Dear Aunt Sevvy: Objections to Spectator Sports
1 February 2019 |
Dear Aunt Sevvy:
The Super Bowl is coming up, and it caps a season of disagreement between my husband and me about sports. I like fitness, and I do think playing certain sports taught our children fairness and cooperation—Ellen White’s competitive sports statements notwithstanding. But all I see in professional and college spectator sports is big (sometimes corrupt) business, the glorification of violence and aggression as manly virtues, and excessively idolized and overpaid celebrities.
As for watching the the Super Bowl for the entertaining commercials, which some of my friends say they do: why should using sports to sell me products be more acceptable than the sport itself? Frankly, I find the whole thing about as high-minded as mud wrestling, and having to pretend to enjoy it as my husband and friends whoop it up taxes me to the max. Are you with me, Auntie? Signed, Leaves Me Cold
Aunt Sevvy would have a hard time arguing against any of the points you make. We could even add a couple more. What about the proven fact that professional football causes lasting brain damage to players? And then there’s that word “spectator”: just tune in to any sports call-in radio program some time, and listen to all the lounge-chair butt-sitters who are experts on athletic events that they can’t do themselves.
Add that to the violence, corruption, money, celebrity and hyped-up testosterone you’ve identified, and professional football (and some other spectator sports, too) becomes difficult to defend.
Having settled that (at least to your and my satisfaction), I wonder if you might be being a bit hard on your husband and his Super Bowl friends. I’m going to assume this isn’t all he does—that he spends some Sundays doing things you like. So why not give him this Sunday—really, it is a sort of American cultural holiday—to gather with others, eat a little junk food, and enjoy a fun and mildly-rowdy couple of hours?
As for you, perhaps you could alleviate some of your tension and forget your ethical concerns for an hour or two by watching the Puppy Bowl, which is on at the same time as the Super Bowl. Aunt Sevvy, an animal lover, finds it highly diverting—and it draws attention to the problem of homeless pets.
Or, if it doesn’t cause offense, you could schedule some time for yourself out of the house: Super Bowl Sunday is an excellent opportunity for shopping, movies, museums and parks, because you’ll find much smaller crowds than usual.
If Aunt Sevvy had a magic wand that could make all couples be in agreement on everything, she would be a billionaire and wouldn’t need to write this advice column. Sadly, such a wand has not been discovered. In the meantime, we’ll have to try to behave as courteously as possible in disagreements with those we love.
Yours still un-brain-damaged,
Please write to Aunt Sevvy at DearAuntSevvy@gmail.com. Keep questions or comments short. What you send us won’t necessarily be, but could be, published—always without real names. Aunt Sevvy writes her own column, and her opinions aren’t necessarily those of Adventist Today’s editors.