Okay, by now you have a fair idea that I don’t always think the same way other people do. Today, the day of Super Bowl LI, I am thinking about losing interest in spectator sports, why that is happening and what might be learned.
I will be watching the Super Bowl this evening, but only barely. It will be the only pro football game I have watched this year.
The first Super Bowl that was memorable was Joe Namath and the Jets beating Baltimore 16-7 in 1969. I had to look that up. Namath guaranteed the win. I did not have to look that up.
Namath’s bravado wasn’t the memorable part. Watching it with my girlfriend in Newport, RI, where I was a Navy officer, is what I remember. During tonight’s game I will be picking her up at the airport.
From 1975 through 1980, I had a friend who liked the Steelers. They won four times. I sort of remember that. The rest of the games are kind of a haze though there have been about 45 others.
Truth is, I don’t really care. What’s the matter with me? Or is there something to learn?
Is losing interest me or them or both?
A few weeks ago, The New York Times ran two stories on the subject, neither one on the sports page. The first was Game Over by Sridhar Pappu. The second was Letter of Recommendation: Fair-Weather Fandom by Jeremy Gordon. Pappu must be a writer for the Times because there is no description of him, but Gordon is an associate editor at Spin magazine.
Here are a few quotes from Pappu’s story. Just let them wash over you to create a gauzy impression of losing interest. Though these excerpts are consecutive, they are not always related.
Now here are a few quotes from Gordon’s story. Same deal: examples of losing interest that are not always related.
Clearly, losing interest in pro sports is not unique to me. If the promoters bear any responsibility for losing me as a customer, they should look to “excess” – too many games, too much hype – as the cause.
In a democracy, we voters are the score of the political games. How many of us vote this way or that determines the outcome. But, as contributors of time, money and emotional energy to the promoters of the political game, we are customers.
Are we losing interest and, if so, why? Too many games? Too much hype? Too much fear selling? Disgust?