For the Love of the Game

Greg Behrens

greg

The dog days of summer are but a fond memory of days behind us. The lustrous green leaves, once in their prime, are now transitioning into the magnificent, yet sad, reds and yellows of autumn—a final burst of beauty, before the harsh cold of winter rips them down and they disintegrate into nothingness. I know this doesn’t clear up what time of year it is for most average Joes, so let me put in the terms that so many more will understand. The guys with the bouncing orange ball have been done for a while. There’s still about a month and a half of boring old baseball left. Do you know what that means? It’s football season, and for so many (Americans at least), it’s the most anticipated ball-holding season of the year, but I for one couldn’t care less.

I’ve never been a big “sports guy” in general, I played them as a youth, but eventually lost interest as music, girls, and drugs took a more active role in my teenage hobbies. But honestly, from the outside looking in, I’m pretty sure I made the right move. Most certainly heavy metal concerts, recreational visits to euphoria, and of course, the ladies, have done their fair share of damage to this poor soul, but it pales in comparison to the physical toll that a career playing professional sports can take on those dumb enough to pursue it. And for what—millions of dollars, a little bit of infamy, and possibly a broken neck? You can get the same thing robbing banks, but it doesn’t mean you should be doing it.

As difficult as it may be to hit a ball with a stick, or throw a ball through a hoop, or carry a ball from one area to another predetermined area, or zone as they call it, I think the athletes are still the ones in the sporting world that have it easy. They get to forgo even the most minimal of education, they get to play a child’s game as a job, and then they get to walk away with untold wealth. So what if they garner a few head injuries along the way—there probably wasn’t much in there to begin with, and usually the more injuries you get, the more likely it becomes that you will get a much coveted broadcasting position for a few years after your career playing the game, and just before the years when you are bedridden with crippling arthritis and dementia from playing the game and are then forgotten about completely. So remember to keep your head down and charge forward at all times.

I find the problems of being an professional athlete easily solved . . . you’re rich, so shut up and quit crying. When it comes down to it, there is no bigger challenge in the world of professional sports than being a fan. There’s nothing worse than having to sit idly by and watch someone do something that you know you could do better yourself. No matter how much you scream and yell at the television, or better yet, from the outrageously overpriced seat at your favorite team's stadium, they’re always gonna screw things up royally. They never run the plays you know are best, or make that goal when you know they should have, or block that kick when you tell them to. That’s a lot of heartbreak to handle for a guy with weakened arteries from eating so many sausage links, nachos, and doing beer funnels. Maybe you should try yelling louder next time, or if you’re there in person, throw something at the players, or that joke of a coach that you know you could do better than, that might get their attention. Perhaps you could demonstrate to them how you want something done by tackling a security guard.

Like I said, this isn’t really my world, and these are merely suggestions. I’m just trying to help out. I think it’s silly that we as a people waste extraordinary amounts of time and money on watching grown men, and women (thanks a lot, WNBA), play games and act like children. I, for one, think it’s a stupid, pointless waste of time. Now if you’ll excuse I’m going to spend the rest of my day writing jokes and playing Grand Theft Auto 5.

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