Better Dunking Through Chemistry

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Speaking of mutant powers, there's a nice defense at Wired of giving sports over to mutant cyborgs hopped up on meth. Ron Bailey had the same idea on public radio's Marketplace.

NEXT: Won't Somebody Please Think of the Children!?! (Part MCVIX)

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  1. I'm all for this. As a sports-hater, nothing irks me like people saying that drugs soil the "sanctity" or "nobility" of a game. It's a game. Recreation. Entertainment. It has no sanctity. It's grown men being paid more than I'll ever see to go out and play, or sell sneakers. The fact that pro basketball is a lynchpin pipedream of the majority of inner city youths is pretty sick. There is no legitamite reason for sports to claim the quotient of the economy that it does. The main reason it has succeeded is because three generations of psychotic public school agendas has left us with a significantly more ignorant citizenry, and ignorant people get excited when then see men run, jump, and hit each other. Let the atheletes take all the juice they want. Perhaps they'll be able to run faster once thier nuts fall off.

  2. mutant cyborgs hopped up on meth

    But why should Rush Limbaugh have all the fun?

  3. After all, technology has already altered our games in ways both large and small. Golf balls fly farther, tennis rackets allow players to hit the ball harder, skis turn more easily, bicycles are more aerodynamic and lighter.

    And, not coincidentally, all of these sports have gotten more boring.

  4. I've been making the same observations for quite some time now. But yet, as even the author admits, there's a difference between having a better tennis racket through technology and a better athlete through technology? Huh? Oh, right, the technology is a performance enhancing drug, and somehow that's bad.

    His other argument, another I've observed for quite some time, is that pro athletes already fuck up their bodies in the name of the game. And while I can agree with Jeff that it's too bad inner city youths actually look to basketball as their way out of the projects and that a pro athlete should not make as much as they do (a lot more in one year than I'll make in serveral, depending on the sport), I'll admit that, as an amateur athelete, I fuck my body up because I love to compete and I enjoy playing sports. So it's not only for the money that an athlete goes out and lets his limbs be broken and tendons torn (or in my case, mostly fingers and teeth get broken).

    But do have to disagree with Jeff on one point - not only ignorant people enjoy watching "men run, jump, and hit each other". There is beauty in the human form and beauty in perfecting that human form to outwit, outmaneuver, and outpunish your opponent.

  5. Shorter Jeff P. : I don't like sports, therefore only dumb people do.

  6. Lowdog, how much "should" pro athletes make?

  7. Jesus, MORE Bush-bashing at the so-called "REASON" site? President Bush is opposed to steroids in professional sports, so of course all the Democrats here have to be in favor of drugs and mutations in sports, right? Can you people stop your attacks on the president for one second and THINK? Just because your hero "Slick Willie" Clinton was in favor of drug use in sports do you have to turn around and hate Bush?

  8. Lowdog: no arguement on appreciation of the beauty of human movement. But if that is the sole criteria than why isn't ice capades a billion dollar industry? If watching opponents outwit each other was the only motivation, then chess would be on pay per view.
    To be clear: my argument is that the patronage of a LOT of ignorant people has made sports the finacial juggernaut that it is. Atheltes in the early to mid-twentieth century lived more like carnies that like celebrities.
    Phil: I speak only of professional sports. I played basketball in high school and college, as well as intra-mural football. I enjoyed the games as well as the teamwork and competition. That is no reason for me to tithe a good chunk of my income to watch other richer people play it in publically funded arenas. Only a fool would do that.

  9. I propose that World Citizen's paragraph should be adapted as the "quick brown fox" mnemonic of faulty logic.

  10. Jeff, if one enjoys, say baseball, and enjoys seeing it played by the best baseball players in the world, one is going to find those players on professional teams playing in professional venues. Same with football, or basketball, or soccer, or cricket, or whatever. To believe otherwise, and to believe that satisfaction in seeing the sport played can only be had when that play is unsullied by filthy lucre, is investing sports with the very nobility and sanctity that you assert doesn't exist.

    I don't want to see baseball played by some amateur schmucks in a backlot with a cooler full of Bud Light. I want to see it played by the absolute masters of the game.

  11. Or by the Cleveland Indians, I should add.

  12. Or by the Cleveland Indians, I should add.

    [mindless tribalistic sportsfan bellowing]

    Hey, go home, Phil! We don't need you, anyway.

    [/mindless tribalistic sportsfan bellowing]

  13. Phil - I would never propose some sort of restrictions on what an athlete makes. I think he should make what people will pay him. Which is why I don't like the new NHL CBA (although the argument could be made that for the NHL to make money, therefore all the teams make money, the league had to become more of a collective effort, whatever).

    I will make two points.

    The first is that athletes try to make a lot of fucking money really quick because their career might end tomorrow, but yet not only themselves, but also their families, have sacrificed years and years of time and money to get to a point where they could even consider that they might get some huge contract. Can't fault them for that.

    The second is that comments like Josh's, saying that games are boring because of technology, is, well, I don't know what to say about that attitude. As Phil says, I want to see sports played by the best players, using the best equipment. That's why I don't watch college sports much, because 90% of those kids aren't going to make it (ever watch college basketball, most of them suck).

  14. Phil:

    The Indians' hopes died as soon as AJ stepped on Boone.

  15. Phil: Fine. That still doesn't justify the untold billions in salary and revenues, nor the fact that you cannot walk into a bar without seeing sports on TV, nor the unthinkable traffic jams that occur in every major city on a game day.
    I'm happy for any entertainer who can make a living doing what they love. But the bulk of sports fans do not watch for the reasons you give. The prevalence of sports in our culture cannot be explained by a "love of the game."

  16. "quick brown fox"? i don't understand. but i think it's safe to say that our pal WC doesn't realize what sort of site this is.

    jeff p., you need to get out more.

    and finally, who remembers those Mutant League sports games that came out for those 16-bit systems in the 90's? i wouldn't mind having a real Mutant League to enjoy, but i don't want it mixed in with the regular pro leagues.

    think about it - the entire dynamic of a sport is built around what the human body is and isn't capable of. if that changes dramatically, the sport could become unrecognizable. and some of us actually think sports are entertaining as they are.

  17. My poistion on performance-enhancing drugs in sports is simple:

    whichever chemist who comes up with a drug that makes the WNBA interesting should be given the Nobel Prize posthaste.

  18. The second is that comments like Josh's, saying that games are boring because of technology, is, well, I don't know what to say about that attitude. As Phil says, I want to see sports played by the best players, using the best equipment. That's why I don't watch college sports much, because 90% of those kids aren't going to make it (ever watch college basketball, most of them suck).

    Well then you should love college baseball, aluminum bats are far superior to wooden bats.

  19. The WNBA? That still exists? Thank god the networks aren't still forcing that crap down our throats like they did in the mid-late 90s.

  20. lowdog, i don't pay much attention to college sports, either, but many people do love them. there are some great stories to be found in college sports, and besides seeing cool things happen, the other appeal of sports is the stories that come out of them.

    and which story is more interesting to you: the one about the kid who battled a back condition he was born with and became a star quarterback, or the one about the kid who used his parents' money to buy himself a new arm, and became a star quarterback?

  21. How about the kis who had a bad back condition with birth, worked menial jobs using pro sports as his only motivating factor, and then bought a bionic back from Superhuman Labs in Korea?

    How about that.

  22. We air the WNBA at my station. If you look close during the tip-off you can see stage hands and ushers relocating people to seats on the far side of the arena so it looks like attendence is up.

    BTW, the games of WNBA team The CT Sun is nothing more than two hour ads for the Mohegan Sun casino. I must assume similar things are true for other teams as well.

  23. Jeff, That still doesn't justify the untold billions in salary and revenues,

    Well, what would justify them? I mean, I hear this all the time with athletes, but I never hear anyone say, "Why the hell should I spend $30 of my hard-earned dough just to see what fake stories about some fake people some Simon & Schuster A-lister pounded out?" Or, "What justifies me giving money from my paycheck to the billionaires that own Seagrams or Anheuser-Busch just so I can get a temporary satisfying buzz and maybe a headache tomorrow?" They're selling a product that people want. You can similarly criticize the revenues in pretty much any industry, but it seems kind of silly.

    nor the fact that you cannot walk into a bar without seeing sports on TV,

    Oh, brother. What should they have on? Oprah?

    nor the unthinkable traffic jams that occur in every major city on a game day.

    I live in the DC Metro area. I don't want to hear from traffic jams. Would it be OK, though, if they were traffic jams for . . . shit, I don't know, dog shows? Tractor pulls? Metallica concerts?

    I'm happy for any entertainer who can make a living doing what they love. But the bulk of sports fans do not watch for the reasons you give.

    Mindreading! Ten yards and replay of down!

    The prevalence of sports in our culture cannot be explained by a "love of the game."

    Sure it can. There's also the civic pride instilled by watching the home team do well, the inherent aesthetic merits of a well-executed play, the feeling of group membership/camaraderie among fans . . .

    Josh, I can hit a home run with an aluminum bat. I want to see the guys who can do it with hunks of pine or ash.

    White Sox Fan, we'll see. We still have four more games together and the momentum. So there.

  24. Ha, that's one of joe's favourite arguments. That and men's professional tennis.

    It's one argument that I find interesting, but I still haven't figured out what my "real" response would be. I guess, for starters, I'm not as big a baseball fan as I am of other sports. Baseball has much more of a mental aspect to it, as a percentage of the game, than many other sports, as well. That may change my outlook a bit. I can say I don't like the ping sound of aluminum. And they can sting your hand more easily if you don't hold them right. But maybe you're right, Josh, they should play with aluminum bats in the pros.

    Because college sports still ain't as good, regardless of what equipment they're using.

  25. "Better things for better living... through chemistry."
    Anyone who remembers this DuPont motto probably brushed his or her teeth with Ipana.

  26. I find it endlessly amusing, by the way, that someone who works in television -- Television! The lowest-common-denominator entertainment medium! At a FOX affiliate!! -- is criticisizing others for what forms of entertainment they consume. I mean, it's not as if you're promoting the spread of Camus and Mozart, Jeff.

  27. My God, you guys are acting like this sporting craze is a modern invention. It's been around since the Greeks. It's all about human acheivement, skills involving both the body and the mind. This isn't just an engineering of the human body problem, the willpower to train for any sporting event is truly a remarkable feat.

    That said, we wouldn't allow a basketball player to play in stilts would we? Why not? Because it gives him an unfair advantage over the other competitors. This says nothing about my freedom to wear stilts to the grocery store. (It helps me reach the top shelf liquor.) Outlawing doping in sports follows from this argument.

  28. zach - "neat" stories, while they may be "neat", just don't do it for me. I don't care about either star quarterback because where they're a "star" is probably some small town of 200 kids (not that there's anything wrong with small towns, I grew up in several, I'm just saying). Because they're, not yet anyway, going to become one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

  29. How about the kis who had a bad back condition with birth, worked menial jobs using pro sports as his only motivating factor, and then bought a bionic back from Superhuman Labs in Korea?

    How about that.

    that would be a great story for Mutant League Football. 😉

    my only point is, people such as myself will be wanting to watch sports that they can recognize for a while to come. if they prematurely disappear in favor of technology races, the industry will only suffer. rather than replace one with the other, we ought to offer both.

  30. Why not just let the almighty market (not being sarcastic) decide whether or not doping should be allowed in sports. If they allow doping and people stop watching, then they will ban it again. If there's enough of a market for both juiced and unjuiced sports, then they will co-exist.
    Didn't they do something like this in body building?

  31. Smalls-

    Maybe the RxFL?

  32. zach - "neat" stories, while they may be "neat", just don't do it for me.

    the point remains that they "do it" for a lot of other people.

    Smalls has summarized my argument.

  33. Smalls-

    My guess what would happen with the two competeing leagues, one doped, one un-doped, would be this. No players would want to play in the doped league. My feelings are that they only dope because it gives them a competitive advantage over those who don't. If everyone's doing it, there's no advantage, you're only doing it to keep up, and there's all the health risks involved. That's why I think you see alot of the players saying they want steriods banned. But who knows, maybe aging stars would want to switch leagues so they could keep playing...

  34. and let's not forget the kid with the Superhuman Labs Bionic Back!

  35. RxFL...I like it. Then the players could advertise for their favorite drugs. I see a whole new tax source here.

  36. Bah, you can have your Mutant Leagues. Give me football played by robots with no punting and a ball that explodes if you don't make it on 4th down. Let's play Cyberball!

  37. Yogi,
    You're probably right. Plus, the players would want to keep their good image, or else they could lose their fan base. But...maybe not. Murder didn't keep Ray Lewis down.

  38. i think there used to be computer-generated previews for that on Fox to advertise upcoming games.

  39. RxFL...I like it. Then the players could advertise for their favorite drugs. I see a whole new tax source here.

    Like NASCAR, its the same stock engine (human body), but you can tweak it all you want. Then, throw your advertising dollars at it. We'd have people arguing which is better drug company instead of the Ford-Chevy arguments.

  40. Computer generated images of what, Ray Lewis killing someone, or Cyberball?

  41. i hope we realize that this entire debate takes place in a libertarian utopia anyway. Decent People would never allow a Mutant League or RxFL to happen. i can picture the headlines now: "Inner City Youth Forced to Grow Third Arm to Feed Family".

    now this Cyberball thing might have a future. but it sounds like an awfully expensive way of playing a videogame. now, if the robots were actually holograms...

  42. Yogi,
    People would get stickers of Calvin peeing on the Met-Rx logo. No wait, maybe tatoos instead of stickers.

  43. Here's a nifty little article for all the sports fans at Marginal Revolution. I'm not the biggest fan of sports, but betting markets are like the coolest thing ever!

  44. Captain Awesome,
    That really is like the coolest thing ever. Thank God for the internet. It might just save capitalism.

  45. Phil: There's not an author on the planet, except perhaps Rowling and King, who make close to what your middle of the road baseball or football player make.
    And there is a lot of other stuff on TV other than sports.
    Sports generates more money than the medical industry in this country, yet produces nothing tnagible. I'm sorry, but no amout of civic pride and comraderie sufficiently accounts for that.
    Also, in TV, if you don't perform, you get cancelled. This doesn't seem to happen in sports. Also also, TV is my JOB. I do not go home and watch 8 straight hours of TV after a shift. I do not by every TV show tie-in. My walls are not plaster with TV show posters.
    I fully accept my responsibilty in facilitating the horror of American Idol on the CT viewing public.
    I have yet to be convinced that a well-educated public would have turned professional sports into the monolithic beast it has become.
    And the next time I see a guy in a football jersey mock a guy in a Klingon uniform or a Green Lantern t-shirt, I may have to urinate on him.

  46. Jeff P.,
    Apparently there is enough "civic pride and comraderie" to sufficiently account for the amount of money atheletes make. Otherwise they wouldn't make that much. Don't get me wrong, I know professional sports is stilted somewhat by government subsidies, and I vehemently disagree with that. But they wouldn't make that much money if "civic pride" didn't gather enough money for it.
    Also, you really lost my support at "Klingon uniform".

  47. Sports generates more money than the medical industry in this country

    I guess that Medicare entitlement won't be as expensive as we all thought then.

  48. I would also like to point out that having sports fans get defensive because I dislike sports feels exactly the same as when Christians get flustered when I mention I'm an atheist.

  49. Jeff P.,
    I'm not even a sports fan. I can't even stay awake at a baseball game, much less while watching it on TV. I just get frustrated when people talk about how atheletes are overpaid. Sure, cities and states use public funds to finance arenas and stadiums (which is disgusting), but other than that they support themselves, which means they get paid exactly what the market will allow.

  50. no, it's probably more like the way people would react if you called all religious or spiritual people idiots.

  51. I would also like to point out that having sports fans get defensive because I dislike sports feels exactly the same as when Christians get flustered when I mention I'm an atheist.

    If you're as insufferably condescending about religion as you are about sports, I sympathize with those Christians.

  52. We must achieve chemical parity for all atheletes.

  53. Smalls: I'm not arguing the source or sufficiency of the salary money.
    My point, again: Pro sports has become the ubiquitous cultural force and trope that it is through a net decrease in the intelligence of the population.
    Sports have always been popular, but it was never a 15-20%-per-year growth industry until the mid-70s.
    Baseball and football were both very popular in the 50s and early sixties. Yet you could go out into the world for an entire afternoon and not see any sign of it. Now I can't walk outside without being inundated with sports promotion and "fandom." Most of the sports fans I encounter have more in common with the ultra-religious, or those folks who love Elvis a little-too-much, than with anyone celebrating human achievement and competition.
    And a guy who wears their team colors every sunday has no business saying anything about a guy in a Klingon outfit.

  54. There's not an author on the planet, except perhaps Rowling and King, who make close to what your middle of the road baseball or football player make.

    Bullshit. League minimum for MLB rookies is $316,000. I guarantee that every author on the NYT fiction top ten made more than that on their last advance. You don't think Danielle Steel makes more than some guy who platoons at third base and gets 225 at-bats a season?

    Sports generates more money than the medical industry in this country, yet produces nothing tnagible. I'm sorry, but no amout of civic pride and comraderie sufficiently accounts for that.

    Well, first off, I'd like a cite for that assertion. But anyway, one assumes that the massive salaries paid to superstars is being used to, you know, buy stuff. Which is good for the economy.

    And, again, what tangible thing does the multi-billion dollar concert industry produce? Or the movie industry? Why are you so bloody concerned with where people spend their entertainment dollars? Because you have to sit in traffic sometimes? Boo-freakin'-hoo.

    As far as sports in bars goes, bars are noisy, active places. If there's going to be a TV on, a football, baseball or basketball game is something that can be watched and enjoyed by busy, noisy people without having the sound on or loud and can still be followed with occasional glances. Most TV doesn't fit that bill, even with the captioning on.

    Also, in TV, if you don't perform, you get cancelled. This doesn't seem to happen in sports.

    Er . . . I promise you that if you're batting .185 for several weeks or your ERA is 6.85 and you're a starter, you will go to AA ball very shortly. Meanwhile, teams that underperform don't draw fans, which punishes them economically and provides incentive to sign better players.

    I have yet to be convinced that a well-educated public would have turned professional sports into the monolithic beast it has become.

    Yeah, because no Harvard presidents have ever been baseball commissioners or anything.

    And the next time I see a guy in a football jersey mock a guy in a Klingon uniform or a Green Lantern t-shirt, I may have to urinate on him.

    Well, this I agree with. There's nothing that distinguishes a Green Bay Cheesehead from a ComiCon attendee aside from what they're a fan of. Generally speaking, when someone who is not a fan of something says, "Get a life," what they mean is "Get my life." Me, I'm equally comfortable among a crowd of 40,000 screaming Indians fans as I am among a bunch of guys dressed like Jedi or Stormtroopers.

    Still, we get it, you don't like pro sports. But this hostility, this "Everything about sports sucks and its fans are stupid and everyone makes too much money and I don't like it" suggests something a lot deeper going on.

    I would also like to point out that having sports fans get defensive because I dislike sports feels exactly the same as when Christians get flustered when I mention I'm an atheist.

    I would like to suggest that sports fans don't particularly care what you do and don't like (although you've gone from "I'm a sports hater" to "I played in school and liked it" to "I dislike sports," so whatever), but really don't like being called stupid for their entertainment preferences. Particularly by someone whose job is to make sure "So You Think You Can Dance" and "The Simple Life" run at the network-cleared times.

  55. "There's nothing that distinguishes a Green Bay Cheesehead from a ComiCon attendee aside from what they're a fan of."

    amen. you're all a bunch of scary motherfuckers.

  56. You're making a lot of unsupported assertions here, by the way, and ones for which I'd like cites:

    Atheltes in the early to mid-twentieth century lived more like carnies that like celebrities. (This one is almost categorically false, by the way, so I'll be interested in what you come up with.)

    Sports generates more money than the medical industry in this country,

    Pro sports has become the ubiquitous cultural force and trope that it is through a net decrease in the intelligence of the population.

    Sports have always been popular, but it was never a 15-20%-per-year growth industry until the mid-70s.

    By the way, I suggest you look up what used to go on before, during and after baseball games in the early part of the century. Particularly for teams like the Yankees and the Dodgers.

  57. Jeff P. writes:

    "I have yet to be convinced that a well-educated public would have turned professional sports into the monolithic beast it has become."

    This well-educated sports fan remembers his Hume. To paraphrase: sometimes you need to take a step back from serious pursuits and play a little backgammon. Well, for some of us, it's sports. Try again.

  58. Phil,

    "That still doesn't justify the untold billions in salary and revenues, nor the fact that you cannot walk into a bar without seeing sports on TV, nor the unthinkable traffic jams that occur in every major city on a game day."

    Someone's bitter. Why do people's preferences need justification? People like sports; fuck your rather whiny desire for "justification". If I love football because of the intricate plays and athleticism, and my pal loves football because of the bone-crunching body-smashing, who is more "justified"? Good god, I sure hate holier-than-thou twits who demand justification for everyone's every preference. Ugh.

    "But the bulk of sports fans do not watch for the reasons you give. The prevalence of sports in our culture cannot be explained by a "love of the game."

    Oh, so, almighty Jeff, why do "most" sports fans watch sports? And is it "justified"? Heh.

    "There is no legitamite reason for sports to claim the quotient of the economy that it does."

    Legitimate? What would be a legitimate reason, Jeff? If sports saved lives? If it strived for world peace? Christ. People like it, fuck the reasons why. It's entertainment. By your nimrod standards, any form of entertainment needs some kind of subjective justification for its success. Could it be that your subjective personal preferences are being erroneously touted as some sort of "cultural state-of-the-union" horseshit? Methinks so. You don't like sports? Fine. I don't like alot of sports either. But I don't condemn society for having different preferences than myself, and I surely don't stop folks on the street and demand justification for their love of bowling. I have a suggestion: get over yourself.

  59. yeah, Jeff, you're losing me big-time, too.

    But I've always been lucky enough to enjoy a very large variety of things. I play RPG's, I am a club/dance music DJ, I work with computers, I love sports, I like fast cars, etc, etc, etc.

    I hardly ever hate on anyone, except assholes, which can sometimes make me a hypocrite.

    Oh yeah, and I'm also an atheist. 🙂

  60. Jeff P. writes:

    "Most of the sports fans I encounter have more in common with the ultra-religious, or those folks who love Elvis a little-too-much, than with anyone celebrating human achievement and competition."

    Now, if I were to post that most gamers I encounter have more in common with the anti-social, or the chronically celibate than with anyone celebrating chance and skill amidst 12-sided dye rolls, what would you say?

  61. How many hit points is a field goal worth?

  62. What's funny about this whole "Sports fans is dumb, and sports become more popular as people get dumber" baloney line of argument is that 1) people in the US are absolutely, unequivocally better-educated, on average, than they were in 1910, or 1920, or 1950. There are more high school and college graduates getting better educations, in general, than ever; and 2) Smart, successful people have always been big fans of sports; in fact, smart, successful people were the ones with the leisure time and money to watch and support competitive pro sports.

    I'm currently reading a book called Empire of the Stars, about the battles in the 1930s between two physicists, Subrahmanyan Chandrakeshar and Sir Arthur Eddington, over whether black holes were possible or not. In passing, it mentions that one of Eddington's favorite things was visiting Harvard, so he could go watch the Boston Red Sox play. Go figure.

  63. i think i summed it up when i said that jeff needs to get out more.

  64. Phil: I am not calling anyone here stupid. Nor am being hostile to anyone who likes sports. Harvard presidents notwithstanding, I've yet to hear my point be refuted.

    To use the arguments I've read so far, we can atribute the popularity of Pokemon (and its assorted knock-offs) not a general decline in the intelligence and taste of children, but on the community spirit that's build when kids get together to trade cards, on the fine traditions of painting and animation that culminated in the cards and cartoons, and in the honest desire to see a day-glo monster out perform and outmanuver its opponent.

    And for the record, I air a lot more than Fox programs. I also air such fine WB fare as 7th Heaven and Surreal Life. And I supply much-needed infomercials for celebrity-endorsed make-up and Natural Cures to my viewers. I can think of no nobler a calling...
    For the record, there's not a person I know in broadcasting (aside from a few PBS middle managers) who thinks TV is anything other than a pretty sad avenue of the entertainment business.

  65. Sports generates more money than the medical industry in this country, yet produces nothing tnagible.

    So, now, the standard for justification is set at "the production of tangible results". Uh, oh...

    "Also, in TV, if you don't perform, you get cancelled. This doesn't seem to happen in sports."

    Yeah, I know! Look at all those non-performers out there on the football field. Look, Jeff, I know you don't watch sports, but, you should maybe perhaps know a little something about a subject before you comment. Sports players get cut all the time. If they didn't, there'd be no incentive to play well. I just can't believe you said that.

    "Also also, TV is my JOB. I do not go home and watch 8 straight hours of TV after a shift. I do not by every TV show tie-in. My walls are not plaster with TV show posters."

    Good for you. What a great person you are! You don't hang TV posters on your wall! You don't watch 8 hours of TV. Wow, you sure are great! SO much better than all those lowly idiots who put up sports posters. Your self-righteous "I'm better because X" charade just keeps getting better and better. I think I'll stay and watch!

    "I have yet to be convinced that a well-educated public would have turned professional sports into the monolithic beast it has become."

    What's your point? Even if it were true, why is your personal preference for more education and less sports so much more justifiable than the opposite? What's the standard here (besides the production of tangible goods)?

    "And the next time I see a guy in a football jersey mock a guy in a Klingon uniform or a Green Lantern t-shirt, I may have to urinate on him."

    What about the guy in a Klingon uniform mocking the cheesehead? You think nerds don't mock jocks? Oye. Just because both are equally reprehensible in your book, doesn't mean that they are in everyone else's book. In order to say that, you need a definite universal standard, or else it's just your opinion. I mock trekkies, and I also mock crazy sports fools. I mock lotsa people---difference is, I don't mistake my personal preferences and opinions for some kind of objective universal social standard. You should try it sometime.

  66. "Harvard presidents notwithstanding, I've yet to hear my point be refuted."

    Your "point" was a hypothetical prediction based in no fact, just conjecture. How is that to be refuted? If I say "if Michael Dukakis had been elected president, then gas would $0.25/gallon today!", how would you "refute" something like that? The only way would be to actually try the experiment (impossible, without time travel equipment), and see what happens.

  67. I am not calling anyone here stupid. Nor am being hostile to anyone who likes sports.

    ...ignorant people get excited when then see men run, jump, and hit each other.

    so you're just calling people who like sports that don't also participate on H&R stupid. makes sense to me.

  68. More access to education does not translate as "better educated." If it did, the Fox shows mentioned so far, as well as things like Adam Sandler movies and wrestling wouldn't be the money makers they are.
    Yes, the idle rich have always been sports fans, but the idle rich tend not to fall for celebrity worship.
    Evan: I KNOW players get cut, but teams don't. How many NHL teams are scraping bottom right now, hmm?

    I'd love to chat more, but it's time to get the enlightening comedy of The Bernie Mac show on the air. I'll check in later.

  69. The main reason it has succeeded is because three generations of psychotic public school agendas has left us with a significantly more ignorant citizenry.

    More access to education does not translate as "better educated." If it did, the Fox shows mentioned so far, as well as things like Adam Sandler movies and wrestling wouldn't be the money makers they are.

    well even this humble sports-lover can recognize the circular reasoning here.

  70. "I KNOW players get cut, but teams don't. How many NHL teams are scraping bottom right now, hmm?"

    You're right. Hey, how are the Expos doing this season?

    Bad teams eventually lose their fan base. They become unprofitable. Past that, you can attribute unnatural existence to government subsidies, which, yes, are wrong.

    Not to mention that "teams" are not like "TV shows". They are part of a league. Many leagues, like the NFL, engage in profit-sharing, to keep the league somewhat balanced. Alot of things keep bad teams afloat, not the least of which is the fact that they exist under the umbrella of a kind of large corporation. None of this really has much to do with irrational fans. I watched my alma mater, Virginia Tech, play Duke a couple weeks back. Tech is 4th in the nation. Duke is unranked and always sucks. You can't even get tickets to Tech home games, but when we played at Duke, the stands were all but empty. So don't tell me that bad teams still get the same attention that good teams do.

  71. Pro sports has become the ubiquitous cultural force and trope that it is through a net decrease in the intelligence of the population.

    Is there a marius in the house?

  72. I honestly dislike watching and participating in any mainstream sport- hockey, football, tennis, basketball... *yawn*

    If those things make ya happy, more power to you.

    But I'd rather go shoot a bullseye or Multigun match any day of the week.

  73. There was an interesting discussion in defence of doping at Metafilter.

  74. More access to education does not translate as "better educated." If it did, the Fox shows mentioned so far, as well as things like Adam Sandler movies and wrestling wouldn't be the money makers they are.

    There's some rather elitist and specious reasoning going on here. I won't ask anyone to accept at face value that I'm a reasonably well-educated and intelligent person, but I am. And my DVD collection contains both Citizen Kane and Bring It On, you know? Cripes, why are your horizons so limited?

    As to nobody "refuting your point," I guess I can assume that none of those cites are forthcoming?

    Yes, the idle rich have always been sports fans, but the idle rich tend not to fall for celebrity worship.

    More argument by assertion. You know, if this were even remotely true, we wouldn't see the idle rich paying $20,00 a plate to attend charity banquets and hobnob with movie stars, nor would we see them spend big money on pop culture ephemera like handwritten song lyrics at auction houses.

  75. I'm still waiting for the day when we have designated hitters that are the size of Paul Bunyan and can run like Olympic sprinters.

  76. Teams have been "cut", as it were throughout sports history. It has not happened very often lately, at least not in major leagues, largely because those leagues have been so popular since teh fifties/sixties, that the mere existance of a franchise is valuable in itself. The ownership can sell an unprofitable team for good sum rather than fold it and get nothing.

    The last major league team I can remember folding was the NHL's Cleveland Barons, around '79. However, the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL are all coming off a expansion sprees, and their are signs that they may have burst a bubble. You may see a number franchises fail in the next decade, particularly in MLB and the NHL.

  77. Phil: I am not calling anyone here stupid. Nor am being hostile to anyone who likes sports. -- Jeff, 4:29 PM

    That is no reason for me to tithe a good chunk of my income to watch other richer people play it in publically funded arenas. Only a fool would do that. -- Jeff, 2:56 PM

    Does being called a "fool" count as being called "stupid?" Does saying it count as "being hostile?"

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