Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Priorities, or lack thereof

When I want news I generally head to the BBC.  While I can do with the Globe and Mail online if I want Toronto specific news I often find their coverage simply too small scale to hold my interest - which isn't saying it is bad, just not to my taste.  Today I was dismayed by the BBC though in a way that is far too common throughout all of news media and probably always has been.  The big banner story at the top was about a soccer match that Manchester United won 2-0.  The blurb talked about how Manchester won based on some penalties and named players and included the mandatory action shot.  Below it was a much smaller story talking about how soccer fans in Egypt rioted after a game and 74 people were killed while the stadium burned around them.

The score of a soccer match is somehow bigger news than a savage riot being started by a soccer match where security personnel trying to protect the home town players were stabbed to death and many people were trampled during the mad panic?  Of course this isn't new, nor even unique.  It is just striking because both announcements were about soccer and if the marquee post had been about a hockey game I might not even have noticed it.  Of course when many (not most, surely?) people talk about the news what they really want is sports results.  There are simply too many people dying for no good reason in other parts of the world for most of us to worry about each incident but there are an awful lot of folks interested in who won the big game last night.

Professional sports make me crazy.  Pounda regularly tries to sell me on the "Football as turn based strategy game" line and while I completely buy that he is right I find it hard to reconcile that with all the insanity that goes along with it.  I think if sports teams didn't manage to successfully hold cities hostage in demanding new stadiums and infrastructure or if the fans didn't behave so bloody badly I might have more patience for it but that all seems to be part of the package.  Of course the stars of professional sports behave badly too but it is the fans that really get to me even if they don't decide to take knives to soccer games and commit murder on the pitch after an unfavourable result.

I probably dislike professional sports even more just because they are so broadly liked.  Presumably if the great majority of the populace ignored them and they were struggling for any sort of recognition I would be able to get into the games more easily; I have some real prejudices against doing the same thing everybody else does.  This seems to be one of my defining characteristics.

Picture from the BBC website:


  1. The trick to that is to find a team everyone hates and cheer for them. Then you're not doing the same thing as everybody else and you still get to watch sports!

    For example, I used to root for the USSR in the Olympics when I was a kid.

    (PS: Go Red Wings!)

  2. I used to really find sports intolerable, but I came to appreciate a few games. I found my inner sports fan watching Starcraft 2. There have honestly been professional games I've watched where I felt like yelling at the screen (most commonly things about broodlords, nydus networks and goddamned vikings).

    What I like when watching sports is to not be cheering for any team, but rather to be hoping for great plays.