While I have previously made sports metaphors in this blog I have come to a certain conclusion: we have lost the spirit of the game. In our desire to be the best (note that is rather than being our best) we have become uber-competitive, arrogant, and even hateful towards opposing teams. Rivalries have turned friendly games into a death match that in the end only further perpetuates the negative connotation associated with the opponents. What may have begun as a way to recreate and enjoy outdoor activities has become a monstrous advertising campaign deluged with reasons one's team is better than the other.
Frankly I'm reminded of high school sports when I see such begin amongst the collegiate athletes. The scenes send me back to the days of yelling, screaming, working my guts out, and standing on the sidelines proving to the crowd and the "enemy" that we were better, stronger, and faster; proving our superiority.
The college level ups the ante with instant replays, different regulations, considerable size differences (between that of their high school counterparts), and roaring fans that rival any professional sporting event. It's sickening to watch the flaunted pride, vanity, haughtiness, and arrogance be rewarded with such attention, devotion, and job offers. Logically the teams want to win. Logically this requires that players be able to play their position well and that they be faster, stronger, more agile, or more quick-thinking than their colleagues.
I digress to my original observation: we have lost the true spirit of sports. I'd love to see inter-school sports become a friendly way to enjoy the out-of-doors, spend time exercising, and stretching one's mind of the game. I'd like to see a return to things being a game. That's all it is. It wasn't about who won or lost or who is better. Why can't it be anymore? What's so bad about gathering together without making enemies of those who could be our friends? What's so bad about playing hard and well without keeping score, taunting the other team or making such a public display of our pride?
Mind you, I do not watch sports anymore. Not college and certainly not professional. It's not worth watching and wondering, "Why?" The next time I get together with friends to play a little game that's all it will be, a game. Like a video game system it will go away and remain turned off once all is said and done. It won't be about proving who is right or wrong, strong or weak, developed or immature. It will be about a good time, sportsmanship, and recreation.