Archive for Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sports ‘giant’

Americans’ focus on athletes and sporting events seems to overshadow far more significant issues.

August 14, 2008


An alien coming to the United States these past couple of weeks would have every right to believe "sports" is this nation's No. 1 obsession. Newspaper headlines, television programs, radio talk shows, the Internet, and magazines are filled with stories, programs and pictures of Olympic preparations: the arrival of participants, the arrival of heads of nations gathering in Beijing for the sport extravaganza, along with stories of which athletes have been banned from competing because of the use of drugs.

This past weekend the Professional Golf Association staged its annual tournament, and NASCAR provided a crash-studded auto race. Football practices began at hundred of colleges and universities, with media stories about players reporting for practice, their weight, their speed, their injuries or recovery from injuries and their eligibility as well as troubles with the law.

The same media recently were filled with stories about football player Brett Favre, who was traded by the Green Bay Packers, after an aborted retirement, to the New York Jets.

Many of these same media outlets have carried prominent stories about Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self getting a $3 million per year 10-year contract to coach on Mount Oread.

Pro football is about to open its season as professional baseball nears the World Series.

American and worldwide businesses are spending record amounts on advertising their products in connection with the Olympics and other sports.

Unfortunately, especially as it is reflected in recent election turnout, it appears the public is far more interested in the outcome of various sporting events than in the major issues facing the nation, or the election of a new U.S. president.

There is far more passion displayed about a sports event than there is toward national political affairs or local civic matters in city after city.

And at many universities, one has to wonder why more attention seems to be given to sports, sports facilities, athletic housing and coaches' contracts than to the primary mission of educating young men and women. It's gotten out of hand, and unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any effort to restrain this "sports" giant. The monster just keeps growing. How much better off would we be with the same focus, passion and dedication turned toward education, civic and community affairs, and an interest and involvement in the major issues facing our country and the world!


Richard Heckler 9 years, 10 months ago

Ever wonder why special interest financing of our local,state and national elections continues to control our local,state and national government representatives?Because the representatives think that because we do not take the time to press the issue it must be exactly the way we want government to be controlled.

Bob Forer 9 years, 10 months ago

Was this editorial written by the same clown who wrote the LJW editorials on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday?Monday: "False promises--China made glowing promises to get approval for hosting the Olympic Games and has not measured up on many counts."Tuesday: "Sports struggle--Organizers need to rethink the mission and financing of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame."Wednesday: "Chills and delight--Who of us who watch the U.S. swim team's triumph will ever forget the excitement?"I am rolling on the floor and laughing my ass off. Is this what they call irony? And is this really an award winning newspaper.

nobody1793 9 years, 10 months ago if the rest of the world pays no attention to sports. The rest of the planet comes to a screaching halt during the world cup. India follows cricket matches that go on for days. I think Manchester United has a bigger payroll than the New York Yankees.Maybe it is just human nature to prefer a break from the harsh realities of life, be it living through a civil war, having enough food to eat, or simply having to pay $4 for gas.

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