I heard on the radio the other day that Chicago lost its bid to host the summer Olympics to Rio. Too bad for Rio. I vistited Barcelona a couple of years back and the enormous infrastructure they created for their Olympic games is now a crumbling hulk with rusty fixtures and herds of stray cats. I'm assuming that Salt Lake City had to somehow dispose of a curling arena, unless taxpayers wanted to keep it open for some reason...
Anyway, the Olympics used to stand for sport. Well, that's what they stood for anyway. Even in the pre-pro era they were plauged with politics, violence and intolerance. Today, doping and commercialism.
But anyway, my thoughts lead to sport and why we do it. Then, I had an idea.
No more professional sports.
Not even cycling.
Imagine a world where the only athletic events you could watch were the ones happening in your local town. A high school football game on Friday night, a senior citizen's track meet, or a fall cyclocross race. These events would bring communities together and I doubt anyone has even been trampled to death at an AYSO soccer match. The athletes would be people you know. Your coworkers, neighbors. The butchers play the bakers with the winner playing the candle-stick makers for the title. I'm more inspired by a working mother of two who gets back into shape to play her favorite sport than a football player with a multi million dollar contract who's biggest achievement is overcoming a hamstring pull in college. Who would you rather root for? A guy who takes up a sport to stay fit and teach his kids about sportsmanship, or this guy? No more obesity epidemic. Public money would go to build playing fields and gymnasiums that all of us could use instead of giant stadiums that benefit team owners and concession conglomerates. No huge wads of cash at stake, no more cheating. No more cheating, no more doping. No more doping, no more ruined lives. Who's going to dope to win an after-work softball game?
How do we do this? Ban the advertising of goods or services through sport. Just like we banned cigarettes commercials on TV. Then all sports would be self supporting. You either have to make it interesting enough for people to pay to watch or gather money from the players like in a local league, keeping things real small and the athletes really dedicated. Quite frankly, college football is a joke too. There's just enough ad and merchandising money in it to make it corrupt. No more college football, no more 'sympathetic professors' and 24 year old freshman in bullshit majors who graduate with a bachelor's degree and can barely read.
It's a pipe dream, but one that I think would make the entire world (or at least the USA) a better place. Thanks for letting me rant.