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Sports



Given the upcoming Cowboys vs. Bills game, I thought I'd write this one now (based on an essay in TIME by Kurt Anderson called The Agony of Victory):

I dislike most team and spectator sports. The reasons I dislike sports are the reasons most people like them. In this world with so much confusion, the one means of escape for the sheep of this world are sports, which they indulge in simply because there's a clear cut winner and loser. "Almost nothing else is so simple as stark, and indeed as the consequential sectors of life become more and more untidy in this post-cold war, confused sexual-etiquette age, obsessing over sports scores becomes to many people a tempting refuge."

People sometimes criticise me for looking at things too analytically (yeah, right), but this is as (boolean) logical as the innards of a digital computer. Scores, in the end, map onto either a "win" or a "loss" (even if there is a temporary collision, it is almost always worked out to yield true/false answer). "Scores all so obvious and pure---too damned obvious and pure for those of us inclined to suss out subtle meanings and unseen truths. Where are the paradoxes and the ironies? Where is the rich, dialetical unfolding?"

But certain sports (using a broad definition) say car and motocycle racing, skiing, bungy jumping, sky diving, etc., have forms that don't have a winner or loser. Rather, it is the event that matters. Much as I enjoy some of these sorts of sports, I would still claim that they don't play an important role in my life, and I don't like them as much, as, say reading a good thought-provoking book. This now digresses into something I claim: programming is better than sex. While it could be interpreted literally, I am referring to the fact that the mental activities that we can perform transcends anything physical we can do.

Sure, things like drag racing, or skiing, give you a big rush, and I think physical rushes are necessary once in a while, but most sports are overrated. As John, my mentor, pointed out to me earlier, you look at dogs having sex and they pretty much look like humans having sex (or vice versa), but have you ever seen a thoughtful expression on a dog's face like a human has when they are contemplating something really deep? (The humans, i.e., not the dogs.)

Sports have no interest to me mainly because they are a form of escapism. In the end, a team has won, a team has lost, and you've not gotten anything out of it. (Even the thrill of watching has gotten progressively more dull in certain games like basketball, where scoring has become rather routine.) Sports hold no interest to me because they can never compare to an intellectual activity. And finally, certain sports simply suck (like football or baseball).

So, who do you think will win this Sunday?