Viewpoint: Sports provide real drama without real consequences

By Tyler Alley
Sports editor

Reports show that the 2011 Super Bowl was the most-watched television program in American history with around 111 million people watching.

That’s awesome, but it raised a question in my mind.

What the heck is the other two-thirds of America doing that night? It’s the Super Bowl. Who does not watch the Super Bowl?

Now granted, the Super Bowl was about eight months ago, but there really is no better example to use when talking about why people should watch sports.

Currently in the sports world, we have the college football and NFL still in the early parts of their season. The opening round of the MLB playoffs is happening right now; internationally, we have the World Cup of Rugby.

My point is that there is a lot going on right now, and yet plenty of people do not watch sports. They should be watching for a multitude of reasons. Now I know what people will think when they read this.

“Oh look, the sports editor wrote a piece advocating that people watch sports. Big surprise there.”

To that, I really do not have an answer, but hear me out. Sports is the perfect thing to follow because there is enough drama and emotion for a person to really care about it without a negative outcome actually meaning the end of the world.

When I say sports are the perfect thing, I mean that in terms of the media, I would place it between TV shows and government affairs on a scale of importance. A TV show is not something a person should really care about because it’s not real.

I’m not saying people should not watch TV shows, as I myself love a lot of programs. But for someone (guys especially) to become emotionally attached to a TV show or its characters is a bit much. None of what happens on that show is real.

The material of a show may make you laugh, may frighten you and even may tug at your heart, but typically nobody attaches themselves to a show personally.

Sports allow people to do that because there’s real people struggling toward a real goal. If your favorite baseball team makes it to the World Series you can be overwhelmed with joy and say things like, “We did it! We’re number one!”

“You’re not a part of the team,” people who do not watch sports will say.

True, but sports fans are invested in their team on an emotional and typically monetary level. Fans pay for tickets and jerseys, so they are owed the chance to experience those emotions.

Back to my comparison. Sports is not so important to your life that its effects may harm you. When a sports fan tells people his or her day sucked even though the only bad thing that happened was the fan’s team lost, that’s not really a bad day.

That’s one of the great things about sports. People can say their day was bad when really nothing terrible happened.

If a person’s candidate for an important office loses, it could negatively impact their lives because the opponent could create policies that cause that person to lose money.

Overall, I’m not saying that people should not watch TV shows or pay attention to the news and governmental affairs. I’m just saying people should add sports to their lives because it gives them something to cheer and moan about without really ruining their lives.

Really, there’s nothing to lose by following sports.

Yes, I saw that a bunch of people got pepper-sprayed by police during the Wall Street protests. That stinks, so don’t judge me when I turn to the sports page to see the top story about how the NBA may not happen this year.

Tyler Alley is a senior journalism major from Houston and the sports editor for the Lariat.