Michael in Growth 10 minutes

Sports News: Soap Operas for People Who Make Fun of Soap Operas

In the past I used to listen to The Ticket every day on the way to and from work. I would follow the local teams through ups and downs. When the Dallas Cowboys won their only playoff game in the last almost twenty years, I was turning on The Ticket to hear their analysis. When the Mavericks won their World Championship a few years ago, I celebrated with my friends on the Ticket.

Then I realized something:

Sports News is even more worthless than “Real” News.

Yes, you are hearing me correctly. I just finished outlining everything wasteful and dumb about CNN and Fox News, but I’m saying sports news is even worse than that. The difference: at least in “real” news we are talking about people’s lives and well being. In sports we are talking about a game using the same medium and tone that we talk about people’s lives and well being.

A couple of observations really hit this home for me:

Sports news loves the soap opera story. It’s funny to think that way, too, since so many sports fans are uber-masculine and would never admit to enjoying soap operas as entertainment. A few examples (as you read these in the tone of an airhead woman in her early twenties talking about a soap opera):

OMG did you hear about** Ron Washington?** He RESIGNED today as manager of the Rangers for personal reasons. Jon Daniels says it ISN’T about drugs. But who knows? I wonder how the players are feeling?

OMG did you hear about the number of penalties being called in NFL preseason? I wonder if, like, the NFL will call those during the REGULAR SEASON!?!?! This might like change the whole game.

OMG, did you hear that Wes Welker is SUSPENDED for FOUR GAMES for taking drugs? I wonder what drugs they are????…!?!?!?!

What is all of this about?

Just like the news, this is about sucking people into intrigue over things that don’t matter so they’ll be sitting there when the advertising comes on. It’s about selling you stuff you normally wouldn’t buy.

Does the nature of Ron Washington’s resignation matter? No.

Is there any effect that you can have on the number of NFL penalties by reading the article? No. No effect. You. Are. Wasting. Your. Time.

Does it matter what Wes Welker did or did not do? To him and his family, it means he makes a few hundred thousand less from multiple millions. To us, it means nothing.

It means nothing.

Let that sink in, sports fans.

This is entertainment. It’s not your life. It’s not your family. It’s not your livelihood.

It’s a business run by people who make a lot of money tricking you into thinking it matters.

With that in perspective, by all means go to a game or watch it on TV and enjoy. But leave it at that, and find better things to do with your time. Over time, even that will begin to fade away.