Spectator Sports

a bug up my butt: is it the passive Consumerism of the Spectacle? The arbitrary yet emotionally-intensive Group Identification (Tribalism) ("my team can beat your team") (Pavlovian training for "my country can beat your country"?)? The pretense of CollegeSports and Olympics events as involving Amateur-s?

Either way, it's a Litmus Test.

The tax dollars pissed into subsidizing Sports Stadium construction really bugs me.

In many states, the highest-paid public employee is the coach of a State University sports team.

  • Yet in most cases CollegeSports programs lose money? The six elite leagues in Division I are those that participate in the Bowl Championship Series: the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific-10, and Southeastern conferences. Even with bowl-game revenues and television contracts, however, public institutions in those conferences provided an average of $5.9 million to athletics in fiscal 2009, including $2.4 million in direct general-fund support and another $2.4 million in student fees.

A seemingly-intelligent person confessing a love for Spectator Sports distresses me as much as a "ScientIst" claiming belief in Monotheism.

An arbitrary Zero-Sum Game:

  • Well, it's a tautology/Game Rule that the guy/team who won the match won the match.
  • Whether that can be extrapolated to "that same guy/team would have won again under the same conditions with a 95% confidence interval" is open to question.
  • And, even if that's true, to extrapolate to "that same guy/team is" "better" or "best" is even more questionable.
  • And then you can ask whether the Game Rule-s tweak the general idea behind the game in a way that makes the game-winner not quite the best. Best example of this: Timothy Ferriss "winning" a Chinese kickboxing title by gaming the weigh-in rules and push-out rules.
  • And then you can add in extra questions like "who's on the juice" or "who's sacrificing their long-term...

Even non-spectator is an issue: time spent playing InformalSports was significantly and positively related to overall Creativity, while time spent playing OrganizedSports was significantly and negatively related to overall creativity. Perhaps even more interestingly, the difference between those participants whose scores placed them into “above-average” creativity bracket was only about two hours per week of unstructured sport participation throughout their school-age years. What could account for such distal results? On a theoretical (and, frankly, intuitive) level, informal sports played in unstructured, unsupervised environments capture many of the elements that are linked with the developmental benefits of play for children (PlayFul). These environments offer children the freedom to self-govern, create Game Rule-s, problem-solve and resolve social conflicts on their own terms. OrganizedSports, on the other hand, tend to replicate hierarchical and militaristic models aimed at obedience, replication, adherence to authority, and a number of other qualities that, on a theoretical level, would be unlikely to be conducive to creative development.


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