Foul or Fair?

Foul or Fair?

Two staff writers share their thoughts on the world of sports
Summarizing my extensive grudge with sports. And the fools who obsess over them.
Summarizing my extensive grudge with sports. And the fools who obsess over them.

Story by Thomas Ramos

Preface: I do not like sports. Whether watching or playing, I couldn’t care less. That said, sports to me is like a good terrible movie: I just love to hate it. For some reason, however, most people don’t seem to understand why I hate sports. To me, it seems like common sense, but I suppose people have other thoughts. While I am not trying to bash people who like sports, there is a noticeable difference in opinion. If I had to define my hatred for sports, I would name a few reasons specifically:

Why: Sports culture. Why does everyone have to get so intense about their favorite team? Why is it expected that you hate the opposing team? I honestly don’t see the point in getting so worked up about “rivalries.” I’ve heard horror stories about people losing their minds at their friends and families because they’re rooting for the Cubs when they should be with the Cardinals. I always thought blood was thicker than Gatorade. 

“Sportsmanship.” Lots of parents teach their children about “being a good sport.” Lots of parents also call the opposing team “cheaters” when the home team doesn’t win. 

Yelling and screaming. Of the sports games I have been to, I never left without an earache. I understand being excited for your team, but shouting about it when nothing serious is happening is a bit ridiculous. Now I don’t mean losing your mind when someone scores a winning touchdown, I mean shouting at the player trying to make a free throw. The sportsmanship is apparent.

Judgment. I’ve been judged by my peers for a plethora of reasons, but one of the most common ones is my distaste for sports. Maybe I’ve just had a bad experience, but the main response I get from people when I mention that I don’t like sports is an eye roll. I mean do I actually need to like sports?

Taking it too seriously and overall annoyingness. Sports are a hobby for many and for some it is a career and a larger part of their lives. When playing football is what someone wants to do for the rest of their life, then it’s completely fair to take it pretty seriously. But when someone’s whole day is ruined because their favorite team lost, it gets pretty ridiculous. At the end of the day, it’s not that deep for the average Spartans fan. Also, some people who love sports know just how to make it annoying. It gets to be a lot to listen to sometimes, e.g., talking about it constantly or forcing everyone around them to like it.

Addendum: This being said, it would be ignorant for me to not acknowledge the positive impact sports can have on the world. It is a strong, unifying force that brings people together in camaraderie and community. At the end of the day, sports are an activity that many people take pride in, and who am I to say that they aren’t justified in doing so? I’m sure that there are some people who would think my hobbies are dumb, just as I find sports to be dumb. While I intend on keeping my stance on sports, I also will admit that sometimes finding something to yell and scream about with friends and family can be the best way to bring people together and have some fun.

I do not like sports. Whether watching or playing, I couldn’t care less. That said, sports to me is like a good terrible movie: I just love to hate it. For some reason, however, most people don’t seem to understand why I hate sports. To me, it seems like common sense, but I suppose people have other thoughts. While I am not trying to bash people who like sports, there is a noticeable difference in opinion. If I had to define my hatred for sports, I would name a few reasons specifically:

Why:

Sports culture. Why does everyone have to get so intense about their favorite team? Why is it expected that you hate the opposing team? I honestly don’t see the point in getting so worked up about “rivalries.” I’ve heard horror stories about people losing their minds at their friends and families because they’re rooting for the Cubs when they should be with the Cardinals. I always thought blood was thicker than Gatorade. 

“Sportsmanship.” Lots of parents teach their children about “being a good sport.” Lots of parents also call the opposing team “cheaters” when the home team doesn’t win. 

Yelling and screaming. Of the sports games I have been to, I never left without an earache. I understand being excited for your team, but shouting about it when nothing serious is happening is a bit ridiculous. Now I don’t mean losing your mind when someone scores a winning touchdown, I mean shouting at the player trying to make a free throw. The sportsmanship is apparent.

Judgment. I’ve been judged by my peers for a plethora of reasons, but one of the most common ones is my distaste for sports. Maybe I’ve just had a bad experience, but the main response I get from people when I mention that I don’t like sports is an eye roll. I mean do I actually need to like sports?

Taking it too seriously and overall annoyingness. Sports are a hobby for many and for some it is a career and a larger part of their lives. When playing football is what someone wants to do for the rest of their life, then it’s completely fair to take it pretty seriously. But when someone’s whole day is ruined because their favorite team lost, it gets pretty ridiculous. At the end of the day, it’s not that deep for the average Spartans fan. Also, some people who love sports know just how to make it annoying. It gets to be a lot to listen to sometimes, e.g., talking about it constantly or forcing everyone around them to like it.

Addendum: This being said, it would be ignorant for me to not acknowledge the positive impact sports can have on the world. It is a strong, unifying force that brings people together in camaraderie and community. At the end of the day, sports are an activity that many people take pride in, and who am I to say that they aren’t justified in doing so? I’m sure that there are some people who would think my hobbies are dumb, just as I find sports to be dumb. While I intend on keeping my stance on sports, I also will admit that sometimes finding something to yell and scream about with friends and family can be the best way to bring people together and have some fun.

Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray! Three cheers for sports and their significance today!
Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray! Three cheers for sports and their significance today!

Story by Hannah Halterman

Intro (aka my pre-game talk): I’m a self-proclaimed sports enthusiast. I run track and cross country and I play basketball for FHC, but it doesn’t matter what sport it is, I’m there. The Olympic trials for snowboarding are on TV? Count me in. My little sister’s kindergarten class played dodgeball today? I need the play-by-play. Sports are just fantastic. They combine competition and camaraderie, they celebrate talent and resilience, and they bring people together like nothing else. So without further ado… play ball! 

Camaraderie. It has to be said- there is no better feeling in the world than being part of a team flooding the court after a buzzer-beater three to win. Bonds between sports teams are friendships sealed with blood, sweat, and tears. Whether a team is lifting a friend on their shoulders to celebrate the best goal of the season or sitting in the locker room together after a heartbreaking loss, teams are always there for each other. 

The fans. Can student sections get a little out of hand? Perhaps. Yet seeing hundreds of high school kids uniting to support their friends and classmates during their game is truly special. Even outside of high school athletics, sports bring people together in a unique way. “Wait, you like the Cardinals? I like the Cardinals!” And thus ensues hours of conversation with a perfect stranger. Or, the more popular way to bring St. Louisans together: “Who here hates Stan Kroenke?”

Character. Who knew that striving to improve for hours each day both as an individual and as a team could have a positive impact on a person’s character? Oh, wait. Everyone. 

Confidence. Being an athlete builds confidence. And maybe it’s confidence in silly things (“look at how good I am at throwing stuff!”), but it’s confidence nonetheless. The confidence that high schoolers gain from sports carries over into their academic and social lives as well. 

Health. Shockingly enough, playing sports tends to improve one’s health. Coaches encourage healthy habits for their athletes even outside of practice– getting enough sleep, eating well, and drinking plenty of water are common reminders from coaches. 

Role Models. High school athletes have coaches that they can depend on and look up to for guidance. For many young athletes, upperclassmen become like older siblings who can help guide them through the first steps of high school life.  Professional athletes also serve as role models for kids, which admittedly can have almost as many downsides as upsides. But for every John McEnroe tantrum, there’s a Matthew Rees helping his opponent over the finish line of a marathon, a Kerri Strug giving her all for teammates to win Olympic gold, and a Dikembe Mutombo focusing his post-NBA life on generosity and volunteer work. Kids see professional athletes helping opponents off the court or field after injuries and do the same. They see their favorite players thanking the referees after a game and follow suit. 

Conclusion (aka Overtime): Although I love sports and what they stand for, I wouldn’t want to push them onto other people. If someone says they’re not big on art, the common response might be “That’s okay, it’s not for everyone.” But if you’re not a sports fan, I’m sad to admit that a more common response from most sports fans (possibly including me, once or twice) would be “What? What’s wrong with you?” Sports aren’t for everyone, and that’s okay. However, what they stand for is so much greater than the game’s score. 

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