So another Super Bowl has come and gone, leaving me pondering once again why I dislike professional sports. Not just am indifferent. I really don't want to know. I don't like hearing or watching the game, or even being around it unless I have something else sufficiently absorbing to do. On the other hand, I don't mind listening to people analyzing it once it's all over and I know the outcome.
I have come to the conclusion that it's because I hate the emotional drain involve. It's all skillfully choreographed and dramatized to get you to care; to keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering who is going to win, agonizing with every setback of your team, rejoicing with every turn in their favor. It seems a terrible waste of emotional energy.
But then, I don't mind at all when a book or movie keeps me in suspense, gets me to identify with one side over the other, and makes me care what happens to them. We watched To Kill a Mockingbird the night before, and I didn't feel like it was a waste of emotional energy to cheer on Atticus Finch or to mourn the death of Tom Robinson. Perhaps it is because in a book or movie, there's a reason for caring. Atticus Finch might be fictional, but he's a fictional representation of good. Bob Ewell might be fictional, but he's a fictional representation of evil. Even when the bad guys win, one has the comfort of philosophizing about the difficulties of a fallen world.
In sports, neither side is evil or good; one cheers for one side over the other by accidents of birth or education. There is nothing to really rejoice in victory (they'll probably lose next year), and nothing to learn from defeat, since as a fan one cannot affect the outcome.
DOB does enjoy sports to some degree--he even pondered borrowing a TV to watch the Super Bowl, though he never did. I think it's because he knows enough about the games to enjoy analyzing differences in skill and strategy, which gives it, if not quite a moral component, at least an intellectual one. But I don't know enough, and don't want to bother to learn enough.
Or maybe I'm just annoyed that the Seahawks lost.