Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sportianity: One Nation Under ESPN.

Over 30-years ago, in a 1976 Sports Illustrated article, Frank Deford coined the term "Sportianity"—"a triumphal evangelism blended with competitive zeal that has been crafted by and for those whose love of athletics often makes it difficult for them to view sports objectively."

Fast forward to present day, with the infusion of commercialism into athletics complete, the obsession with sports in our culture can only be defined in religious terms.

Sure, "sportsmanship" is given plenty of lip-service; however, in reality, it's almost non-existent, today. Healthy competition has degenerated into cut-throat competition and the concept of teamwork into self-elevating opportunities for players and coaches, alike...all the way down to the grade-school level, if not preschool! Whether actively participating as coaches, or shouting from the sidelines as parents, adults who live vicariously through their children has become as American as "apple pie". Little hard to counteract a self-absorbed society when the parents are leading the way, don't you think?

Moreover, when sports are always organized by adults, rather than the spontaneous organization of children, it kills the joy and sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that most kids experience as a result.   Winning to please the adults is very often the unspoken "rule of law".

With the advent of "organized" sports for toddlers, and the competition, pressure and misbehavior of parents that accompanies, it should come as no surprise that the crimes and indiscretions of players and coaches in higher education is increasing with astonishing frequency. It just doesn't get any worse than the current Penn State/Syracuse scandal. Or does it?

It absolutely does. The mind-numbing glorification of sports at the expense of everything else is downright evil. As I've said before, Penn State is only the tip of a very dark and ugly iceberg. Child sex trafficking and sporting events go hand-in-hand.   Take Super Bowl Sunday.  It conjures up images of touchdowns, tailgates, and tradition. Nevertheless, there  there is a very dark side that gets very little exposure.  Believe it or not, in the spirit of Penn State,  it's a child sex trafficker's playground, according to Brad Dennis, the director of the KlaasKids Foundation. Which makes sense when you really think about it. But that's the whole problem, no one thinks about it.

Don't get me wrong.  I really enjoy sports. The problem is not sports, it's the sports-industrial-complex that has infiltrated every aspect of our lives creating a false religion that makes us forget what's important.

Links:

Stop Child Trafficking Now

Sandusky Attorney Claims at Least One Victim Will Come to His Defense,

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