30 Dec 15
Subject: Dja Hear?
I was walking round my condo when this guy came up to me and told me the news.
HIM: Jim Kelly got fired.
ME: Who's Jim Kelly?
HIM: With the Eagles.
ME: Who are the Eagles?
HIM: You know, the football team.
ME: What's football?
HIM: Forget it.
That's what ya do. Sometimes playing dumb gets rid of the dumb people in your life quicker than playing it smart.
30 Nov 15
Subject: Allan letter of 8-15 on Gifford
Allan: I whole-heartedly agree with everything in your letter. The idea that these guys are some kind of actual heroes is so crazy, that it must come from an alternate dimension that we do not understand. They are not heroes! Maybe Gifford was a nice guy. I don't know or care, but for the media to blow him up into some national treasure is beyond ridiculous to say the least. It is an insult to my sensibilities. I don't watch the news because of such antics and other lies.
On a side note, last week his family came out and stated that he had brain injuries and symptoms of this due to his football years. That and the 8 high school players killed in action this year should be enough to ban the damned game outright. One can only hope someday they will: high school, college, and pro. Just get rid of it all and plow those silly taxpayer built stadiums into the ground. That is my hope for sports. What an incredible, regrettable, sad waste of time watching sports is. And I think wasting time is OK, just not doing it watching sports. They should make TV channels give equal time to our point of view about sports to countervail their constant brainwashing gibberish in its favor.
25 Nov 15
Subject: Football games
To me, football is too refined of a sport. Time outs, penalties, line of scrimmage, etc., etc. Actual play time averages about six seconds each time the ball is "alive". Seems that actual play time is about a half hour for a two hour game. Once a tackle is made, or one goes out of bounds, a fumble or an illegal move is made, everything stops. The next ten or fifteen seconds, there is the huddle, players take their positions, the ball is snapped and the same thing goes on again for four to eight seconds. Very boring. When the refs can't make up their mind about what call to make, the players are walking or standing around and coaches and officials are standing on the sidelines with their arms crossed or hands on their hips.
Peewee football, where they have under aged "athletes", forced by their parents to play should not exist. They look like the Jack-in-the-box guy with those big helmets. I don't like seeing kids pushed into sports where they don't know what they're doing. If one wants to go into any sport, well, go for it. I prefer not.
22 Nov 15
Subject: Wayne Rooney
This is England's best paid footballer( soccer player). Typically he will earn £ 300,000 a week, close to half a million dollars a week, and he will also make a few million pounds a year in sponsorship deals and for interviews. This semi literate buffoon at the height of the financial crisis a couple of years ago demanded of his employers, Manchester United, that he would leave the team if they did not pay him £ 50,000 a week more. Very nice when people like nurses and paramedics, with real skills, were seeing their wages increase by one per cent a year, while inflation was running way above this.
For what Wayne Rooney, who has basically no skills beyond kicking a ball and resembles a pit bull terrier, earns each week, Manchester United could pay for ten new nurses or eight police officers in Greater Manchester each week, important as the city has a terrible violent crime rate. But no, the money gets wasted on a very greedy and rather unpleasant young man whose career will probably be over in a few years time than actually paying for something worthwhile in a city with serious social problems. Also the defence that Rooney is assessed at 45 per cent for his income tax is spurious as well, no doubt he will claim for his agent, whatever hangers on he employs, whatever tax loophole he can find( or be found for him), and the taxman will be lucky to see half that.
Meanwhile members of the proletariat like me, whose wage rises are capped at one per cent and have no way of cheating the taxman, pay about 25 per cent in local and national taxes. Sickening isn't it, but the socceristas won't wake up and try to avoid enriching the likes of Rooney and his very wealthy team mates
GLENN/ AN ENGLISHMAN.
28 Sep 15
Subject: No news is bad news.
If I had been able to watch the news last night, which I couldn't because of college football on all channels, I might have heard that that 17-year-old Evan Murray of Warren Hills Regional High School in New Jersey died after being hurt in a game against another high school on Friday night. This is the third student to die this year from injuries received in a high school game. Apparently the teen walked off the field after taking a hit in the second quarter. He died shortly after. Sad situations like this make me wonder how this boy's parents feel about his being on the team. Was their pride worth it? Do other parents encourage their kids to quit the team, or are sports so important that they are willing to take the chance on their son's life. Another more famous example of this is the sad story of Marc Buoniconti, the son of a football hero (a ridiculous epithet). 25 years ago when he was attending The Citadel he made an aggressive tackle during a football game. He has been a quadriplegic ever since. So his strong desire to win a single rough and tumble game on a single afternoon cost him a lifetime of normalcy and mobility. It's amazing the dangers healthy young men will put their bodies through and the risks they will take with their health and well being just to win some stupid game involving two teams and a ball. Allan
27 Sep 15
Subject: No news is bad news.
For the past several weeks I have tried to watch the national news on Saturday at 6:30.
But that isn't possible, at least in Miami. Because on ABC, NBC, and CBS what's playing and preempting the news is college football. So apparently the networks feel that the meaningless game between two college teams is more important than the political scene, what's happening in Syria, the Pope's visit to Philadelphia, the refugee crisis, Boehner's resignation, the Volkswagen scandal, Putin's upcoming meeting with Obama, and anything else that actually affects our lives. No. It's more important to see just how that pigskin gets tossed around and which of these nearly identical teams, except for the school colors of their fruity outfits wins this time.
It's sad enough that institutions of higher learning feel they need to have these teams of pampered and often academically underachieving students, but even sadder that the morons who spend so much time watching professional football are so addicted to sports that they spend their entire weekends watching even more encounters between colleges they likely never attended in which the results are absolutely insignificant.
Karl Marx allegedly said that "religion is the opiate of the people". Well he was wrong, "Sports is the opiate of the people."
14 Sep 15
Subject: Basketball? No, ta!
Several years ago, I had a jolly telephone conversation with a friend who is a sports fan. He knew that I despise sports.
It went like this.
Him: What would you do if I took you to the basketball playoffs?
Me (having heard the expression but contentedly ignorant of its meaning): Is that the big game at the end of the season?
Him (aghast): Yes.
Me: I would say, no thank you.
Him: But what if I took you there?
Me: I wouldn't go. You'd be wiser to take someone along who would not be bored stiff.
Him (determined to get an answer from me): But what if I took you, and you had no choice in it?
Me: [vaguely aware that people probably fight each other to attend such an "event"] Well, I'd have to bring a book to read.
Him: [a gasping noise, like air escaping from a Smartcar's rear wheel. I suspect that he felt faint]
Me: Well, there's nothing going on on a basketball court that would interest me for even ten seconds.
Well, I had to stand up for my principles. He retired from the field, a stricken, frail thing needing revival with several gallons of scotch, a burrito the size of a dustbin and a massage from Catherine Zeta-Jones.
6 Sep 15
Subject: Like father, like son, or maybe not.
Today I saw a photo essay in a periodical. It was intended to be a delightful report on football star Peyton Manning and his son Marshall. In an attempt at super-cuteness the article reported that 4-year-old Marshall." took to the field to put his dad through warm-up paces before Thursday night's Cardinal-Broncos game in Denver". Adorable? No! All I could think of was the thousand of young boys, and girls, being forced into liking football or other sports by their game-obsessed fathers. And god help them if they didn't take to it, or like something better. I really hate to see children being indoctrinated into any career when they're still too young to know what they want. Sure there are kids like Tiger Woods who took to golf and made his pushy father proud and happy. But there are more kids who hate being forced into sports by aggressive dads who are furious, and often abusive, when their son doesn't go as gung ho for winning as they did. And god help these kids if they choose something that dad doesn't consider as masculine as charging other super-padded morons on the field.
5 Sep 15
Subject: In response to M's letter
We have fantasy football leagues in England, usually organised by national newspapers and sports broadcasters( football = soccer here). I found one on my desk two years ago and promptly tore it up when I found the prize was £ 100,000 possibly divided by 200,000 people, ie you could play this tedious competition for 39 weeks and end up with 50 pence, which is less than a dollar. Apart from the principle of playing such a game, even if you were to win this boring competition outright, it's still not enough to retire on, so I buy lottery tickets instead, where you can win up to £ 8 million and it doesn't involve football. Have only won £ 25 on the lottery, but it's far more satisfying than sitting with a group of bores in a pub orgasming over a fake football league game for weeks on end.
1 Sep 15
Subject: Glad I Found Your Site
Every year as August approaches, I feel a sense of dread. For years, living in the Seattle area provided some inoculation from the sports disease because the teams here were so crappy the fans were almost afraid to mention them, let alone brag about them. Fortunately, the Seattle Moroners are still just as lousy as they always were, but sometimes I think if I see or hear "I'm a twelve" one more time I'll go crazy. I keep hoping the Seacocks lose every damn game in the regular season this year so everyone can go back to ignoring the local team rather than acting like they do something that actually matters.
The Seahawks are named after a bird that doesn't even exist in mythology. Paul Allen has billions of dollars and owns three ships hundreds of feet long, some with helicopters and submarines. He can afford to build his own damn stadiums if he wants them. He pays his quarterback $15 million a year to throw a football around and get run into by really large guys. Taxpayers get to help pay for the stadium and then if they are fans they get to pay to get into the games and pay again for concessions. They pay hundreds and thousands of dollars for merchandise and stupid flags to hang off their cars.
My best friend died last year and he was the only other person I knew that I could talk to about this insanity who felt the same way I do about this BS. He used to tell me how everyone in his state office spent all Monday morning on their fantasy football teams using the stats from the previous day's games. Great - so now I get to pay taxes for state workers to play imaginary games based on a bunch of millionaires playing a kid's game for billionaire owners and meanwhile a bunch of suckers are forking over their hard-earned money because they really think they have some sort of stake in whether or not the team wins. And that it matters. And I'm the one with a skewed sense of reality?!
It's like my friend used to say - and I've seen the point made on this site as well - it all starts in high school. These people are so stupid they don't even realize what sheep they are and that they are living some sort of sick little high school fantasy over and over again rather than worrying about themselves and working on their own self improvement. Instead they try to use a shortcut to self-esteem based on someone else's actions to make them feel better. I can't change it, but I don't have to like it or be a party to it. And it really helps to know I'm not the only one. Even my wife has been drinking the Kool-Aid her entire life and doesn't want to hear what I think about the whole sports fiasco. It is really a very sad commentary on the state of the modern world.
22 Aug 15
Subject: Reply to Tim
Not only is mandatory sports in school stupid, it can be destructive. I, for one, would have been a good student and liked junior high and high school, but I was so intimidated by phys ed and having to play those stupid sports that I let my studies slip. I was too cowed by the absurd emphasis placed on sports that I often played sick to avoid those sessions. In time all of my classes suffered and, instead of embracing education, which was my natural bent, I came to hate going to school. This was in late 50s when the Boston School system, in their wisdom , assumed that any boy of 13, not passionate about sports must be either gay or dysfunctional. So they had my mother take me to a Boston hospital once a week for a shot (possibly hormones?) to cure the problem. I have no idea to this day what those injections were or how they affected my lifelong health. I quit school at 16, and regret never having gone to college. I think things would have turned out very differently if the assholes who run educational facilities didn't force every student to participate in such activities as unchosen sports and unwanted physical education.
21 Aug 15
Subject: FRIDAY, AUGUST 21
One of the main reasons I really hate sports is that it promotes unfairness. Many universities reward poor students who happen to be good at playing some stupid game, while the struggles of talented scholars are ignored. A good example of this happened this week. While many students attending Ball University in Muncie. Indiana, work part-time jobs to earn the cost of tuition, or depend on the hard-earned money of their parents to help them pay their way through college, Ball couldn't care less. They did, however, give free tuition for a semester to an incoming freshman student for sinking a half-court shot, whatever that is. So while other students work their part-time jobs week after week, this student got his payoff from the university in less than a minute. So basically Ball University wants to help pay for your education if you're a future Larry Bird, but if you're a future Albert Einstein, you're on your own.
19 Aug 15
Subject: Like minds
While I can tolerate certain genteel sports on a bar television like cricket or showjumping, football is the one I detest the most. This week the season has started fully and we have such joys as Qualifying Round 96 of the European Boredom League and the Europa League of Crap Round 1 of 1000. Obviously the football mafia, seeing their game is back, now are dominating bars with their laddishness, lack of intellect and boring debates about Wayne Rooney being offside in the 94th minute.
However, needing a drink to cool down as it was very humid on Monday night, I decided to visit a bar. Sitting outside until the sun set and avoiding the football bores inside, I obviously had to go inside when the sun set and it became drizzly. An interesting man was propped up in the bar who asked me"what do you think of football?" My reply, sensing he wasn't a fan, " Oh I hate it and a lot of the boring fans". Young man nodded to me and he quite loudly declared that the fans were sheep who don't appreciate the finer things in life like music and films. My response" I see the Anti Football Association is growing". Glares from the football Nazis who were obviously not happy at the diseent, but worth it as for once some people were clearly standing up to them. As we walked out, I had to let out an " AFA will win" chant and went home thinking we'd resisted a bit.
Now all we need is for more of us to enter bars where football and Superleague are shown and demand seperate facilities for non fans, bars that don't have a BT or Sky contract to advertise themselves, and to cater for viewers of television shows other than football. I'm not advocating violence, although many football fans might feel that way towards non fans, just for the right for non fans to have music, other television shows and relative calm to enjoy a drink.
15 Aug 15
Subject: Night interrupted by stupid football game!
I hate this stupid fucking MANLY Man culture we live in where the epitome of masculinity is crowding around a tv eating extremely unhealthy food and watching guys run around in skin tight leggings. The irony behind it is hilarious. I enjoy martial arts but as far a baseball, football, basketball, especially golf and the olympics, I’m not sure what the point is. I guess morons will be morons. It just sucks when you want to watch cartoons and some stupid Seahawks fans crash your party. I could have told them its the same shit as the last 30 years except it may render the opposite outcome this time. Sport fanatics make me want to fucking vomit! =
12 Aug 15
Subject: My Last Day Of Forced Sporting Participation
It has been years since I have last posted here. I remember When I was 12/13 and starting off in high school and being in a place where I really struggled to fit in and my disinterest for sport made it particularly hard. That was when I discovered This website in a time of great desperation and despair, lacking The support or understanding for my loathing for sports. The validation I received helped me through a tough time, when I faced criticism From even my own friends about how truly inept I was. This was a significant period for me as I really felt my mature sensibilities begin to develop and It was an amazing and unforgettable time despite how isolated I felt from the other sport obsessed kids at my school.
Now here I am today, age 17, more mature, confident and hopefully wiser as well. I finished P.E in my ninth year After it was no longer compulsory. That was something That really turned things around for me. I still had to play Sport at school, but only once a week. The morning stomach knots I used to feel going to P.E were no longer an issue. My self esteem has improved considerably in this time and I found sport was no longer such a big deal for me anymore. Today I finished my schools compulsory sporting program forever, and I followed the same tradition I abided by when I completed P.E, instead of avoiding sport at all costs, for the last lesson I'd join in and act enthusiastic like all the other kids because I Had nothing to lose. So I did, I participated like everybody Always wanted me, purely to make a memorable last time that I could laugh about. I wasn't made fun of or criticised which was good, but had I done the same thing at another time without my friends close by and some slightly less mature kids around, I wouldn't have been so lucky.
And now, I'm through to the other side. 12 long years of compulsory sporting has felt like a hell of a long time that really only got better In the last 3. The isolation, alienation and anxiety this caused me Is nothing to be taken lightly or laughed about. I may be a tad sensitive, And I was never specifically singled out or bullied, but the pure ignorance From the Australian education system and the people working under it, failed to recognise that sports is very different from any other subject. Being bad at Maths won't end up with your teacher photocopying The test you failed and handing it out to every other student in the class. Writing a bad essay won't be published so all of your classmates can snicker over it and prevent you from wanting to ever pick up a pen again. In the sporting world, your ability is put on display for everybody to witness and that why I walked away feeling crushed at majority of my P.E lessons. Nobody got why I didn't like sports. it so popular in my country that to dislike it is to be placed in a pure minority. This is why I skipped it, faked injuries and made excuses, not purely because I didn't want to do it but because of the backlash I had to face from my peers if I failed. And that's what is really wrong. Nobody Should ever have to feel like that because they can't successfully kick a ball across A field. Sure I'd make a terrible soccer player, but I have other skills that I believe matter more. I'm creative, I love films and music, technology, comedy and so much more that to me, has so much more value then my tennis skills.
I could go on for days, but I won't. If anybody out there right now is struggling like I struggled, I hope they find this. There are probably teens out their today which are going through an identical scenario but it will get better. It might take a long time before things start to improve but it's so important to never let some brainless jock bring down your confidence because you can't pull off some pointless sporting trickery to their own ridiculously unrealistic standards. I will continue to work on my physical fitness and health and fully accept every person that enjoys watching, reading about, talking about or playing sport. What I will never accept is those who belittle others who don't want to involve themselves in any of that. I have survived 12 years of the torment that those people created and I hope one day things will change. My family and I will be going out to dinner to celebrate this milestone soon.
Thank you, Tim.
12 Aug 15
Subject: A week of worship.
Frank Gifford died this week, but judging from the news you would think that God himself had given up the ghost. Hating sports as I do, I'm not quite sure what made him so admired, but I doubt that he deserved the many minutes-long tributes on all the nightly news shows. Famous actors have died and received less attention. World leaders have died and didn't get showered with so many accolades. I'm sure he was probably a very nice person, but he was a football player and later a sports announcer. He played a game and got an enormous amount of money to do so. From there he sat around talking about others who played that game and he got an enormous amount of money to do so. He led a life filled with fame and privilege and even married a famous television personality. Yet because our society is so sports-oriented, the media covered his death at 84 with all the reverence and regard that even Mother Teresa didn't get when she checked out. It's just another example of how much America is obsessed with sports and over-praises all the men and women who get into their little outfits and spend a few energetic hours on a playing field to prove that they are better than the other players in their little outfits—at least this time. Nothing personal, Frank, but you didn't cure polio.
8 Aug 15
Subject: More sports madness
One of my friends has a 12 year old son who was quite good at junior football( soccer). However, she has decided to stop him from playing after all the aggression, bad language and encouragement of aggression in the players from their parents. It seems among the football fanatics even a group of boys playing in a meaningless under 13s football match is as important to them as the Premier League. Also she told me it's likely this type of aggressive behaviour among the parents could make her son aggressive and foul mouthed, so she took him away. Instead while he plays football for his school, he now plays cricket at weekends, which has a far less intimidating presence of fans and parents.
However, one welcome trend is many kids in England are now rejecting team sports for X Boxes, the internet and individual pastimes like martial arts. This is one trend to encourage and hopefully banish football and rugby to the scrapheap.
6 Aug 15
Subject: British taxpayers money wasted
Britain is supposed to be in an era of reducing a massive deficit, but now the government decides to waste £ 2.5 million on a football stadium for an already wealthy football club. It makes me sick when they can cut spending on the police and then waste money on a football stadium.
31 Jul 15
Subject: When is weeping butch?
People are so insane about sports, they forgive everything. Wife-beaters are usually removed for a game or two. Thieves are returned to the field. The athlete that was responsible for the cruel fighting deaths of so many dogs is back in the game. And this week the news networks never once suggested that the tears of Mets' player Wilmer Flores were wimpy and weak. Flores was practically sobbing. Not for a death in the family. Not because a loved one had a serious illness. Not even for Cecil the lion, which had many of us in tears. No, he was crying because he thought he had been traded. It was a false rumor of course, but he didn't realize that until he had cried his eyes out, winning the support of the spectators who would normally find crying for such a reason unmanly. But, hell, this is sports. That being so the news media found it touching, sports fans found it moving, and nobody thought it odd. Imagine the reaction if a worker on the assembly line in Detroit thinking he was being moved to another department suddenly broke down in tears. Do you think his co-workers would find it admirable?
3 Jul 15
Subject: To Allan
I think singers are more appreciated, loved and respected more than composers, the people who actually have to create the songs.
Anyway, how 'bout those Sixers? Hockney Hunk sank a basket knocking .4 knockoff points out from Muscles Austin, who sank the puck at the bottom of Lake Minnatanqua's shore post in order to keep Tank McGlocskey from defecting to the other team.
3 Jul 15
On June 30 Misty Danielle Copeland, 32, became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the ABTs 75-year history. This is an amazing achievement for someone who didn't begin studying ballet until the age of 13. But it is still an achievement that will not be honored as highly or paid as much as an athlete who is good at pitching a ball, making hockey goals, or sinking a golf ball in a hole in the ground. In 1997, Copeland won the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Award as the best dancer in Southern California, a distinction that will never rate as highly as "most promising new outfielder" or some equally inflated title. Sadly America's best writers, artists, singers, composers, etc. will never be as highly regarded by the masses and the media as "sports heroes" whose only true achievements are winning an irrelevant game, reaching some meaningless record, or doing something so insignificant as sinking a rubber ball in a net that isn't much higher off the ground than they are.
24 Jun 15
Here's another example of how stupid so many sports fans are, and how the media refuses to admit how stupid so many sports fans are. Apparently this week the L.A. Dodgers and Chicago Cubs had yet another deja vu game at Wrigley Field. During the game one of the players hit what they call a pop up ball. Well it seems that some guy at the game caught the ball in one hand while he was feeding a baby in the other. The news reports only praised the guy for this "amazing" catch, without ever mentioning that you don't take a baby to a ball game, and that that infant could just as easily been killed by that renegade ball. This idiot so desperately had to see this stupid game that he wasn't going to let the fact that he had a baby in his care keep him from going. Now imagine if the child had been hurt, the news this week would be nothing but reports on how stupid he was instead of "great catch".
15 Jun 15
I was working with two guys from out of town last Friday. One of them asked where they could go to see a baseball game. I nonchalantly said you seen one game, you seen them all.
One attorney set me straight. He said that's like saying all girls look the same. The other said yeah, how dare I make that comment. You might as well say all music sounds the same.
Wow. Thanks guys. My perspective is now adjusted.
8 Jun 15
Subject: Monday, June 8
I would say the "manliest" profession is sportscasting. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) But think about it. These are announcers who spend their entire careers thinking about men. And not just any men, but the youngest, strongest, handsomest and hottest men around. In fact, you will notice that they get annoyed when they have to deal with women's sports. No, they are pro-men men. It's all they think about, all they talk about. Watch any sportscaster on any news program and see how excited he gets just reliving that last game, praising the player who made that thrilling pass or sank that fantastic winning ball. See how proud he is to be in the locker room with all those superheros changing out of their muscled football uniforms or their satiny basketball shorts. He knows everyone's name, their background, their abilities, their failings, and—most important— their statistics. This is truly loving one's profession. And the thrill continues the day after every game, when he sits around with other equally passionate fans discussing every move, every play, all of them as giddy as any group of old ladies gossiping about naughty neighbors. Now I wouldn't suggest for a moment that these sportscasters are anything but real men, because they constantly remind us that only real men are interested in sports.
6 Jun 15
On a recent edition of ABC News they did a feature on underprivileged children whose musical talent made them eligible to play with the New York Philharmonic. We saw these very special children with their musical instruments getting on the bus for the long drive to the rehearsals, performing in front of their proud parents. It was an inspiring and moving feature and children, boys and girls, being immersed in the fantastic world of symphonic music and art. That is until David Muir, while interviewing one young boy said in the most annoying, irrelevant and coy fashion, "I hear you also like football." I guess he didn't feel this kid was a completely normal male individual until he revealed that he also liked sports.
4 Jun 15
Subject: FIFA Corruption
So it's finally been proven that modern football( soccer in America) is a corrupt cesspit of greed, bribes, money laundering and dishonesty. Now the arrest of several FIFA executives and the resignation of the President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, proves what I've been saying for years, football is a corrupt and money obsessed sport, and it's also been proven how dishonest it is when the South African government offered a massive bribe to a FIFA executive to win the 2010 World Cup bid.
Now I hope the sheeple who cheer on greedy, moronic players who won't get out of bed for less than £ 200,000 a week, fork out £ 1000 a year to sports broadcasters and waste money betting on rigged football matches realise they've been conned for so long. However, somehow you'll get the usual argument "it's a few rotten apples at the top" and the sheeple will return to being conned by this hopeless game when the season starts again in 10 weeks time. While Blatter and his friends in FIFA are the most obvious, the whole game is rotten to the core, with players demanding more and more money to play, billions floating around from television sponsorship and football tournaments like the Europa League that exist solely to make more money for media corporations and greedy football clubs. Please people in England wake up and reject this vile sport until it is turned back into what it used to be, a cheap form of escape for people on a Saturday afternoon, not a 24/7 money making machine.
1 Jun 15
One of the only drawbacks to hating sports is that people you like are, sadly, fans. Thus you must not reveal just how stupid they are to get all worked up about some idiotic sports team. When I was in Boston this year, my friend Bill, a Red Sox fan— knowing my disdain for all sports—gave me his spin on the subject. He said that in his daily life he sees so many people, mostly men, in mediocre jobs. He points out that they are ordinary, mostly poor, often the lowest among the working class. They are not scholars, gourmets, artists, writers, people of any great consequence. Observing this he suggests they take to sports because it gives them something bigger than themselves, something to be part of, a chance to share in some else's heroism. This is absolute bullshit, of course.
My response would be if these morons didn't waste so much of their youth and young adulthood cheering
for some meaningless game, or wasting their money on overpriced tickets, or crowding their brains with
insignificant sports statistics, they might not be in these situations. They might have better jobs, higher salaries, and more important interests than which side won a game, match, or tournament. Plus, as much as I admire
Bill, he doesn't explain why he, and millions of other otherwise intelligent and successful people will waste
so much of their time and spend so much money to watch teams of millionaires swinging bats, dribbling balls,
and running back and forth in satinny costumes to play a game that is essentially identical to the silly game
they played just a short time before.
28 May 15
Subject: FIFA corruption
Good morning, my fellow sports disdainers.
I am hearing about corruption in FIFA, (according to Wikipedia, Federation Internationale de Football Association [FIFA /'fi:fe/; English:International Federation of Association Football] is the international governing body of association football (soccer), futsal and beach soccer). I had to reproduce that here because, like any right-thinking man, I have only the vaguest notion of what the heck FIFA is. However, my interest is piqued, at the moment, because it has come to light that the idiots who think soccer is so "important" that they have to run a farty little society to govern it have been very naughty. Apparently, soccer, like many other laughable sports, makes some people a lot of money, which just goes to show what colossal prats some people are. Anything that puts sports in a bad light is just fine with me, so this article on CNN dishes the goods. Read on and enjoy, comrades...
EARLY THIS MORNING in Zurich (or late last night for those of us stateside), Swiss plainclothes police entered the Baur au Lac; the five-star hotel was the site of this week's annual meeting of FIFA, soccer's global governing body. The officers ascertained room numbers from the front desk, headed upstairs, and arrested six FIFA executives. Hours later, across the Atlantic in New York City, the Justice Department unsealed a 47-count indictment against 14 defendants-including FIFA bigwigs, sports marketing executives, and the owner of a broadcasting corporation-with charges of racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering. But there's a lot of background here, so let's get into it. What exactly did these people do?
The Justice Department's announcement primarily cites deals between FIFA, sports marketing groups, and broadcast corporations for the television rights to air the World Cup and other international soccer tournaments. Dating back to 1991, the indictment alleges, those involved conspired to receive bribes from marketing firms in exchange for exclusive television contracts—to the cumulative tune of more than $150 million. As Attorney General Loretta Lynch stated, “It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.”
I thought I'd heard other, more recent, whispers about FIFA. In 2010, FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, which led to reports of vote buying, but that's not a focus of this particular investigation. This is a federal case, and the indictment deals chiefly with alleged fraud and corruption in North and South America. Until now, FIFA has deflected widespread corruption allegations by finding and suspending scapegoats, rather than acknowledging any problems at an institutional level.
So who got arrested?
Most of the defendants are from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, the organizations that run North and South American soccer, respectively. Those arrested in Zurich hailed from the Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Venezuela, among others.
In addition, the Justice Department announced unsealed guilty plea deals with four other individual and two corporate defendants, including former FIFA executive Charles Blazer (the subject of a fascinating investigative profile last year, and an unbelievably corrupt official in his own right), and José Hawilla, “the owner and founder of a Brazilian sports marketing conglomerate.” Hawilla in particular will forfeit $151 million as a part of his plea, which illustrates just how much these guys do not want to go to prison.
While the defendants are a who's-who of senior FIFA executives and their broadcast partners who benefited from kickbacks, there's one big fish not named in the case: FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Wait, isn't he a Bond villain? Joseph “Sepp” Blatter has been president of FIFA since 1998; under his watch, football has increased in global popularity and become financially successful beyond imagination. But while he maintains that FIFA is but a humble nonprofit doing humanitarian work to bring sport to the world, he's basically the head of a shadow nation-state that doesn't “govern” world soccer so much as it plunders countries that want to host the World Cup. (Like, say, Qatar.) He's also enough of a charmer to have said that women's soccer would be more popular if the players wore tighter shorts.
But in 2013, FIFA covered 90% of the £16 million budget for the film United Passions, a deluge of fictional propaganda about FIFA's history in which Tim Roth (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs) portrays Blatter. Imagine if Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane shook down the city of Oakland for enough tax dollars to pay Brad Pitt's salary for playing Beane in Moneyball—that's what Roth playing Blatter looks like on a grander scale. Blatter is basically NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, if he acted like a foreign dictator.
How did FIFA get this corrupt?
It all comes down to how FIFA is organized. Each of the 209 member nations gets a single vote when it comes to electing a federation President and executive committee. That means that the Maldives, Trinidad & Tobago, or Andorra have the same say in federation decisions as Brazil, Germany, or England. The smaller countries, and the (mostly) men who run their countries' federations, also receive an equal cut of FIFA's revenues—which means there's no incentive for them to change any of the structure to the voting process.
Yeah, but shady sports organizations are everywhere. What about the International Olympic Committee? Hell, what about the NFL?
FIFA is uniquely positioned for this kind of epic legal takedown because the Justice Department kind of gets off on this heavy-lifting display of authority even outside American borders over the past decade. Also, it helps that Americans don't really care about soccer.
Sure, soccer has been riding a growing wave of popularity, and the World Cup is now a more visible event, but it still lags behind many other sports in mainstream popular consciousness. Because of that, American culture just doesn't revere soccer enough to consider FIFA sacrosanct. But consider the basketball version of this: let's say FIBA, the world organization for basketball, decided to hold an international tournament in December that meant the NBA would have to suspend its season for a month. American superstars wouldn't show up, the best team in the world wouldn't be properly represented, and the world's biggest TV market for the sport would be in open revolt against the event.
That's essentially what FIFA is doing to European professional soccer leagues when it shifted the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter. Because the rest of the world adores soccer so much, other prominent countries weren't willing to take a stand for fear of backlash against its teams. The United States is just mediocre enough not to inspire the same reverence for the sport, which means the Justice Department cares more about the rampant financial corruption. Endemically American sports leagues—the NFL, NBA, MLB for instance—can get away with holding cities hostage for taxpayer money to rebuild stadiums, or locking out players to get a larger share of league revenue, because Americans care too much about seeing the sport to rise up against the shady business.
As for the IOC, countries are increasingly hesitant to even bid for the games because the data is so prevalent that the financial concessions are not worth the hassle. So many countries refused to enter or cancelled bids for the 2022 Winter Games that only two cities remain: Almaty, Kazakhstan and Beijing, China, which hosted the Summer Games in 2008. But the vast majority of Olympic sports aren't as popular year-round as soccer, so the ire at the IOC hasn't quite reached the same fever pitch.
So what happens now?
Well, Blatter released a statement saying FIFA “will continue to work with the relevant authorities…to root out any misconduct.” At best, this sounds insincere; at worst, it's more of the same bald arrogance that took FIFA down this road. (Ironically enough, an vote is scheduled for later this week that would extend Blatter's presidency to a fifth term.)
For the Justice Department, the next steps are to extradite those arrested back to the U.S. and enact harsh punishments that would serve as deterrents for future corruption. But it should be notes that the U.S. isn't the only country rooting around; Swiss officials raided FIFA's headquarters today as part of an investigation into how the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded. And the clamor continues for FIFA to do something about the alleged human rights violations swirling around Qatar's World Cup construction efforts.
Will any of this actually lead to change within FIFA? Only time will tell. Still, Lynch and the Justice Department will keep coming—and once they're through that door, other European authorities can't be far behind.
I do like the cheerily irreverent tone of this article, putting this news in the proper perspective. Perhaps, like us, the writer correctly considers sports the province of little boys with their parents yelling apoplectically at them on a Saturday afternoon. In the rain. My favourite line is how "FIFA is but a humble nonprofit doing humanitarian work to bring sport to the world". Brilliant! Not clothing, education, protection from thuggish warlords or earthquakes/floods/famine, but sports. Happiness is having a ball to kick around.
So, in the scheme of things, corruption in FIFA matters not a jot to society. It's not governmental corruption that could ruin a country's economy; it's just a gaggle of venal, sports-loving nonentities who decide where the next silly little world cup matches will be held.
I don't know about you, but I shall tune in from time to time, to see how this ends. It won't change sports from our point of view. There will still be a world cup, with its attendant childish hysteria, every four years. Local soccer matches will still be attended by the undiscerning. Grown men will still be glued to the sight of other grown men chasing an inflated bladder.
28 May 15
Subject: Another fine, upstanding "athlete"
I have read this morning about some footballing guy of whom I have never heard, Ray McDonald, having been arrested for violating a restraining order.
Apparently, he "was named in a sexual assault investigation" (according to that bastion of sound news reportage, USAToday) late last year, and his employers, a bunch of people calling themselves the grammatically inept "49ers", ejected him.
The restraining order was taken out on this model citizen because he allegedly slapped a woman while she was holding a baby.
Why do sports fans idolise these criminals? The ability to carry an inflated bladder across a field does not make them respectable. You may as well idolise someone because he can fart your national anthem (actually, that would impress me).
More and more of these "athletes" are getting into trouble because they are snotbags. Sports fans sneer at us because we are uninterested in football and its practitioners, but we can't be blamed for turning our backs on such arse-brained pastimes if they are played by such arse-brained people.
28 May 15
Subject: If sports are not profitable LET THEM DIE
I wrote last year when Brighthouse cable announced they would start charging every customer, whether they watch sports or not, one dollar a month. To help pay for the cost of supporting sports broadcasting. And they have been charging $1 a month ever since. Even though I don't watch sports I am forced to subsidize this over-hyped, over-priced CRAP.
Until now. Now I have to pay TWO dollars a month to subsidize sports if I want to keep my cable service. I called the nice lady at Brighthouse and asked why there was an increase and she could only read the script, "to help pay for national and local sports". I asked if I could drop the sports channels but there is no option to drop ESPN. I must either pay $2 every month or switch to basic cable. I'm thinking of switching to Basic. I have to see what basic includes. Because this is totally unfair.
24 May 15
Subject: No news is bad news
There was no nightly CBS news tonight. No report on the riots in Cleveland. No depressing reports about ISIS. No holiday weekend travel reports. No news about the death of Ann Meara. No news. It seems that the news was preempted by a golf game that hadn't finished in time. So, instead of seeing what's happening with the drought in California or the floods in Oklahoma, you could see something the networks deemed more important: a golfer in seeming slow motion take a club and hit a little white ball while a crowd of morons nearby looked on in breathless anticipation.
Are there really millions of viewers who sit in front a TV set for hours to watch a golf game? I would think it's tedious enough to participate in this foolishness without actually watching others do it. Yet there it is knocking off the nightly news: endless shots of a large green lawn, grown men in silly sportswear, and any number of on-screen charts and graphs showing indecipherable figures that have something to do with--god knows what. Hmmm. I wonder what's going on the world.
24 May 15
One of the most annoying things about sports fans is that they assume that everybody shares their juvenile interest. This is especially true in Miami which has several sports teams, none of which I can name most of the time. The Miami Herald for instance, more often than not, makes a sports score front page news. How can a nuclear explosion in Japan rival some ten-foot Heat player sinking a basket? The public, repeat public, transit busses often have GO MARLINS signage alternating with—to sports fans—the less important actual destinations. Of course you can't go into most reasonably priced restaurants—and some pricey ones—without having to deal with TV monitors in every corner blasting the latest game while most patrons, mouths open, eighth beer in hand, gape in wonder at something they've seen a thousand times. During university games the Metrorail is mobbed with robotic fans young and old eager to sit on hard chairs or benches in the blazing cancer-causing sun to cheer on the local team as if that somehow made them, the spectators, more accomplished people. Of course all these people are entitled to their stupid, non-participatory pastimes. Except for one thing: I have to help pay for these zillion dollar stadiums, put up with these mindless mobs, get stuck in their traffic jams, and hear a thousand times a year, "How about that game."
22 May 15
Subject: My first memory of sports
My first memory of sports as a child was playing dodge in the street in front of our house in Roxbury, Mass. The object of the game was to dodge the ball that kids on either sidewalk were trying to hit you with. I wasn't crazy even then about being the target for some stupid ball thrown by some evilly gleeful brat, but I played because that's what you did. Then we were forced to play a similar game called Bombardment at the Ruggles Street Baptist Church. I liked that even less because of the smelly gym atmosphere, the even more-aggressive players, and the sadistic "coach" who took the game much too seriously. After that there was, of course, softball in a field near the house. Even then I could not understand how the other kids could take such a meaningless game to heart, get hysterically mad at errors, and fume at losing. So by the time I was ten, I hated sports, and happily so did both my brothers. The fact that we didn't have a sports nut father figure like the other kids may have contributed, but I'd like to think I was smart enough to detest this competitive nonsense on my own. As a teen, I remember finding the droning of sports announcers on the radio calling the Sox game incredibly annoying, and thinking the fans that listened so rapturously and reacted so dramatically were idiots. Fortunately I was never asked to attend a game and never would have. Later in life I never did develop an interest in any sport and have never gone to a professional game. To this day I can't even imagine how anyone can enjoy the tedium of a tennis match, the gung-ho-ness of a football game, the "who cares" results of any "we're better than you" sports competition. Add to that the obscene expense of attending these matches, the overpriced Made in China souvenirs, the loud and neurotic enthusiasm of the fans, and such bizarre traditions as cheese-wedge hats, oversized "We won" index fingers and that major example of mindless mob madness: "The wave."
Allan Provost, Miami
22 May 15
Subject: Wedding sports
Here's an example of how Americans think sports are just great no matter where they take place. It seems that a father recently interrupted his traditional dance with his daughter at her wedding and produced a catcher's mitt so that he and she could play catch in the ballroom while she was still in her wedding gown. My take, what a jerk! The NBC morning news crew: Lovely. Touching. Brought a tear to Matt Lauer's eye. Allan Provost, Miami
20 May 15
Subject: HOLY COW!
HOW did I not know this?? Apparently the NFL has always had a tax-free, non-profit status! Despite making millions and millions of dollars in profits every year and paying themselves legendary pay checks, they haven't had to pay taxes! But someone finally started a petition to remove the NFL's tax free/non-profit status AND IT WAS SUCCESSFUL!!!
Read all about it at the link below at CHANGE.ORG:
We are doing it people! Keep up the pressure! Soon we'll wipe football off TV completely!
15 May 15
Subject: Top Story
On a recent vacation to Boston, I had neglected to bring any kind of warm sweater or jacket. Since it was cold the entire week I was there, I immediately went in search of a sweatshirt or jacket. The only hotel available was the Buckminster near Fenway Park. The nearby Marshall's had already removed its winter merchandise, so after an hours' walk in the cold I ended up buying a $42.00 Red Sox sweat at CVS. This naturally led to dozens of strangers making sports comments to me, which I ignored. Since I had never been stuck in a sports arena area before I was shocked to see the hordes of glassy-eyed fans milling toward the stadium. I thought, this must be what the Romans looked like on their way to the coliseum. I especially noticed the young boys, many of whom I was sure were forced to like baseball by their neurotic, pseudo-macho fathers. I couldn't help thinking 'what fools' as they paraded by in their costly logo-wear (my excuse, I was cold) and headed to their overpriced seats on this bitter cold night to watch millionaire strangers play a kid's game, the outcome of which they were insanely invested. I knew that if Boston lost, the crowd leaving the stadium would be quiet and sullen as all poor sports are. But since they were boisterous and obnoxious I concluded that the Boston team had won the game (which to the spectators means "we won"). And I was just as certain that the game was exactly like thousands of other meaningless games over the years that had been played in this park since I, a seven-year-old boy sixty-five years ago, concluded, "Boy, baseball is dumb."
22 Apr 15
Subject: Italia 90
This was about the only time since 1966 that England came close to winning a World Cup. I was with my dad on one of the few occasions I saw him, my parents divorced when I was 5, and he had no interest at all in football, and we decided to spend a very hot evening drinking beer and listening to a golden oldies station with no care about what was happening, while we could hear people in the rest of the road going mad about the game when Germany went ahead. While some people in England decided to trash German cars over the loss, I decided to drink more beer. England's loss that day was about as much as the loss I felt for a goldfish, not much, same as when we had to face the hated enemy six years later, I went shopping, and decided to spend the evening sunbathing.
Fuck football, rugby, and the like, they were stupid games you played at school, and most fans have never played since they left school, but still feel so passionate about like they're still 16 years old. Last year during a rare hot summer over here, I decided not to watch the World Bore and spent all the time outside.
22 Apr 15
Subject: My Thoughts on sports
I loath all organized sports. I was forced by my parents, long deceased, to play many organized sports. I was forced to play baseball, tennis, badminton, basketball and swimming. I said I did not want to, but my Mom said my brother and sister played a lot of sports and I was too. She added that if I was not a good boy I would have to live somewhere else. My most hated sport was baseball. My Father played baseball as youth and I was going to also. He was a pitcher and I was going to be one too. I was forced to play four years of Little League, two years of Babe Ruth League and three and a half years of high school baseball. I hated every second of it. Pitching is no walk in the park, the line drives come back at you with little time to react. A screaming line drive almost hit me in the face once. I just got my glove up in time, I was terrified from then on. When up at the plate hitting I was hit by a fast ball thrown by a guy who did not like me for reasons I could never figure out. I could avoid him at school, but now I was trapped. He was a brutish person not tall but stocky with a small low sloping forehead that could not have contained a normal size brain. His arms seemed too long also , like an orangutan. His first pitch, a fastball got me on the left elbow. I never knew the true meaning of pain until that moment. That was the last straw, after almost being hit in the face pitching and this, I refused to play any more baseball. It was my last year anyway so no big deal.
The sports frenzy that has swept the USA is not all bad however. What would these fat cretins, rabid sports fans due with there time if there was no sports to occupy them? The average person is so stupid that they need the distraction of sports or they might do anti social things. When I used to work I would have fun when the guys would try to draw me in talking sports. If the question was how do you think the Red socks are going to do this year I would say sorry I don't follow basketball.
Also, players of all professional sports should be allowed to take performance enhancing drugs if prescribed by there team doctor. There is no meaning behind any sport , they are all just entertainment. Imagine the thrill fans would get with seven hundred foot home runs and six hundred yard tee shots.
A one hundred yard running record of eight seconds would be fun too. The fans at all sport's games should be given free beer to, as much as they want. There would be many riots in the stands, but who cares it would make for great TV. I suspect most male sports fans are attracted to the men playing the game, the female fans too. Maybe the players could play as naked as possible for added fan excitement.
I am now 70 years old and my parents have passed a long time ago, may there souls rot in hell forever for making me play sports all those years.
20 Apr 15
Subject: BOOK: ONLY FOOLS AND LOSERS
My reason for writing to you is that I have just written a book titled: ONLY FOOLS AND LOSERS, about how football fans in the UK are being fleeced by rising costs of football while the players and their agents are getting richer by the day. Only a couple of years ago Rodney Marsh predicted that soon some players will be earning £100,000 per week which is old hat. Today some players in the EPL are earning 3 times more than that and still rising. It's only a matter of time before players will be earning £500,000 per week and more.
It was good to see that some fans made a stand and began protesting about the high cost of football after a recent match between Arsenal and Liverpool and more should follow.
19 Apr 15
Subject: It's Finally Happening!
Verizon is now offering cable packages that allow consumers to choose their channel lineup. And guess who isn't being subsidized anymore by being rolled up in the basic cable collection: ESPN!
Ha! It's been known for years that ESPN, as a channel, is as impractical as solar power and universal health care. There's just not enough people interested in watching sports and the channel cannot be sustained from the commercials it airs. Until now, that problem was overcome by bundling ESPN and other sports shows in with all the other channels that normal people watch and making us, who don't even watch it, support it.
That gravy train is OVER, ESPN! SUCK IT!
12 Apr 15
There's a sickness in America. Actually the world, a sickness called sports. There is no reason in the world for intelligent people to be obsessed with the results of a match between millionaires playing a kids game. Yet millions of "fans" will plan whole weekends around seeing such an event, will spend thousands on tickets to cheer on complete strangers; will get into major arguments over the virtues of these over-paid players, and in many cases (like the Liverpool event) be frenzied to murder. If a home team loses, the locals will be depressed. Depressed over a stranger's loss. If the team wins, these complete nonparticipants will shout, "We won!" though they did nothing but sit in front of a TV or in an arena. These grown men will buy tee shirts, sports cards, flags, items with the team logo, and while they're complaining about the high price of tickets the players are driving in limousines, spending a fortune, often getting into trouble, doing commercials being adored and admired for being able to sink a ball into a hoop, or hit a ball with a bat. If they win a series and they get a parade is if they were brave war heroes, or discoverers of a medical cure.
On a personal level I planned a party recently. I spent a lot of time and money to make it fun and invited 35 guests. As the day approached one guest asked me if I could move it up so that he and his son could catch a local football game. Not only was I stunned at such a rude request, but felt that all the work I had done was in vain if too many guests were sports fans. Then I wondered what kind of people give up a fun social experience and a chance to relate to other human beings for the chance to sit in front of a television, cheering on hunky men in satiny outfits, to satisfy their own impoverished egos. The irony is that they consider this infantine behavior "Masculine" and are quick to label anyone who doesn't follow suit as gay or unmanly. I think being an avid sports fan is as weird as cocaine addition, as neurotic as anorexia.
12 Apr 15
I've attached my play, Booster. It isn't specifically about sports, but an allegory for all the idiots that get wrapped up in sports. I think your readers would like it. I love finding your site. Sometimes you can think like you're the only person who sees the insanity of sports. Why don't you request dues to make this site even more popular? Allan Provost, Miami
30 Mar 15
Subject: book extract
Here’s an extract from my book “It’s All Crap!”
“...The media loves sport! You hear about these multi-million pound deals with television to have exclusive rights to some game where twenty two men have a fun game of ‘who can kick the ball in the net the most’...I can see that the game could be fun, but what I have never been able to see is why winning a tournament of ‘who can kick the ball in the net the most’ could be elevated to an expression of national pride and triumph or how it can make millions of pounds. I fail to see how it is that a player who happens to be very good at playing ‘who can kick the ball into the net the most’ could be bought. I thought that buying people was called slavery, even if that slave receives colossal and obscene amounts of money for kicking a ball into a net. It’s crap! Notice the inequality – the obscene inequality! A football player gets a million pounds a week for kicking a ball in a net and the man who cleans the stadium and toilets, makes the food and does all the real work gets the minimum wage. Why is kicking a ball so much more worthy in our society than doing real work? It makes no sense, unless you see it as powerful people manipulating society to serve their own interests.
The ‘Olympics’! Don’t get me started! People devote their lives to running a microsecond faster than someone else. I have listened to competitors of the Olympics who have just got a bronze medal and with resignation, they say that they are going to go back home to renew training, dedicating the next few years to being a tiny bit stronger or a tiny bit faster next time. Then they can represent their country and make us all proud of what they are doing, for our esteem in the world. Oh please! It’s just a game, for fuck’s sake! It’s fun but how can it really be that serious? Are you afraid to be anything other than an Olympian or a footballer? Do you think that being exactly what you do will make your existence intelligible?..”----------------------------------------------------
I thought it was just me that hated sport! Great to see there are others!
15 Mar 15
Subject: Fifty per cent, and no more!
In one of my previous letters to this spiffing web site, I think I mentioned an article I once read, which posited that it is likely that only fifty per cent of men enjoy sports, rather than the inflated ninety per cent ballyhooed by conventional "wisdom." The same article (I wish, now, that I could find it - perhaps it's been reproduced on this site?) also claimed that many men indifferent to sports will claim to enjoy them so that, especially if they work in male-dominated environments, they won't be sneered at by their sports-fan colleagues.
As I am the sort of chap who cares not a jot if people know I loathe sports, I like the notion of fifty per cent as opposed to ninety, so a small incident yesterday really did warm the cockles of my heart.
At a men's church meeting, the pastor asked, in the course of his sermon, how many of us were into sports. To my astonishment and ineffable delight, only about half of them raised a hand. The pastor expressed some surprise. Then he asked the same question about music and then cars, with roughly similar results. There is as much diversity among Christian men as among police officers, smokers, employees at the average office or building site, you name it.
Before I retired, I worked in an office predominantly staffed by women, but if it had been full of men, I'd like to have taken a straw poll, one day, to see how many of them were into sports - not just chaps who'd watch the stupidbowl or the playoffs, but guys who were glued to at least one sports event per week. If they'd been honest, I like to think that it would have been nowhere near ninety per cent.
1 Mar 15
Subject: Jake's letter
In response to Jake's letter about giving up on sports, I say well done and you've seen the light. I don't know if you're British or American, but in both countries the uncritical adulation given to football of either the European or American kind is sickening. A typical British popular newspaper like the Sunday Mirror now devotes half its content to football, whereas in the past it took up four pages. The overkill, greed of the players, and the fact sports like football and rugby are incredibly boring to watch, is making anyone with a brain disgusted.
Jake, keep the faith, you'll be pleased to know you're not alone as a survey by The Independent, one of the few newspapers that has real news in it, a few years revealed 45 per cent of British men didn't like football and about 28 per cent of men had little or no interest in sport.
26 Feb 15
Subject: No Subject
I have always been a diehard sports fan. However after watching both my teams lose tonight I have decided to call it quits. Why should I waste so much time and energy on something that more often than not makes me furious?
10 Feb 15
I hate sports platitudes, such as
This is a very important game, and the only way we'll win is if every one of you gives 110% out there on the pitch.
It's like mindless dribble from a dull business get-rich-quick seminar.
It is so stupid. I mean, ball, goal, ball goes into goal, yawn, unless I'm getting a good sunburn with a cold drink in hand, I'd rather go home and take a nap.
Sent from my iPhone
8 Feb 15
Subject: Boring sports
What's the attraction to sports?
Okay: ball, goal, ball goes into goal. How dull!
The endless discussion of stats and contract negotiations is boring.
The rules are silly and keep changing. Evolving?
And the players keep changing. Who remembers all the minutiae stats from 40 years ago? Nobody cares!
Dull dull dull. And talking about it all day at the workplace is so boring and like fingernails on a chalkboard.
I actually bought season tickets for an outdoor stadium because I want to drink and get sunburnt in a social but safe outdoor environment. I have no clue as to the game rules or player stats.
Sent from my iPhone=
6 Feb 15
Subject: Six Nations and Superleague
This probably won't mean much to American readers, but in England tonight sees the start of that duolith of boredom, The Superleague and the Six Nations Championship, ie the start of two very tedious tournaments for followers of the two codes of rugby that unfortunately exist in this country. Of course, the good old television has got into the act, the BBC, which used to show the Sick Nations on Saturdays, has shunted its quizzes and comedies aside for a bunch of closet homosexuals running after a funny shaped ball and inflicting a fair amount of violence on each other. On Sky, the dear old Super League starts its eight month run, where steroid filled morons chase the same shaped ball but are even more violent. Living in an area where the Superleague is popular, it means ducking into a corner where I can avoid a screen when I have drink. I don't care about Steroid Saints getting the knock on into interchange, nor the result of the third line out at the 6 Nations, I don't really know the rules and don't give a damn.
Also if people wonder why the BBC, which used to be the envy of the world and the best broadcaster in Britain until the nineties, is so full of programmes about people selling their houses, DIY, sewing bees and hopeless entertainment, it's because of the money greedy sports organisations and BBC executives who spend millions pandering to the sports lobby. Also sports infiltrate the BBC so much I was watching a weather forecast ten minutes ago, wanting to know the weather for my local town, and was given the weather forecast for a football match 100 miles away. that means nothing to most people where I live. There are dedicated sports channels for this, not a local BBC bulletin which should be concerned with local news and weather. Grrrr, keep up the fight.
5 Feb 15
Subject: This Mom's Son Isn't Playing Football - article by Kimberly Garrison
RECENTLY, football has become a hot topic among some of my mom's friends. Many can't wait to sign up their 5- and 6-year- old sons to play the game.
Much to everyone's surprise, when I was asked about when my son, Darius, would start playing football, I responded with an emphatic, "No, nada, nope. Not happening. Not on my watch."
What, Miss Fitness?" someone said, with a tinge of sarcasm. "And just why don't you want your son to play football?"
Well, for starters, I parried back: "Why in the world would I consciously encourage my son to participate in the most violent sport in the world, which, by the way, also has a high probability of leaving him broke, broken and brain damaged?"
"Brain damaged?" another friend chimed in.
"Yeah," I said. "Where have you been? Haven't you seen the laundry list of NFL players with chronic traumatic encephalopathy [CTE]? Not to mention, the unprecedented number of youth concussions and rash of youth deaths due to football."
With all that we know now, there's no denying that football can have a devastating effect on players, no matter their age. Which raises the question: Why is anybody signing her kid up for this? Just in case you forgot, here's a short list of some of the recent youth-football casualties:
Remember in Illinois, the 2002 death of a 10-year-old girl, Taylor Davison, who died after suffering a head injury during a football practice?
What about 15-year-old Quadaar White, who died in 2010 at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia after he suffered a head injury at a football practice?
Just last year, 12-year-old Jeremiah "Lil J" Pierce collapsed on the field during football practice in South Jersey. And three more youths suffered brain injuries and lost their lives: Isaiah Langston, 17, of North Carolina; Charles Henderson, 17, of Alabama; and Tom Cutinella, 16, of Long Island.
These incidents speak to a larger issue: We are in denial and putting many lives at unnecessary risk for a game.
But don't take my word for it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta, there are an estimated 300,000 sports-related brain injuries every year. Sports-related injuries send 2.6 million children and young adults to emergency rooms each year, according to the CDC.
It should come as no surprise that the numbers and rates are highest for youth football. Although kids can get injured in almost any sport, football is rooted in collision. Football bruises, strains, sprains, pulls and tears, breaks bones, ruptures internal organs, breaks backs and shreds ligaments, and causes concussions and brain damage.
And it also has a cumulative effect. There are now countless NFL horror stories of steroid and drug abuse, suicides, brain bleeds, CTE, dementia, Alzheimer's, endless debt, lawsuits and broken lives.
I was reduced to tears when I saw a 2004 ESPN documentary on the great running back Earl Campbell. In 2004, Campbell was 49 at the time and the segment showed how the years of repeated abuse had left Campbell with severe arthritis in his knees and back pain so severe that it took him nearly 30 minutes to walk up the stairs in his home.
Then there's the Washington Post survey of more than 500 NFL retirees that found that fewer than half would recommend that children play football. I think that speaks volumes. And if football is so great, why aren't the owners' kids out there on the field playing and learning all of those valuable life lessons being part of a team?
"OK, Kimberly, well what about scholarships?" chimed in another mom. "Sports scholarships are a great way for our boys to get a good education."
"Yeah, you think?" I replied. Get real. According to collegesolutions.com, only about 2 percent of high-school seniors receive any sports scholarships to college, and most football and basketball players on scholarship spend about 85 percent of their time on the field, not in the classroom. Too many college athletes leave either with a worthless degree or with no degree at all.
As for making it all the way to the pros? The odds are pretty bleak.
So, trust your common sense that the fears about the dangers of football are justified. Do we really need more research to know that repeated blows to the head will have permanent effects? Let's keep it real!
24 Jan 15
Subject: Deflated balls - I'm sure there's a joke there
I am seeing "trending" news on Farcebook, mentioning that some Americans used under-inflated football balls in some silly sports event. Now, I have not read any articles about it, because I refuse to read about sports, but I have to ask, why is it a scandal? More importantly, why is it national news? What utter waffle.
I mean, who gives a rat's arse? Why is it a big deal? Will millions of brain-dead sports fanatics be up in arms next week if some ball-chasing troglodyte runs onto the field with his socks at half mast? Will the tosser be fined and suspended?
It's indicative of how skewed the media's standards have become. Why is a slightly deflated ball so scandalous? Let's face it, if two opposing gaggles of idiots chased after a bit of old rag or a bag of monkey nuts, there would be thousands of stupid ninnies watching it and taking it deadly seriously.
We know better. We know that it's just a game for small boys, and that there are more important issues. But sports fans do not. They are so small-minded that a slightly-less-inflated-than-usual bladder gets them apoplectic. And they wonder why we laugh at them...
22 Jan 15
Subject: WHY WE FIGHT
Most of us already how dangerous high school football members are but for those who don't know, here's yet another example, pulled from tonight's news.
WINTER SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL GANG RAPE
19 Jan 15
Subject: What Ohio city is that?
Google says it was in Columbus, Ohio at Ohio State University. I think Glenn was not commenting as much on how caps are worn as he was it being a symptom of a larger problem: sports hooliganism. But if Ohio has such an advanced opinion on sports fans, I want to live there too!
19 Jan 15
Subject: What Ohio city is that?
Actually Glenn, the backwards caps is the least of the problem and I will confess that when I wore caps like that, I have worn them in that style b/c sometimes it was more comfortable. Anyway.........which city is that in Ohio that does not like sports fans? I ask that b/c there is no way that the entire state of Ohio has that mindset. I'm not against sports per say but I'm not obsessed w/ them and I don't really keep up w/ them. Basketball is fun to watch but just never could get into football w/ all those people hollering in the stadium. Didn't like it as a kid and do not like it at 27 yrs old.
18 Jan 15
Subject: Once Again
The local sports thugs show their true colors. We have yet another intelligent child who did not bow down to the "sports Idols" at school. He was punished for his heresy by way of a beating. Of course the school staff did nothing to protect the innocent child. The "poor oppressed sports barbarian" was "oppressed" by the academic achievements of his target.
16 Jan 15
Subject: Pepperspraying sports fans
If this is what happens in Ohio to that braindead, aggressive bunch of sheep in the previous poster's letter, can I move there. Honestly these guys in their identikit shirts and back to front baseball caps( perhaps the most moronic fashion ever invented) deserve to be sent to Guantanamo Bay once it's cleared out of its current prisoners. At least they can bore the pants off each other about match stats in their cells and leave non fans to go about their daily business.
Team sports, I'd rather shove my head down the toilet and drink toilet water than suffer football, soccer, cricket, rugby and any other of these dickish pastimes.
Happy new year
14 Jan 15
Subject: Fuck the Sports Fans!
You might enjoy this news story. Apparently in the state of Ohio they hate sports fans and immediately pull out the pepper spray and give them a good dose whenever they act up and cause troubles.
According to the Police Chief, "We don't like sports fans in our city and we do our best to keep them in line. If it means I have to pepper spray every last one of them, I will do my job".
I say good job Chief. I may just move to Ohio if this is how the whole state conducts itself.