This culture, not just America, but the whole global popular culture, is obsessed with sport. Soccer (football), cricket, baseball, ice hockey, American football, basketball, just to name a few. The Turks are nuts about wrestling, the Indonesians badminton, Canadians love curling. Now after spending six months following baseball, I can say enough.
I was this worked up around baseball about twenty years ago, then I settled back to a slow simmer. This summer, when I added cricket to the menu, I got all jazzed up about lots of sports again, but there is only so much any of us can take.
Exercising for fitness may take on the appearance of a game, but there are differences. I swim, love swimming, love the time alone in the water. I time myself, chart my times. If I’m competing, it is against myself, in past performances. I don’t want to compete, against any opponent.
We have, more or less, built American culture around three team sports baseball, football (American), and basketball. All the others are opening acts or sideshows. Colleges are as much about sports teams as they are about intellectual inquiry or professional education, maybe more so.
Sport is the All You Can Eat Buffet of Popular Culture. We eventually become engorged, long before we are satisfied. When I go to such a buffet, especially when I am paying, I feel like I have to get my money’s worth, whatever that is.
So it is time to unplug, dial back. I will swim more often, continue watching cricket (since I pay extra for it), but baseball, American football, basketball, and ice hockey, I’m out of the office.