On this Super Bowl Sunday I am proud to announce that I have decided that sports have no point, and that ‘s the point. Here is my latest essay for The Imaginative Conservative website–just in time for reading and sharing before the big game.
I admit it. I am not an athlete. I am ham fisted and physically illiterate. In school I was always one of the last chosen for a game of pick up football, and if a teammate was kind enough to throw me a pass I was likely to fumble the ball or run the wrong way, losing both the game and a possible friend.
Not only was I inept, but I couldn’t see the point. What was the point of a dozen men in short pants kicking a ball around a field not using their hands on purpose? I couldn’t see the point of six giants running back and forth on a court bouncing a ball while attempting to put it through a hoop that was too high, and I really couldn’t see the point of four men in plaid pants trying to hit a tiny ball into a hole in the ground hundreds of yards away using a fragile set of clubs.
What is the point of sports? When I quiz athletes on the question they grunt out a list of useful ideas. “The sporting industry generates jobs and income. Stadia and arenas are built. Tickets are sold. Television rights are sold. Stuff is advertised. Celebrities are made and fortunes are accumulated.” But I object. This economic benefit is a side effect, not the point of sport.
The point of sport is that there is no point. It is done for its own sake….because it’s fun. Read the whole article here.