How Much Should Sports Matter?


I’m both honored and blessed to have readers from all over the world, but I know that much of my core audience resides here in New England, know that many of you, like me, are sports fans. I know that the devastating injury to Gordon Hayward has completely changed your expectations for the Boston Celtics this year, the early playoff exit once again for the red Sox, combined with the New York Yankees success, is causing you emotional pain. What I don’t know, but what I can guess, what I can extrapolate from  my own feelings, is how there is a part of you that is not sure how to feel about how much these things bother you. With so much going on in the world, so much tragedy and pain, what the hell is wrong with us that we get this upset about a game, a game that in the big picture really holds so little meaning?

For those that don’t know what I’m talking about, Hayward suffered a fracture/dislocation of his ankle 315 seconds into his Celitcs career. The Red Sox were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs for consecutive years, their manager fired.

Should any of this matter in a time of Harvey Weinstein, North Korea, and Puerto Rico?

It does. It does because sometimes even those of us that consider themselves well informed, that pay attention to what’s going on in the world around us, that are trying to make some sort of little difference, need to turn it off, to watch something besides the ever depressing news channels.

It’s why I understand those that complain about the anthem protests  from the perspective of not wanting politics to intrude on their escape. It’s part of what makes it an effective protest, an uncomfortableness in having to think about issues at a time when we are trying to escape them.

Rather than boycott the NFL as some people are now doing, my wife and I took a different approach, planning an entire vacation around games that our teams were playing in Tampa Bay and Miami, Florida.


should sports matter?


I’ll admit that we missed the anthem at both games. Food, beer and poor time management leading to us arriving at our seats afterward. We didn’t know what the players did, didn’t know what the crowd did, just knew that for the next three hours anybody in that stadium wearing the same colors as us were on our side.

After my wedding and the birth of my child, of course, some of my happiest moments have come based on grown men playing children’s games and celebrating those moments with those around me. The Dave Roberts steal, the 12th inning home run by David Ortiz in that same game, the final out of the 2004 World Series, the 24 point comeback by the Celtics against the Lakers in game four of the 2008 NBA Finals. To this day I’ve never seen my father more excited and animated than when Tate George hit his game winning shot for the UConn  Huskies in the 1990 NCAA tournament and he’s not even that big of a sports fan.

Is it silly, an unnecessary expenditure of energy and emotion that would be better served directed elsewhere?

Of course. That’s kind of the point.


how much should sports matter




6 thoughts on “How Much Should Sports Matter?”

  1. I think you make a good point. We need to be serious about things that matter in our world, but we also need to get a little relief from that stuff. I think the challenge is having an awareness, as you do here, that we’re choosing escape on purpose and not convincing ourselves that the things we turn to for escape are on the same plane as the fighting for respect for women or social justice.
    I see your point in opponents of the player protests not wanting to muddy the waters between pleasure and politics. But, I also think those players have a platform for raising awareness, and are using it. It’s a complicated question to be sure.
    I am glad that it looks like you had a great time at the game. 🙂

    1. I’m been pretty vocal in my support of what they are doing. I have a hard time understanding those that are so hard-line against it and are boycotting the games. What purpose does that serve?

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