Posted by: dave1949 | 2012/09/08

Pro Sports. Meh!

It is sometimes embarrassing to admit but I grew up and remain a Maple Leaf fan. Of course when I became a leaf fan way back in the last millennium the team used to win the cup every few years. It was usually a toss up between them and the Montreal Canadiens as to who would take Stanley home.
Now to say I’m still a fan requires a bit of explanation. I would like it if they won again but I seldom if ever watch a game anymore for any team let alone the Leafs. Every spring I sort of pay attention to the playoffs as long as there is a Canadian team still in contention but after that I really don’t care who wins the trophy presented to the nation to celebrate our hockey champions.
When I was growing up and interested in hockey and other sports to the players used to remain with a team for years on end. Fringe players were traded around but the mainstays stayed. Duff, Keon, Armstrong, Brewer, Horton, Baun, Bower and others were always Leafs. When Duff was traded I was upset he had been my favourite. Gordie Howe was always a Wing. Hull and Mikita were Black hawks. The Richards, were Canadiens. I cheered on the men that played for my favourite team not the business enterprise that managed and owned the franchise.
Like most of my buddies if I got hockey equipment I wanted it Maple Leaf stuff. Sweaters and Pants and socks always blue and white. One of the biggest days of my life was when an older cousin who lived in Toronto got tickets to a game and I got to go the MAple Leaf Gardens and see a game live. Now however with the exception of my TIm Horton card I have no Maple Leaf memorabilia and no particular desire for any.
Which brings me to this thought. Why do we have so many men, otherwise mature responsible men who are still nuts over a team in any major sport. You know the kind I mean. They have the regalia, they paint their face, they get season tickets or TV packages that feature the “home “ team and they know the standings and lookout for the season. In a time when corporations have totally taken over the sports why does anyone still care. The people you are cheering today are going to show up next year in another uniform. As we watch the NHL and the players association decide whether they’ll cancel another season for business reasons I can’t help but wonder why anyone cares about pro sports anymore.
My brother in law was a Manchester United fan. He grew up in Manchester and this was his home team. Through the years regardless of how they played he remained a loyal and dedicated fan. He also had masses of their gear. Everything from actual game uniforms to cheap kitsch. The team is reportedly the richest franchise in the history of sports. Each year they make millions in royalties from the sale of licensed gear all over the world. The sale of the gear totals up into the billions and most of the fans have never been to Manchester, are not English, don’t even play soccer. The fans of pro sports in s many cases now have no actual affiliation with the teams they back they just choose a team in some manner and then support it.
As I said before I can understand children doing this. Children actually play these games. During the time I became a Maple Leaf fan I. like millions of other Canadian boys over the years dreamed of one day playing the game so well I might become a pro player myself. Of course like millions of my colleagues that never happened. What I find myself wondering now is why it is that so many adults get so excited at the prospect of grown men being paid truly exorbitant amounts of money to play children’s games.
Throwing, kicking, shooting hockey pucks, hitting golf balls, riding bikes, shooting baskets; are these things really that important and if the answer to that is yes the next question is why?



  1. I think man’s natural herd instinct has finally mutated into a “vicarious” herd instinct, thus alleviating any physical effort on the individual’s part.

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