Why I No Longer Watch Sports

“Celebrating a Sports victory is the equivalent of men watching pornography and then toasting to their success as lady-lovers.” – Jim Cummings

I gave up watching sports cold turkey for good back in 2013 after the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl. What led up to my awakening was realizing how stressed I was getting over a game that had no real consequence in my life.

I was tired of racing home on Sunday’s to watch the game while omitting three hours of my day to boot. I had never thrown my remote control through the television but I totally understand the temptation to do so.

I became a die-hard Baltimore Ravens fan back in 2000 and would watch every Ravens Game and or listen to the game while I did some house chores. And sports talk is all I would listen to on the radio.

(It later became really disturbing to listen to fans call in radio shows to bash the team they were supposedly rooting for after they had a bad game or season. I noticed one thing about some sport players and watchers, most are a bunch of whiners. It’s just a game!)

When I went into work in the morning I would grab the sports section out of the newspaper. I had to know what was going on with all my favorite teams like the Ravens, the Orioles and the Terps.

I have probably been to over 20 Ravens games, 50 Orioles games, about 2 or 3 Baltimore Colts games, about 6 Baltimore Stallions games, 6 Baltimore Bandit’s games, one Terps Basketball game and about 25 Maryland Terrapins Football games in my lifetime.

I once owned a bunch of sports memorabilia signed by mega-stars.  I still own two autograph portraits of Lenny Moore and Art Donavan that they were more than gracious to sign for me. I talked with Artie for about 20 minutes the day he signed my photo of him, These two former Baltimore Colts are way more important to me than any current athlete. I was also happy to get Gino Marchetti and John Mackey’s autograph too at a Baltimore Colt’s reunion.

I didn’t stop watching sports out of spite, I stopped because I realized it was taking up too much of my time. I look back and see how invested I was mentally, emotionally, time wise and financially. I stopped because I was a sports addict.

I knew I had to let go of spending time watching grown adults earn millions of dollars playing games I used to play for free. For the record, I don’t have an issue with professional athletes earning the money they do. I understand completely how the market dictates the income for the teams and how much money players earn.

Yes, I was an Athlete

As a youngster, I played recreation baseball and football and I also played football in High School. My favorite class in school was gym (P.E.). My senior year our football team was undefeated in the regular season – 10-0. I even made the all-county and all-metro team while earning a 3.5 GPA that year as well.

When I wasn’t playing sports for a league it was very common for me to play a pick-up game of basketball, or grab my glove and get a baseball game together or throw the football around.

I loved playing sports as a kid, even now I wouldn’t mind getting into a low impact game like disc-golf. However, I just don’t see myself investing anymore time or energy watching it on TV. I believe we should be playing sports more than watching them, or if we are going to attend a sporting event it should be watching our kids, or nephews, nieces and grandchildren.

And if you think you are too old to play a sport then check out the senior citizens who play pickleball.

Being a personal growth enthusiast, I am always pondering better ways to spend my time while being productive in the process. Watching sports is a passive activity that I have no control over the outcome. I prefer to be more involved with things in my life that I can control.

Besides, most sporting events, whether watching it at the stadium, or with a group of friends at home is more of a social event than anything. Plus, you can guarantee almost everyone is drinking alcohol, which I gave up for good back in 2005.

Plus, have you seen the number of beat downs that fans of opposing teams get? This happens all over the world. I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff happen during the world soccer games.

Whether “my team” wins or loses it doesn’t really matter in my life. Sports is entertainment, sometimes, really bad entertainment, but entertainment none the less. And yes, for many, me included, sports can be a great positive distraction from the uglier aspects of life that we all must deal with.

Return on Investment

I have never worn an athletic jersey of a professional athlete in my life.  The only jerseys I have ever worn were my own from playing sports.

I cannot see myself as an old man sitting in my rocking chair and regretting not spending more time watching sports.

Inconsequential pretty much sums up my beliefs about watching professional sports. The only people truly benefitting from professional sports are the owners, the players, the agents, the coaches and the advertisers.

My favorite sporting teams never sent me a check to wear their gear. They never sent me a thank you card for supporting them. So why should I care?

I have plenty of ways to entertain myself, I certainly don’t need to watch sports to do that.

Be a Producer, not a Consumer

Media consumption is a huge challenge that we all face, however we would be much better off doing less of it.

I have never been more creative in my life then now. Why? Because Over the past 20 years I have been slowly and methodically shedding activities from my life that aren’t serving me.

Shedding time wasteful activities frees me up to be more creative and productive. Just last week I made my wife 2 homemade rectangular planter boxes for her flowers out of some scrap wood a friend gave me.

Those planter boxes will be remain useful long after most sports figures, and even some teams.

Would I go to the stadium or arena to watch a game?

It’s a lot different watching sports live in person than on the television, however, doing this would only happen on rare occasions.

I have on my agenda to attend an Aberdeen Iron Birds game or games next season. I want to watch them because they are owned by my favorite Baltimore Oriole of all-time – Cal Ripken Jr and I would want to support anything that Cal is part of.

I also wouldn’t mind attending a Nascar race because I have never done that before.

With that being said, if I were to attend a sporting event live it would only be a once in a while type of thing because I have bigger priorities in my life.

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