It was the summer of ’94 and the New York Mets were desperate to generate some excitement after a godawful ’93 season. In typical Met fashion, they decided to focus on things other than baseball and instead built a mini-amusement park at the base of the Shea Stadium scoreboard area of the stands . I loved morning cartoons on Nickelodeon. When my parents broke the news to me and my brother that Shea Stadium was going to house a Nickelodeon Theme Park called “Extreme Baseball,” I was quite eager to go, in sharp contrast with my lack of eagerness to watch Todd Hundley strike out or see Dwight Gooden give up home runs in between taking hits of cocaine in the clubhouse.
The park had a slime station, interactive shows, various games, and all of my favorite cartoon characters. My memory has faded since I was only 6 at the time, but I remember my father being summoned upon to take part in a game in front of a large crowd, where he was to catch as many slime-filled balloons as possible without having them pop. Covered in slime, he was humiliated by his opponent, a little girl far more skilled at catching balloons without having them break. He was walking back to the stands when the entertainer amusing the crowd announced the slime-balloon contest was a tie and no prize would be given out. My father looked at me perplexed, and incredulously asked, “How could it be a tie? I got my butt whooped!” He then began to lecture me about meritocracy, speaking at a level which naturally went over my head. But this moment still resonates with me and I’m starting to understand why.
I was not the least bit surprised when all major league sports decided to haphazardly adjust their season over the scamdemic and go full-fledged woke given the state of sports over the last decade. It’s a coup de grace for sports in America. I have a hard time explaining to sports enthusiasts that what’s happening in sports has nothing to do with revenue. When Stephan A. Smith cries from the ESPN pulpit that Steve Nash, a retired white basketball player and hall of famer, has landed a head coaching position because of white privilege, we can see the normiecons’ state of cognitive dissonance.
ESPN is owned by Disney, and Disney’s market cap is 240 billion dollars. The NFL’s revenue combining all 32 teams was 14.5 billion in 2018, with 8.76 billion for the NBA and 10.7 billion for the MLB. How much money is enough? Well we now know, as it appears that the techno-oligarchs have decided to take their bread & circus away, instead embracing social justice posturing to the hilt regardless of the financial consequences of such a colossally unpopular move.
What makes sports so enjoyable to the masses is that they can be understood and enjoyed by anyone. Sports slice and dice through all socioeconomic levels, races and demographics. Can a black sports fan really possess a “red, black, and green” or “back to Africa” mindset if he wears a Tom Brady Jersey with pride? The thought of race doesn’t cross such a one’s mind. A moron can become an armchair head coach, an austistc “expert”/idiot savant knowing useless arcane statistics and factoids, calling out predictable outcomes at will. He could be a total failure elsewhere in his life, but still inspire awe when calling into his favorite radio station and dispensing his knowledge.
Sports also obliterate awareness of life’s harsh realities. There is the frequent delusion, held by many a rabid fan, that he has the ability to change a game’s outcome by performing idiotic rituals or shouting loudly enough at a television. His behavior starts to take on the earmarks of a religion, in turn giving him a sense of belonging to a particular tribe and region. It always struck me as amusing to cheer for a team whose players aren’t even from the city which they are supposed to represent, and constantly having to keep up with roster changes year after year. But on a primordial level, to an athlete, sports represent human competitiveness, a chance to push oneself beyond one’s limitations and strive for greatness. Sports are a great equalizer, in which anyone with requisite ability can triumph regardless of race, creed, or color, which is why the “identity politics”-obsessed left has been hell bent on destroying them. The left’s inability to poison sports fast enough has led in many cases to a wholesale hatred of meritocracy and standards.
I have noticed alien concepts being introduced into sports at various points during the past two decades. In 2009, major league sports introduced breast cancer awareness. This is a total absurdity, considering women tend to hate sports (They do, and don’t let some tradcuck tell you otherwise. They enjoy mass gatherings, not the game). The sight of grown men prancing around in pink cleats, clad in “find a cure” lapel pins was simply grotesque . It represented an opening salvo targeting normal and healthy male organizational behaviors.
In 2013, the gears of “woke” began to lurch when Lauren Silberman tried out as a kicker in the NFL. It ended in utter failure when she blew a quad on her very first kick. This is around the same time Colin Kapernick came onto the scene to make waves after his Super Bowl loss. Citing being “blackballed” for his political views, Kapernick had become the patron saint of soft power to undermine heritage America. He was given various awards and honors which none had anything to do with Football.
We saw the globalization effort introduced to North America as the media attempted to shove soccer, even the atrocity of women’s soccer, down our gullets. In this case, the backlash to this attempted social conditioning proved to be swift and vehement from many quarters.
Then there was the crackdown on anabolic steroids in Major League Baseball, the effect of which turned the game into a low scoring snooze fest. Many a team’s best batter today has a stat line of only a .250 BA, with around 20 HR, 50 RBI’s and around 200 strikeouts. The days of bunting, stealing and nail biting are dead. For better or for worse we can all agree the MLB was latest more entertaining during the late ’90s, as epitomized by the Sosa/Macguire home run battle of 1998, or the spectacle of John Rocker sprinting from the bullpen to the mound, face contorted with ‘roid rage while scores of drunken fans chucked batteries at him.
A major turning point in the pansy-fication of sports happened when I was in high school in the mid ’00s and concussion-consciousness spread. Suddenly, there was an outcry at the bureaucratic level regarding long term health damage of all players. High schools around the country began to regulate contact at practice to something similar to flag football. In college, coaches started sitting players for extended periods for displaying “concussion-like symptoms”. At the professional level, a deceased NFL player’s family began donating brain matter for study. Local newspapers during the fall season repeated the “player safety” mantra relentlessly. Even Hollywood chimed in, with the movie “Concussion,” starring the beloved Will Smith. It was as if we as a society somehow forgot that slamming two 300 pound behemoths into one another at full speed would be likely to result in a few cracked skulls.
Many retired players, however, seem to embrace the pain as a reminder of past glories. Joe Jacoby, who won three Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins, famously told a journalist that the physical agonies of his retirement years had been well worth it, pointing as evidence to the three rings that adorned his gnarled fingers.
While this was happening in the NFL, we saw the concomitant rise of the UFC. How can there be no outcry for two men (or women) beating each other to a bloody mess, causing far greater long lasting injuries to the body than in football?
What makes football different from mixed martial arts is that the former involves a group (team), and isn’t based solely around a single athlete, who in the UFC is often little more than a repugnant lout. UFC also injects a degree of homo-eroticism, where (mostly male) spectators comment on a fighter’s physical appearance: “Look the size of his shoulders!”, How much do you think he can bench press?” “What does his neck tattoo say?”. It’s pretty embarrassing listening to my friends talk fawningly about a guy’s somatic features, and far less enlightening than contemplating the complexities of a 4-7-0 gridiron formation. And when it comes to the sight of two shirtless men rolling around on the floor, covered head to toe in bodily fluids (including possibly shit), the gayness of the aesthetics simply speaks for itself. UFC promotes a “baboon logic” of sheer brute force and requires zero finesse other than to strike at the given opportunity.
Of course, MMA is perfectly capable of being a noble and admirable sport, filled with worthy competitors and excellent displays of strategy. Leagues around the world such as Shuai jiao in China and Kushti wrestling in India are two such examples of elevated competitive endeavor. But it’s no secret that a main driver to demoralize the United States is to attack something all men love, and sports are no exception. The ruling class has to promote the individual over the group, which gives way to narcissism, the cultural pathology of the United States, and the UFC has been instrumental in accelerating this demise.
Today, we have reached a point where the affinity for winning has been drowned out by the increasingly corporate aspect of professional sports. Corporatization has been a devastating blow to the integrity of sports generally, in every way but especially when it comes to aesthetics.
I love to look up photos of old ballparks and see, for example, how beautiful a place like Foxboro Stadium was. As we all know, it was demolished to make way for the soulless, cookie-cutter dimensions of Gillette (“the best a ladyboy can get”) stadium. In Chicago, the romanesque pillars of Soldier Field are now hidden behind sterile steel & glass. Old Yankee stadium is gone and the new structure sadly caters only to the sensibilities of deracinated, milquetoast upper-middle class whites, and not to the Catholic traditions of rubbing a Saint Mary statue before entering “The Cathedral”. All stadiums MUST now feature some prominent form of a corporate logo. There are now even talks of putting advertisements on ballplayers uniforms to increase revenue for the organization. Is nothing sacred? Naught but the bottom line, it would seem.
Compared to even the recent past, the product on the field has depreciated, because the players have grown soft. Stadiums are equipped with retractable roofs, just in case the weather gets too hot or too cold. Players with ultra-specialized roles have replaced stalwart gamers. Thrill-seeking misfits with a “fly by wire” and “run n gun” styles, whether they be players or coaches, are now heavily regulated and penalized, both on and off the field. The insistence on eliminating risk of all kinds obliterates the enjoyment one can derive from displaying courage and indulging in risks.
Politics in sports was born out of commercialization, and is now cannibalizing itself. We see this baleful phenomenon take numerous forms. Taxation is looted to fund F18 flyovers during the National Anthem, which itself only provides a battleground to fuel the never ending discord between those who take a knee and those who stand up straight. Athletes and coaches now must adhere to the owners’ corporate dictates, crushing all instances of independent thought. No league would ever permit another John Rocker from emerging; all instead are mandated to mouth the party line: “Black Lives Matter! End breast cancer!” Etc.
As simple plebs in the developing neo-feudal landscape, we must put professional sports into perspective. We’ve burned ourselves out with our obsession for winning at the expense of ourselves and the community. A game is gloriously pointless, and strictly temporary; it has no past and no future. Our lives, however (to borrow and adapt a corporate-fed “activist” phrase, actually DO matter. We are not the games we watch on TV any more than we are our bank accounts, our jobs, or our khakis. Instead, we are men, and must start living like it again.