Category Archives: The Sports Atheist
That’s right, al Qaeda now has new targets, since they’ve already destabilized American banks and killed our capacity to produce products other than bullets, coffin nails, and diabetes water for world markets. Their reasoning is that they need to attack us where it hurts most, and that is our religious institutions—the NFL and NBA Dioceses, along with our national church run by His Holiness, the Supreme High Commissioner of Baseball. “It’s an all-out religious war,” reports Ryback Solomon, “with fatwas shooting back and forth like bobsleds over thin ice.” Several stadiums have already been hit by SCUD missiles, like the University of Arizona’s McHale Center, and Soldier Field. In the meantime, acolytes are being urged to worship at home, consuming their ritual sacrifices of lamb, steer, and chicken in front of video shrines. “You can still paint your faces and rock back and forth as you pray,” says Ryback, “just send your offering directly by mail to Directv Prime Ticket or ESPN.”
Bob Jones University has recently fielded its first sports team, the Bruins. Formerly, the “World’s Most Unusual University” only played intramural soccer and basketball. But now, in venturing out into the bigger world of collegiate sports, they are finding “a whole different ball game,” according to reporter Ryback Solomon. “They played their first official soccer match at the end of August at home, yet lost 8–4 to the Southern Wesleyan Warriors, which is another Christian school half its size. And before they became the Bruins they also played Furman and lost horribly, too. So what happens when they play nearby Clemson? I’ll tell you what. Their team will have to be airlifted to the hospital. . . and soccer isn’t even a contact sport like football!” The reason behind these future losses, Solomon says, is obvious. “They worship Jesus, whose only sport was chasing bookies out of the temple with a whip. So how can they face teams whose religion is sport itself, who worship winning at all cost, and who are willing to sacrifice their souls to do so? Sure, David once beat Goliath, but they don’t allow weapons on the field anymore. Unless you count bone crushing elbow blows when the ref isn’t looking.” The sports atheists at BJU have refused comment. Nor has WSPA Channel 7 in Greenville, SC, (where the Bruin atheists are located), and who never mention them on their “local, late breaking” sports reports or on their Scene at 7 countdown of Youtube viral videos involving cats, dogs, and Bigfoot sightings. (Although they do talk about the Boston Bruins, along with all the local high school games.) Sums up Ryback, “Just goes to show that sports atheists of whatever stripe are dead on arrival. They know who the true believers are.”
KORUN– The Koran for Runners who have actually completed at least one marathon. Includes commandments on diet, several strict dress codes whose violation means death, and several other fatal prohibitions, such as talking to mall walkers.
Since fans want to see “up close and personal” each and every play, the NFL has decided to add POV pay-per-view cameras to players helmets. The tiny cameras will be built into the helmets as shock–proof devices enabling viewers at home to see what the players themselves see, just by switching channels on a cable remote. Says technical consultant J. J. Abrams, “While it won’t be HD at first, it will revolutionize the sport with sights and sounds no one has ever seen before. Imagine being able to switch channels back and forth to view different angles on the same play, and with recording and playback options. You’ll hear the calls and grunts and even the farts, if you want, in slow motion on instant replay. Get your face planted into the ground, hear some ribs crack. Well, that’s all part of the game, isn’t it?” Coaches and officials will have access too, in order to track performances and violations. Directv is anticipating never having to put their subscribers through another contract negotiation marathon on empty channels ever again, although they do plan on raising rates in the very near future. As for the prices of these THIRD EYE PREMIUM TICKET channels, Directv has declined to comment.
The Case Against Sports Obsessions
Thought that might get your attention. Now that you’ve read many of the hundreds of thousands of blogs and shows which are pro-sports 24/7, can you face just one blog with a singularly rare and unique Devil’s Advocate Sports Atheist question that assaults your particular faith? Okay, here it is: Why don’t sports fans watch many old matches and games? There’s got to be millions and millions of hours of programming videotaped by the networks. Enough to entertain viewers for generations to come. Why build new stadiums and start up new leagues and waste billions more on new match-ups? Don’t those old matches and playoffs matter? If not, then why do the new ones? Back then, when each of those millions of games were being played—and looking EXACTLY the same as they do now—THOSE fans thought THOSE matches were the most important things on Earth. Were they wrong? If so, why am I wrong just for DARING to mention this? Don’t tell me you’ve seen all those games. Nobody has that many hours in life. I know of at least one guy who actually has 600 VHS video tapes of games, and he’s just scratched the surface of what’s out there. Some Saturdays, when he could be painting his house or at least ferreting out the possum in his attic, (which, incidentally, is burrowing holes like Swiss cheese up there), he just sits and rewinds tapes to watch and rewatch tennis matches played ten years prior. The balls go back and forth, just like they do now. No difference. NONE. Think about it. Why is the score TODAY and even THIS VERY INSTANT more important than yesterday’s scores? What makes a score of ten minutes ago more important than one ten years ago? Scores are just numbers. They don’t accumulate like the Deficit does. Or like the years do off your life, as you watch, and which you will never get back. I hear you shouting about record books, but who reads those, and where are they kept? There’s so many scores, so many stats, now, that you could fill entire libraries with those record books. Jorge Luis Borges would have trouble tracking all the records of sporting “events,” and he wouldn’t find the justification for it any more than you can! And it’s not just visual records that you’ll accept. Sometimes you listen to some nut on the radio with the vocabulary of a third grader attempt to describe to you each and every trajectory (and spin) a ball takes on each (and every) play. If the announcer never made it to the fourth grade, so what? That doesn’t matter! In fact, you seem to PREFER it. But let me remind you: a score is still just a number, like the number of water damaged tiles on that ceiling you’re not fixing. A ball is still just a ball. And Time? Well, that’s what we’re all running out of. . . or from Einstein’s perspective, an illusion. Kinda like the ego is an illusion. In short, your number will soon be up, and here you are obsessed with someone somewhere (this very instant) making it into a record book that no one ever takes the Time to read because they’re too busy watching New balls flying in New games! Can you say “dysfunctional?” Add to this a pathological need to achieve an identity with fellow face painters, and to symbolically kill one’s rivals while bolstering a fragile egoic delusion of grandeur. I say fragile, because, even if you actually play sports yourself, (and so might appear to be a babe magnet and not a face and stomach for radio), you’re still obsessed with the next score, like the one you just heard didn’t matter much. Or as much as you thought it would. On top of this, players are shuffled around like trading cards in Monopoly’s Chance deck, and if they don’t go directly to Jail after Pennsylvania Avenue they pass Go to jump cities for Free Parking on Park Place! I’m sorry, I just don’t get the loyalty. I don’t go to these churches anymore. The NFL and NBA Dioceses have no hold on me. Nor did they on Einstein or Steve Jobs or the Google Guys (although they do put up cute little games at their site on occasion because, like “real thing” Coke, they know on which side their toast is buttered.) Truth is that sports lie to you as well, and would be seen by visiting aliens from other worlds as something akin to collective suicide, a systematic disintegration of the intellect. Here we are facing overpopulation, rampant corruption, economic black holes, global frying, and religious fatwas soon to be backed by nukes, and even the NBC Nightly News follows a story on a 7.5 earthquake with a statement from some airhead ball player about how he hopes to “hit a homer for the record books.” Sure, we all need a little entertainment. But do we need to surrender our lives and sanity in the process? In the post-game analysis, the record books may show that while we diddled and dawdled, the world ended with a whimper (something about not making the playoffs.) Let’s just hope there’s someone left to care.
BOB: So you never liked sports?
WALTER: Not really.
BOB: How is that possible? Born without the sports gene? Like maybe a sociopath without empathy for your fellow man?
WALTER: Or like Galileo. Or Einstein. Or Gandhi. Or John Lennon. Or Bono. The Earth isn’t flat, Costus. Hercules isn’t holding it up.
BOB: Excuse me?
WALTER: How can I, if you won’t excuse me?
BOB: I’m sorry. I don’t understand. What are you saying?
WALTER: Could you understand, being born without the logic gene? I’m saying you won’t leave people alone, free from your tyranny. By you, of course, I mean other commentators too, like Dan Patrick. . .along with sporting news and billboards and being forced to listen to endless monotonous scores on buses and airports and in break rooms nationwide. Change the channel and one could get a Coke can bounced off his head. Or a Pepsi can. The rivalry between those two is fake, by the way. They both play games with our health while they sew the American flag into jerseys and jock straps.
BOB (laughing): You’re amusing. . . and quaint!
WALTER: Oh really? Show me your underwear.
BOB: Where’s the logic in dismissing what’s given so many people so much pleasure?
WALTER: Cocaine is pleasurable too. While it eliminates everything else that could give you pleasure in the same way. With so few off hours in the day, that is.
BOB: Ever heard the phrase “moderation in all things?”
WALTER: Ever heard the phrase “all sports all the time?” Sports Center jocks on ESPN don’t have time for Masterpiece Theatre. Or for smelling the roses. They’re too busy calculating the rushing yardage of rookie quarterbacks, or watching Ultimate Cage Fighters do their Attila the Hun imitations, or kicking wifee’s poodle after their team loses in the playoffs.
BOB: That’s unfair. Sports is about the human spirit. Excellence. Achieving more in life!
WALTER: Another diamond choker for your pit bull, maybe. More diabetes for most others, while racking up more billions in deficits watching games on company time. Try looking at the masses on the boob tube side of your lens. Or doesn’t the number of unemployed asses and assettes register on your scoreboard like your overpaid players do?
BOB: Who says players are overpaid? Top athletes are the best in their field, and a lot more healthy and fit than you, I might add!
WALTER: It’s amusing and quaint that you believe you can add, but you’re tabulating the wrong ledger. Your logic doesn’t compute, either. Because even I’m more productive than they are.
BOB (after a long interval of hysterical laughter): How do you figure that?
WALTER: Well, I don’t inspire people to believe we can win unwinnable wars by throwing thousands of patriots and trillions of dollars at them. There’s one item. Plus I’m not inspiring kids to become athletes, condemning the vast majority of them to jobs on the level of beer truck driver whenever they’re not watching sports on TV.
BOB: What’s wrong with driving a beer truck or drinking soda?
WALTER: I told you that you wouldn’t understand. Meanwhile, as a non-participant, I’m not adding to these losses.
BOB: What losses?
WALTER: While we compete on Astroturf the Chinese are making it. Along with thousands of other products. While we invest in stadiums and weapons systems to defend Korea, they build factories, and compete in school to produce more engineers at our expense.
BOB: Well, that’s. . .insane.
WALTER: I agree. As insane as painting one’s face to participate in a human wave at a ball game.
BOB: No, I mean your reasoning! Sports inspires people to be their best!
WALTER: In sports, you mean. Instead of science or math or–-
BOB: No! You don’t—
WALTER: Oh yes! And in the end, what chance do those kids have if they don’t win the sports gene lottery, and then never get up off the couch except to buy Powerball tickets, pork rinds, and copies of Sports Illustrated? Maybe you and Dan think they should try to win America’s Got Talent instead? Juggle some flaming bowling pins?
BOB: The American people disagree with you, big time.
WALTER: Don’t I know it. Sad, though, don’t you think?
BOB: You’re sad, in my humble opinion.
WALTER: There’s nothing humble about your opinion. It’s all a ruse, too. To fool the public. To keep the slavish dream going while you and your banking buddies manipulate the strings behind the curtains.
BOB: You’re insane, as well.
WALTER: Keep saying that. Repeat it. Maybe I’ll believe it myself, right? Then you’ll let me go.
BOB: Sadly, we can never let you go. Not like this.
WALTER: Won’t you at least loosen these ropes? I’m not going to recant in front of you, your high priests of hyperbole, or the NFL and NBA Dioceses. If you go through with that face tattoo, I’ll just have it removed.
BOB: If you do, we’ll find you again. You can’t hide. You’re a marked man now, out of the closet.
WALTER: What’s in your closet. . . a gold statue of Joe Paterno? You’re costing us all, Costus. More than we know.
BOB (laughing): We? You think there’s more like you out there? No. They’ve all been neutered. (Motioning:) Dan?
WALTER: Wait! Okay. I confess. Anything but a Nike swish on my forehead. Even if it is upside down. Listen. Here’s what I’ll do. Penance by writing a novel about a guy who plays the Powerball and wins. Lots of action too. No wimpy crap. Kinda like Survivor, but where if you don’t beat the opposing team you’re shark food. I’ll even throw in some sports jargon, and celebs like Clooney and Lady Gaga. Make the main guy an ego case real estate mogul, just like those sports gods who hire agents to buy homes on Millionaire Listings. So it’ll be about defending your island man-cave and secret stash from the tax man with automatic weapons, schmoozing with the right people, and coming out of it with squeaky clean hands and a big greasy smile. How about that?
BOB: Sounds good. Just do it. Here’s a pen. When you finish we might even feed you some hot dogs and beer. Then we’ll bring in Sarah Palin and let her read it. . .before deciding what to do with you. I hear she just bought a new Salman knife.
WALTER: Speaking of which, mind if I call Sockeye Rushdie for advice first? I’m not in a rush to die, here. . .
CENSORED BY ESPN
AMERICAN’T– What the Chinese call “America,” since Americans can’t stop watching sports long enough to manufacture anything. As part of their subversive campaign, the Chinese mimic our athletes and pretend to be enthralled with American culture, even as they steal military blueprints online and send the embarrassing stuff to Wikileaks.
BASKETBALL– A repetitive game consisting of ten pituitary cases running back and forth in a race to achieve endorsement contracts for sneakers. . . and groupies to sneak into hotel rooms. Players are allowed to attend the Olympics, where they get to play Goliath vs. David with unarmed little Croatian dweebs.
JUNK FOODS– Foods approved for marketing to kids, but not pets.
JUST DO IT– A slogan once popular at Penn State, and now at the State Pen.
SPORT– One of 8000 games designed to increase one’s thrill at victory, agony at defeat, and risk of bipolar disorder. May result in Empathuphobia, Lachanophobia, and/or Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia. (The fear of peace, the fear of vegetables, and the fear of long words.) . . .Also unemployment, except by the military.
–Walter Witty, Sports Atheist (from his new book)