The Great American Distraction

Sport, the Great American distraction.  It seems as if watching sporting events now take precedence over Hollywood, the music industry, video games, computers and obviously over actually playing the sports games themselves.  As I sit here now I have an empty feeling in my stomach having just watched the USA take a dramatic exit from the 2010 World Cup.  Is it that Americans just love watching sports or is there an actual emotional attachment to a team?  How can a game with a team of players who we have never met affect us all so much?

June 2010 was quite the month for an L.A. sports fan like myself.  We had the L.A. Lakers in the NBA Finals (eventually winning! woop,woop!), Dodgers vs Angels baseball (6 of 12 games over a 3 week period), the USA in the World Cup, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Nascar mid-season, Wimbledon, the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and return of Tiger Woods.  I find that my emotions through this month have been on a roller-coaster.  With every Laker win or loss my days have been either fantastic or depressing but always very tense.  Baseball provided much rivalry between the two L.A. teams and the World Cup is an amazingly promoted event that was celebrated on a National scale.  The rest are just there to eat up all my time in between the major sports I watch. I have been through a lot this month it seems, none of which includes anything to do with my own life.

All of these events are made more dramatic and its viewers more fanatical with alcohol.  The advertisement blitz these companies have gone through encourage the sports bar, a major part of sport viewing; as well as home consumption rising during this sporting month and beginning of summer.  Alcohol just seems to make the games better.   It allows you to loosen up, relax and feel more excited and passionate about whatever game happens to be on.  I think it’s safe to assume that we all know alcohol is in itself a major life distraction but when combined with the drama of your favorite team, it forces our eyes and lives to stay glued to the T.V.

With all that is going on in America right now: major oil spills, the country amid two wars most Americans don’t believe in, the most debt our nation has ever seen, the economy in a “Great Depression” state, our borders unsecured, healthcare, banks, motor industries being nationalized, unemployment at an obscene level, people and companies in major financial crises, and our country on the brink of a nationwide election;  all of this not including any family, physical or emotional problem you may be experiencing.  It seems to me that sports should be far from the forefront of our countries mind.   Sports, although, give us an escape, a distraction.  I assume most Americans are aware of the dangers, threats and hardships we a facing.  We just don’t have the mental capacity, nerve or mindset to take it all in, process it and focus on finding a solution.  It is a system over load.  So what do we do; we shut all that out, put on our blinders and let the Lakers give us our happiness.

Myself being a major fan of sporting events and all the things that revolve around watching those events; friends gathering in common devotion, drinks and food filling us up, unmatchable reality drama all are very satisfying.  My question is how important to history and the future are these things?  Every year a new season starts, you will be hungry tomorrow.  Isn’t there something more worthwile we could all be focusing our collective energy towards. I too am being distacted by the American ideal of vicariously living through my favorite teams, I am just bringing this great distraction up for you to ponder.  These distractions make me feel like just another sheep in the flock being led away from real issues and important things going on around the world, marching to the beat of the South African vuvuzelas!

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  1. June 26th, 2010
    Trackback from : Beat Alcoholism 101

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