When I was younger, I lived and died sports. I mean, if I wasn’t out in the back yard throwing the ball around to some imaginary receiver or seeing how far I could throw a baseball, I was down at empty lot behind the Lutheran Church playing whatever sport was in season with my neighborhood buddies.
That was all before we had sports on television every possible minute. There was no ESPN, no Internet and the local sports pages of the Daily Globe were my window to the “world” of sports. I could hardly imagine a thing as “too much sports.”
Yet that is exactly the kind of thing I think about these days. It used to be you talked about the weather when you didn’t know what else to converse about. Now it’s sports because it’s everywhere. I know and hear more than I care to know about the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, Alex Rodriguez, Tom Brady and on and on. There is no mystery.
Even in a simple state like Nebraska, we have created our own obsession — Nebraska football. This season’s woeful team has become an all-encompassing drama to be dissected, analyzed, mulled over, debated, meditated on and digested like it is the very meaning of existence for people in this state. What may have once been an enjoyable distraction (remember, that’s what sports were once at one time a long time ago?) has become main stage.
I refuse to yield, however. I want my life back. Sports are fun, but they’re not everything. Remember when you could enjoy the company of someone without calculating what time you will need to be back to listen to a radio, watch a TV or check the Internet for a score or report? Remember conversations that were more than a handful of words?
Remember when Sundays were for worshiping and not for recounting what happened the previous afternoon? Do you think God is amused? Do you think He cares to share the spotlight with our ridiculously unsatisfying deity? Perhaps He’s sad. Or angry.
Maybe we could spare a few moments of our time to think about him. Turn off the TV.
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