I just got home from taping an episode of Lunch Break with Rhea Hughes over at Comcast Sportsnet. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a generally light-hearted, 5-10 minute sports video about whatever the headlines are for the day. It’s fun, and I enjoy doing it.
When we looked over the rundown for today, it was impossible not to notice that most of what we were going to talk about didn’t really involve actual sports. Of our three big topics, only tonight’s Eagles game had anything to do with a game being played. It was all so … serious. Watch how quickly it turns.
What the hell happened? I was just starting to accept the rock n’ roll part being taken away. Now sports?
When I was in school at Syracuse University, I made a pretty clear decision to take all of the journalism training they gave me and kind of waste it on a career in music and sports. Hard news always seemed so serious. I would listen to those kids talk and just think, “lighten up.” I always figured they’d be the ones talking about the child molestation cases and big business vs. union financial negotiations, while I talked about music and games.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s all interesting and should be discussed. As horrifying as the Penn State story is, it’s hard not to find it compelling. As much as the NBA lockout is threatening to destroy my favorite sport, both the financial part of the story and the soap opera part of the story are ever changing. It’s just not what we love about sports. We love sports because they’re our great escape. Now I wish I could escape what’s going on in sports.
In the moment, sports can feel like they mean everything. And in the moment, they do. Even when we argue like mad men about the games we watch, in the back of our minds (sometimes in the WAY back), we know it’s just sports. That’s part of what’s so great.
Shame on everyone involved in the Penn State scandal for their reprehensible behavior. For mixing our great escape up with a story so horrid, it’s hard to read.
Shame on everyone involved in the NBA lockout for choosing to not play ball when so many Americans don’t have jobs. For choosing to not make millions when so many have to survive on pennies.
Hopefully soon we can get back to talking about offenses and defenses, rather than prosecutions and defense attorneys. Maybe we can try talking about MVP’s instead of BRI. And for sports to remind us that life doesn’t always have to be so serious, instead of reminding us of the opposite.