Real life is messy. We balance several life goals (family, career, personal) and many of these goals are difficult to even articulate clearly let alone achieve. For me, sports has always been an escape from life’s complexity. It’s a place where the goals are crystal clear and usually simple: Win. Win beautifully. Achieve milestones no has ever reached.
I’ve been a sports fan my whole life, and I’ve always enjoyed seeing what people or teams can do when they push themselves as far as possible to achieve an extremely clear goal. Recently though, most of the big stories in sports have been about awful behavior of players, owners, and leagues:
- Adrian Peterson beating his kid
- Ray Rice beating his wife
- Michael Sam tearing it up in preseason and then getting cut
- The Dolphins bullying their own
- The whole ongoing concussion saga in the NFL
- Donald Sterling and Jim Irsay
These stories sometimes get people talking about important social issues, but I find the whole thing rather depressing. I’m tired of caring about and rooting for people and institutions that I can’t respect.
A week ago I decided to take a break from sports. I was inspired by a new book called Against Football, but it was the Adrian Peterson story and the reaction of other players to it that pushed me over the edge. Beating your kid with a stick until he’s bruised and bleeding isn’t right no matter how you were raised.
So: No more sports radio in the car. No more keeping up with the ESPN news feed. No more reading Grantland. No more listening to the BS report. It’s freed up quite a bit of time and I’ve found other ways to escape. I’m reading more kottke.org and catching up on my friends’ blogs. I’m getting more done at work.
At some point I’ll probably return to sports, but I want to come back for a good reason. I haven’t thought of one yet.