What’s going on in today’s "Wild World of Sports" in America? The DWI deaths and murder-suicide cases are mounting up. NFL players are dying off and getting thrown in jail. Baseball players are lying to Congress and taking steroids. Even Lance Armstrong is in trouble.
Is this a unique problem for we former pilgrims or is it worldwide? When the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 the pilgrims had no time for any sports. Survival was the goal and doing anything that would help the cause became their way of life. So, what is it about pro sports that has caused so much misery and tragedy in America?
If the pilgrims had time for pro sports they probably would have held a contest of some sort. Whomever could build the safest log cabin in the least amount of time would wear the laurel leaf. The best shot with a musket rifle at 300 yards gets the turkey. The winners would go home to their families and eat dinner. There were no DWI deaths or gun violations in wild drunken barroom brawl. Nobody was pumped up on ‘roids and lying to Congress about it.
The Romans had the Colosseum for their pro sports.
These fat cats could watch the Christians being mauled and eaten by lions and gladiators killing one another in sword fights to the death. Chariot races were in vogue too. Betting on your favorite horses was not unlike today’s racetracks. No one really cared if a gladiator got drunk or killed some slaves on the way home from the Colosseum. Running over these poor souls with your chariot was good sport in those days.
Next came the Dark Ages in Europe and the Black Plague. Although the Renaissance followed this period, it is doubtful that things were really great for people. Yes, famous and beautiful art came out of this period, but what was going on in the towns and were the people playing sports?
In a sense today’s society is like the Renaissance. We’ve got medical breakthroughs extending life and cell phones with cameras, etc. Like the Roman Colosseum, we too have pro sports. Guys getting carried off the football field after getting a concussion is like the gladiators being carried out of the Colosseum after a sword fight. The difference is that nowadays people actually care what happens when these modern-day gladiators drive home drunk and kill a bunch of innocent people.
These victims are not Roman slaves, they are American citizens!
The latest rash of pro sports carelessness and irresponsibility is nothing new. It’s been going on for decades and is not unique to America. These modern-day gladiators are just having fun in their time off. It’s the pro sport that is the problem. This form of entertainment is what creates these tragedies. High paid, spoiled athletes running around getting in trouble will never end. As long as we have pro sports, there will be careless, irresponsible behavior by the players. The two things come together in the same package.
Thomas Wayne King