Friday, May 19, 2006

Sports Nut

What a strange year for our sports teams this has been. The Red Wings (Hockey) and Pistons (basketball) had excellent regular seasons. They had the best records in their respective sports over the 80 or so game season since last fall. But the Wings lost in the first round of the playoffs to a big underdog. The Pistons are on the verge of being eliminated by Lebron James and Cleveland. (I was so disgusted after their last loss that I'm not even sure if I'll watch the pivotal game 6 tonight. Yuck.)

Meanwhile, the Detroit Tigers have been the perennial laughingstock of the baseball world for years now. Yet 1/4 of the way through the 162-game season, they have the best record of any of the 30 or so teams. Go figure.


I L-O-V-E sports. I grew up playing them. I grew up watching them. I grew up thinking about them. I grew up dreaming about them. (I wanted to be a professional baseball player or minister when I grew up. [Do you think that is a common combination for young kids?]) Nowadays I enjoy watching my own kids play volleyball, soccer, baseball...whatever. And I love watching sports live or on tv. (ESPN is one of my default channels.)

Here's the quandry: I know it is often a waste of time to watch sports on tv. I know the athletes make a gazillion dollars for hitting a ball, chasing a ball, throwing a ball, whatever, while teachers and other valuable professionals live on a relative pittance. I don't do a lot to support the professional sports "system" financially in a direct way. I rarely go to a professional game. I don't ever buy memorabilia. So am I contributing to the disintegration of the society by being a fan? Maybe it is simply a guilty pleasure. Maybe simply wrestling with the "examined life" is part of the journey.

It seems that in any part of our life (work, relationships, finances, health, entertainment), it would be a good thing to do a self-inventory and ask, "Is this helpful? Is this good? Is this part of my life balanced?" Sometimes I get the sense of confirmation. Sometimes I get a sense of conviction. Sometimes I have no sense at all (pun intended).

Grace & peace.

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