Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sports will live on

Whether it's a hot summer day, cool September Friday night, a brisk winter afternoon, or even raining cats and dogs, you can bet that somewhere people are gathered watching sports. They are either watching live or at home on TV. With the advent of smartphones and social media, fans are now connected to their teams anywhere in the world. But often a person who isn't intrigued by sports are frustrated with sports fans, because the fans will schedule their entire life around a sporting event. But why? What is it about sports that can bring people together, as well as pull them apart?

Sports have been played and documented throughout history. The Romans built a magnificent Coliseum for sports, and it's one of the most recognizable structures on the face of the Earth. Human's love competition, just as a chance to say "Look, I'm better than you". Its this self gratification that can drive athletes to train harder and play even harder. There are hundreds of different sports out there, and fans of each and every one of them. While some will roll their eyes at a NASCAR race, there are others out there that would rather pull their own teeth than watch a soccer match. But it's nothing to scoff at when you see 150,000+ cram into the grandstands at either one of the events.

Many times, family gatherings will also include watching sports. It could be the Thanksgiving NFL games, the NBA Christmas Day games, or the gathering could be for just any game. Sports and entertainment is a huge industry in America, and all the non-sports fans out there need to accept that it isn't going anywhere. Many kids are raised playing some type of sport, as it's a great way to get children outside, away from the TV and computer. When these children are playing little league sports, they dream of being a professional athlete. They watch their favorite teams, look up to pro athletes, and try to emulate those athletes on and off the field. This level of scrutiny is almost unparalleled as these athletes are followed by the media more than any actress or teen pop star.

Sports can also bring a community together on the high school or college level. Many towns across America will freeze on Friday nights to all go watch the high school football game. Cathedrals to football exists all over states like Texas and Alabama, where football isn't a game, it's life. In my home state of Kentucky, it's basketball. Every small school across the state has a basketball team, and the majority of our population can tell you exactly where they where when UK won number 8 this past season. Fan bases will lock into any game that their team is playing, and don't want to be distracted by anything. Fans soar with their team when they're doing well, and are miserable when the wins aren't coming.

Some see pro athletes as over-paid and undeserving of the fortune they've acquired. While yes they are highly paid, it takes dedication year round to excel at that level of competition. If you notice all of the labor arguments across leagues, it boils down to the split of revenue between owners and players. These teams are a business, most of them very successful businesses. A team has to make the money to pay their players, and the owner is making money too. The fans fuel the enterprise, buying memorabilia, tickets, and tv packages. Athletes will continue to make millions, as long as fans are paying out millions to support it.

Sports mean a lot to a lot of people. MKYSports hopes to wrangle in a few to share their thoughts and opinions. Everyone looks at everything from a different perspective and we really open up our minds if listen to the other side every once in a while. Non-sports fans will continue to bash this way of life that sports fans create for themselves. But one thing is for sure, sports will never die.

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