One of my absolute favorite things about sports is how they provide common ground for people from all walks of life within the context of a fairly benign environment. I mean, sure, Bills fans hate the Dolphins, but that “hate” is just part of a game we sports fans play. The rivalry is not personal, and furthermore, it’s based on a bunch of freakishly large men throwing a little ball around on a field of grass. How hateful can we really be over such a thing? Even the craziest, most deep seated rivalries, like the Red Sox and the Yankees, are hogwash when it comes right down to it. The battle lines are created by the sports industry so that we can satisfy our natural urges to fight and defend, all within the walls of a carefully manicured arena. It’s a wonderful system.
I loathe politics. I feel a responsibility as a member of society to stay informed, and to do things like vote responsibly, but truthfully I struggle with even these simple tasks. I understand that someone needs to run the government, and I understand that everyday citizens need to fight for what they believe in, but I’ve always found the political world to be grueling and fundamentally disheartening. Like everyone else, I have my own set of strongly held political beliefs, so I try to stay informed, and I try to help out where I can, but for me, reading about and participating in politics is seldom easy, and never fun.
There seems to be a tacit agreement between sports fans- Let’s agree to disagree only about things of no real consequence. Let’s work together to preserve this bit of escapism that mimics war, but does no actual harm.
I know that ideologically, sports fans span every inch of the political spectrum, but I love how as a group we never really go there. I think this bit of naturally occurring self censorship is healthy, and I’m so grateful for the respite from constantly churning political machine. Good work, fellow sports fans.