ARE SPORTS JUST A SOURCE OF DIVERSION?

If you’re a crazy sports fan like me, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that my husband gave me that look last Sunday evening.

You know- the look that says you’ve been spending waaaaay too much time with sports today.

So, I decided to brush it off, but then I took a look around.  On the couch next to me was the worn-out remote control that I used to jump between any interesting sport I could get my hands on.  The battery from my laptop was burning a hole in my thighs as I fiddled with my sports blog for hours.  And, my cell phone was buzzing at me indicating the battery was giving up from my constant checking of sports twitter feeds.

Am I obsessed?  Maybe so, but I can justify it.  Can’t I??

Merriam Webster’s definition of a sport is: “source of diversion” or “recreation”.   Well, that implies any type of diversion could be categorized as a sport.  Like if I sat at the counter of my local java café and cruised the internet on my laptop, wouldn’t that be considered a source of diversion or recreation and thus, a sport?

Hmm, I guess that makes my love for viewing professional sports seem very trivial.

And, then I found another definition of a sport at thefreedictionary.com:  “An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.”  So, a professional sport could really be defined as a competitive diversion in which the participants get paid?  Does that mean I am throwing away my entire Sunday on watching wealthy people compete for recreation?  There must be more to it than that??

SportAccord, the preeminent umbrella for international sports federations (including FIFA & the International Olympic Committee), defines sport on its website for all new membership applications as follows:  “Should include an element of competition; should not rely on any element of ‘luck’ specifically integrated into the sport; should not be judged to pose an undue risk to the health and safety of its athletes or participants; should in no way be harmful to any living creature; and should not rely on equipment that is provided by a single supplier.”

While that definition does attempt to refine a more general interpretation of the word “sport”, it doesn’t help me validate all the time I spend watching sports.  In fact, it just makes me plain confused.  Doesn’t every sport involve some kind of luck, i.e. flipping of a coin, the ball bouncing a certain way, etc?  Isn’t every sport even slightly “harmful”?  And, what do suppliers have anything to do with it?

Well, watching sports may seem like a waste of time to others who just don’t get.  Happily, this girl does and I’m not afraid to admit it!

 

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