Daze of My Life: No Longer the Sport I Once Was
Daze of My Life
No Longer the Sport I Once Was
I'm a "sport's guy;" that category of male who knows more--and cares more--about this one subject than any other. I begin my day reading the sports page and end my night watching ESPN Sports Center. Throughout the day I will listen to Sports Talk Radio and/or WTOP at 15 and 45 (when in the car) and when near a television, will watch all of the ESPN channels for scores and highlights, as well as any other channel that streams an up-to-the-minute sports-type ticker across the bottom of the television's picture. I'm not a know-it-all, but I am a know-plenty. I will not, however, be switching my cellular phone service to the new Mobil ESPN phone from Sprint, the one with all the interactive sports features. The reason? I've had it.
I never thought I would say this, let alone feel it, but I think I'm getting bored with sports. Though I may still watch--and listen--as much as I ever have, which may actually be contributing to my malaise, the fact is, I could care less about it. Perhaps I'm getting older and wiser; perhaps my priorities are changing (the innocence of youth giving way to the responsibilities of adulthood); or perhaps it's more specific: the teams for whom I've spent various amounts of my lifetime rooting for--the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Celtics, the Boston Bruins, the New England Patriots and The University of Maryland (men's basketball, particularly)--have all won national championships so, I've been there, done that, if you know what I mean. And the likelihood that I'll be doing it again is not that great, given the historical realities/difficulties of teams repeating during one's generation.
That being said, what I really believe the contributing factor to my ennui is, the repetition (repeatedly) along with the proliferation of sports and sports-related programming, available nearly 24/7 and available on an increasing number of cable, local and satellite television stations and national, local and satellite radio frequencies, too. There is no escape.
Anytime, it seems, day or night, early or late, from dawn to dusk; highlights can be seen, and heard, somewhere. In addition, there also appears to be an endless, almost interminable supply of guest, experts, commentators, prognosticators, former players, etc. from whom countless opinions on anything and everything--in their respective sports--spew out, an eruption the likes of which haven't been seen, or heard, since Krakatau blew its top in 1883.
If there were a way, technologically speaking, to line up all the sports programming available back to back, from television, radio and satellite, I think we'd finally have an example of what infinity actually is.
Back in the day, Jim Mckay used to voice-over during the beginning of ABC's Wide World of Sports "spanning the globe...in the constant pursuit...the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." Today, with the growth of Cable television and Satellite technology, the wide world of sports--rugby from New Zealand, Australian Rules football from Sidney, Irish Curling from Belfast, Log Tossing from Scotland, Darts from England, Soccer from Europe, Latin America and South America, to name but a few--in addition to all the coverage of domestic sports--high school (occasionally), college and professional, involving both men and women, is much wider than Jim McKay could have ever imagined. And all of it merely a wireless remote control-click away.
All of this access has made Kenny a very dull boy; dulled by the sheer volume and weight of all these sports being broadcast all the time, with highlights to follow, repeatedly, on all these channels. I really can't take it anymore.
It's too much and too much of a good thing is a bad thing. What used to be my favorite pastime has now become more about passing time, and I don't like it.
Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.