Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
But it's still sad to see so many of people treat sports like it's a religion, with false prostrations and all. There's so many people that believe in sports when at the end of the day it's a game, but yet we pour billions of dollars into it. There is part of me that does feel sports, in general, is a total waste of time. You invest all of these emotions into a team only to get your hopes up when playoff dreams are dashed. It's like being a Ravens fan is some form of sadism, you know?
I just have trouble finding a really great argument on why sports are so important, because they aren't.
True, in fact I precisely argue with Marxist atheists that religion isn't the opiate of the masses, if anything religion makes people think and talk too much, no, the true opiate of the masses is the arena and the circuit that Saint Augustine warned us about..
And there is a lot of money, but I was just griping about the Space Shuttle the other day until it flew over my house, and then I saw LA as a community, something we generally only reserve for riots and earthquakes. It was a beautiful day to see MILLIONS of people suddenly and joyfully on the same page. Then I reflected on my entire life under the Space Shuttle, and how while it was ridiculously expensive (which is indeed why its been scrapped) that it was always an inspiring thing for Americans, adults and children alike. I realized that considering how hard it is to form communities over anything, that I suppose it is worth even BILLIONS of dollars. After all, we also spend BILLIONS of dollars fighting wars which destroy communities, so in the long arc the Space Shuttle is really not all the bad. Could we have spent the money on the poor? Yes, but we will always have the poor, but we will not always have our fragile sense of community. I guess the same is true with the NFL or the NBA, yes, it consumes BILLIONS of dollars, but it also generates many thousands and thousands of jobs for folks, and whats more, really is part of our American culture and sense of building an American community.
And yes, as a Ravens fan who was initially growing up a Browns fan (I followed Art to Baltimore out of loyalty and respect for him) I can say yes, it can be very defeating and depressing. Yes, I was a grown man crying in a Guatemalan restaurant last year at the AFC game
But it builds character and becomes a wonderful symbol for overcoming struggles and dealing with adversity. I can't tell you how many teachable moments I've had with my students where using sports' analogies and metaphors has made the light bulb moment come on
When you are outside the Ravens, they look like a bunch of thugs. My friend just said it best last night, he loves the Ravens all the more the positiveness and integrity that team has as a team. They play ruff football to be sure, but its not personal. They are community oriented in Baltimore, they are even very spiritual about their approach. This is actually what attracts a lot of Ravens fans like myself to this organization, they like my Atlanta Falcons seem to have a lot of integrity in an NFL full of drama like a soap opera. That is also why I like Lebron James. Yes Ray Lewis has had his troubles, but I've also had mine, so his recovery into a positive direction in the NFL is very remniscent symbolically of struggles like my own to be a better person every day. Sports are indeed TOO important for a lot of people, but believe it or not, its a powerful opportunity to build relationships with total strangers and connect. You'd be surprised how quick you can be talking about last nights basketball or football game to a person at the corner store or the BBQ joint and next thing you know y'all is chatting also about the Virgin Mary
It is up to us as fans, especially Orthodox like you, me, and Troy Polamalu and yes, even Ray Lewis, to be shifting sports into a positive direction as an opportunity to build community. Otherwise it really is just about sleaze and gambling..