“The pandemic has reminded us: We don’t need more sports in our lives — we need less“
I was doing some pandemic pondering after reading a Washington Post article by Norman Chad featuring the title above, and I began to wonder if he was right. Have we gotten out of hand with our ESPN/Oregon sports obsessions? Do we sports-binge too much on the weekends (which has now spread to Monday nights and Thursday and Friday evenings)? Should we be doing more binge-reading?
Taking inspiration from Jeff Foxworthy‘s famous “You might be a redneck if …” routine, let’s consider our sports habits and whether or not these make us Oregon Sports Junkies.
Are You an Oregon Sports Junkie?
First off, if the birth of your last child could be described by the book title, Hold On Honey, I’ll Take You to the Hospital at Halftime of this Ducks-Husky Game, then you might be an Oregon Sports Junkie.
If you go to church on Sunday morning wearing your Duck emblem cap and your “Rose Bowl Winner 2020” all-black hoodie with the large yellow “O” on it, then you might be an Oregon Sports Junkie.
If your convertible sports car has an “Oregon Ducks” wind screen, tinted in bright yellow for better nighttime visibility, then you might be an Oregon Sports Junkie. (Yep I see this guy in the mirror every day.)
If you are physiologically dependent on Ducks football and an abrupt deprivation from the absence of spring camp or the Spring Game produces withdrawal symptoms … then you might be an Oregon Sports Junkie.
If you are genuinely concerned that a 17-year-old, three-star recruit (with potential!) did not include Oregon in his recent tweets, then you might be an Oregon Sports Junkie.
If, when Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon was injured in 2007 (which took him out of the Heisman discussion and Oregon out the National Championship), you were found under the kitchen table in the fetal position moaning and sobbing … you might be an Oregon Sports Junkie.
Granted, I’m talking primarily about Oregon football junkies. When it comes to other sports, well, the late comedian George Carlin said it this way:
“Swimming is not a sport. Swimming is a way to keep from drowning. […] Sailing is not a sport. Sailing is a way to get somewhere. Riding the bus isn’t a sport, so why the [expletive] should sailing be a sport?”
I guess George forgot about how cars are modes of transportation, too, but people sure love their Indy and NASCAR racing!
Keeping it in Perspective?
What have we become? Gradually, we have become ESPN- and Pac-12 Network-obsessed. But honestly, though I try to blame ESPN for everything excessive and execrable, the boys in Bristol do not shape our culture as much as they reflect it. And that includes our insatiable desire for sports.
During this sports-dry pandemic, ESPN ranked the top 74 basketball sneakers worn by every NBA player. I repeat, they ranked the top 74 sneakers … The Nike Foamposite Max, worn by Tim Duncan, was No. 47 (Who cares?). Is this what our lives have become?
Is eating a leisurely dinner at home while conversing with family or friends a bygone activity, a forgotten pleasure? It worked well in Europe for several hundred years until interrupted by World War I, World War II … and sports.
Our nation has been on edge of late, partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, also known to Alabamians and Georgians as the “Don’t Even Think of Messing with the SEC Football Schedule” pandemic.
Last week, the ESPN Coronavirus Lockdown Fan Study – that is the actual title (I swear on Chris Berman‘s Bible of Nicknames) — surveyed 1,004 adult sports fans, and 76 percent were in favor of sports returning even if spectators cannot be in the stands.
Can you imagine a football game without any fans in the stands?
In my opinion, it boils down to two choices:
Football at any cost (i.e. throw social distancing to the wind), or football at all costs (no fans, possible schedule changes, etc.).
It’s something to think about during our pandemic pondering. Along with the following question: Are you a true Oregon Sports Junkie?
San Diego, California
Top Photo by Melissa Macatee
Andrew Mueller, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in digital marketing in Chicago, Illinois.
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