Sport – the real opium of the people?

In the Guardian today, once you get past the bizarre belief that we are suffering post-Olympic blues – why, FFS? – there is a considerable amount of bitching about sport in the comments, one guy even claiming he was made to feel a pariah because he doesn’t like sport – I’ll come back to that

I have no interest in sport either (as I explained in this post), but I sure as hell don’t feel a pariah as a result – why should I? Nobody cares how I feel about  sport and, even if they did – well, I suppose they do now – what’s it to me? Not liking sport is allowed.

Nobody is forcing anyone to watch sport ,or even follow it in the papers (though you could, I suppose, be forgiven for feeling differently at times). Ignore it – go read a book, or several, listen to a radio station that doesn’t care about sport – there are plenty, especially online. Likewise there are plenty of  sport-free TV channels – I’ve not seen a moment of the Olympics on TV, except for the occasional ad. Not because I tried to avoid it, but simply because I didn’t seek it out.

And if you do stumble across it when reading the paper, skip it, nobody is making you read about it. The football season will soon be upon us, feel free to ignore that too. I shall, as always, because I feel that any game involving a ball is a serious and insanely expensive waste of human endeavour. I accept that others feel differently but, hey, nobody’s perfect.

Someone calling themselves Bluebirch, in the Guardian, has it entirely wrong – not liking sport is not indicative of a closed mind, rather, it’s indicative of one that feels it has better things to do. Some people might disagree, and say that there is nothing better than sport. That might hold true for them, but for me, and the rest of us who loathe sport, it most certainly does not, and for us there’s an infinity of very much better things to do with our time. Each to their own.

I do appreciate what it took for the Olympians to reach the standard they displayed over the past few weeks, and I did keep an eye on the medals table, yet it seems impossible for the likes of Bluebirch to comprehend that some people have no interest in watching them perform – that, to me, is more indicative of a closed mind. (And I have participated, by the way – I was an excellent archer before illness and injury put me out.)

But, all things considered, the best thing anyone who doesn’t like sport can do is not whine about it, because you will never change the minds of the sports–obsessed (which mostly, in this country, means football–obsessed). Sport isn’t going to go away – so just disregard it.

Preferably quietly. The only possible way you can become a pariah is by constantly pissing people off by bitching about sport – so don’t, because you won’t change anything – sport, and more specifically, football, rather than religion, has become Marx’s “opium of the people”.



7 thoughts on “Sport – the real opium of the people?

  1. It’s like the freakin Olympics every day on Oz TV, so this struck a chord with me. I also seem to have accidentally missed most of the Games, mostly because the festival of corporate awfulnes was offputting. I saw a bit of the women’s marathon and a bit of the gymnastics, but only because the telly was on in the background. I did watch the opening & closing, though, because I’m perverse that way. However, I will be checking out a couple of the paralympics events – murderball, of course, and maybe some of the running. I’m interested in seeing the source of all the stupid memes featuring disabled athletes with captions such as ‘the only disability in life is a bad attitude’ (I particularly hate that one).

      • Yes, I read that and couldn’t agree more. I’m chronically ill & haven’t even bothered to try for a DLA (I’m in the UK) obstacle course because I know people with the same condition as me (type of dysautonomia) are getting knocked back. Plus I don’t want to go thru an appeal process and then have to do it all over in April when it will undoubtedly be harder. Some days or times of the day, I can function almost normally (desk activities) but other times, I wiped out & can’t even focus enough to complete a sentence. Atos has no tick box for that – and of course I *do* want to work, but think I need to be self-employed to work with true flexibility. Sorry, went off on a tangent, there!

        • Under normal circumstances I’d say apply for DLA, as it’s easier to claim than ESA (because it’s entirely to do with disability; whether you can work or not is irrelevant), but with the change to PIP coming, if what I’ve read is true then it’s going to be impossible for almost anybody to claim. Which is sheer lunacy, as it means that a lot of working disabled people won’t be able to, especially if they use their DLA for taxis or a Motability vehicle.

          One of the few good thing about getting older is that it’s taken me out of this benefits shambles – for now, at least. That could change.

  2. each to their own and those fanatics should stop chucking sports down ppls throats, bet a lot of em wont like genealogy or history. my passion for around 50 years. i also love going round castles and old churches etc, not much walking involved in those and never go higher than ground floors. gardens, coastal resorts. (all as long as there are seats a plenty.) shopping in a different town every so often. *well shopping as we did today mostly these days. short taxi ride to station. train to the town im visiting, with my daughter as escort, free bus to the indoor market. a short walk round, cafe for lunch another short walk round the rest of the market the free bus back to station. train back to home town and taxi home from there. 27 quid for the 2 of us plus cost of lunch.would have been a good outing for us had it firstly not been so muggy …affecting my breathing, then raining for 2nd half of the outing and return journey.
    but i wonder how many of these sporty types who think its the be all and end all of existence have any interest in what i do? or you Ron or anyone else. able or disabled

  3. Interesting inverse problem for me – I dont like opening and closing ceremonies – all seem a bit pointless.

    Sport is also strange – I like sport, I am still fortunate at my age to be able to play competitive sport regularly, I like to watch football when I feel like it, but my problem is …..I am not a fan. There is something improper and un masculine about somebody who likes sport but is not fanatical. I’m not into the detail, and I don’t fanatically support one team or another. Football (or strictly speaking the inability of football supporters to behave in a civilised manner) forces you to have a “team”. I am a registered supporter of Wigan, because you have to belong to somebody to buy tickets.

    So not only are you not allowed to dislike sport, you are also not allowed “like” it – you have to be a fanatic.

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