I love sports as much as anyone else, however I would MUCH rather be an active participant in the game than a spectator from my imitation naugahyde barcalounger. This doesn’t mean I don’t like to watch a good game of basketball, football, or volleyball on TV.  If it’s a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY good game – I’ll even watch a few of innings of baseball (but there better be a lot of booze around for that.) Sorry all you hockey, soccer, tennis, cricket, marbles, foot bag, log throwing, and extreme ironing fans – but BORING!  When I was a young lad, I attained an amateur ranking of AAA in competitive luggage stacking, but it’s not something I want to watch on cable TV.

As the years zoom by, and zooming by they are, it becomes more and more difficult for us to participate in our favorite sport of choice. But that doesn’t mean we have to turn into one of those winking brown eyes who can name individual player statistics going back 50 years. Who cares that in 1963 the Dallas Cowboys offense had 53.3% completion on 375 attempts? It has absolutely no impact on my life in any way, shape, or form. And the fact is, it has no impact on yours either, unless of course you were actually on that team!

Even in elementary school there were kids who could rattle off sports statistics with laser like acuity. If they put the same amount of effort into their studies, they could have attained multiple PhD’s by the age of 18. But no, they would rather stay on the sidelines and memorize sports figures to impress their overbearing fathers. Is it because they don’t possess the skill set to actually compete in sports, and the only way to feel connected is to become a walking encyclopedia of sports minutia? Yawn!

Do you think when Kobe Bryant, Larry Byrd, Tiger Woods, or LeBron James were young they were memorizing statistics, or were they out practicing their sport to be the best they could be? Obviously the rest of us don’t have their innate abilities, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still be playing sports instead of sitting on our ever-expanding asses and watching them.

This country has an epidemic of childhood obesity.  I have the hardest time wrapping my head around this, but don’t most kids want to go outside and play until it gets dark and only come in when it’s time for dinner? What the hell happened? Oh that’s right video games. Yes, yes, I do understand that for children this can be as addictive as plastic surgery is to Joan Rivers. But it’s their parent’s responsibility to put time limits on this activity, put their collective foot down and behave like they care about their children’s health and future well-being.

I will admit that if you want to follow in the footsteps of Ken Jennings, then perhaps you should study and retain every possible fact you can. However, if you have no plans to appear on Jeopardy, stop with sports facts trivia. I don’t care, your neighbor doesn’t care, and your wife doesn’t care.  No one cares but the other divorced loser at the sports bar. Go Bears!

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