the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals, stormed out of my mother’s apartment in E. Orange, NJ and walked to Elmwood Park. No way I’d waste my emotions on a game today. My feelings towards athletes changed when the NBA locked out the players in 1998. Between Patrick Ewing saying “We make a lot, but we spend a lot”, Kenny Anderson saying he might have to sell one of his eight cars, Charles Barkley saying that if fans don’t show up, they still have to do their jobs, and the sight of David Stern’s fat, smug and bearded self walking towards his limo on his way to Aspen, I finally realized that athletes don’t care about the fans. They only care about themselves. Not one person that I can remember stepped up and said, “We’re sorry that we took the games away.” No accountability at all. No apologies for giving us a shortened, crappy ’98-99 season. Is this entirely their fault? Nope. The fans, media, and sports teams in general all have a hand in feeding athletes’ isolation, self-absorption and self-importance. Did we really need to hear about where LeBron James will play in two years when we’re in a recession and everyone’s struggling in the real world? You can’t expect athletes to have any life perspective when they perform in an industry that doesn’t facilitate it. So, looking at sports (and life) as a grown-a– man and not a child, I’ll enjoy the games because, let’s face it, most of us live mundane, crappy, drama-filled lives and need an escape. But I’ll no longer invest ANY emotions in the players.

  20. Matthew Fudge says:

    BTW, I used to watch “All My Children” back in the day, so I can’t put anybody on blast for watching soaps.

  21. michelle says:

    I liked sports a lot more when C-WEBB was running and gunning with the Kings but time stops for no one and YES I STILL LOVE SPORTS!

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