People hate sports in a way they don’t hate other forms of entertainment. You never hear someone say forcefully that they can’t stand police procedural TV shows and hated the kids in high school who liked NYPD Blue. And as a sports junkie, I want to know why. Like, actually why — as in, “Who cares if someone can hit a ball with a stick?” is not a real argument. You can use that logic on any form of entertainment. Who cares if someone can hit a string tied to a wooden box (music)? Who cares what happens to someone who doesn’t exist (television/film)? So I surveyed my friends and the internet for legitimate reasons why people hate sports — reasons that even sports fans can at least understand. Here are the good ones.
1. People Take Them Way Too Seriously
The Argument: There is no reason to get upset because a group of strangers you’ve never met just lost at a ball game.
The Grain Of Truth: Extreme fans ruining things happens all the time, everywhere around the world, with the most serious case being in soccer (or football) outside of America where referees, fans, and players have all been killed over match results. But it’s not just when a team loses; winning teams have seen their cities fall victim to rioting after championships as well. More typically, everyone has had the unpleasant experience of going to a game and sitting in front of some total ass who becomes disgusted by the players for letting him down and losing the game.
2. They’re Everywhere, All The Time
The Argument: If you’re not into sports, it’s almost impossible to avoid them.
The Grain Of Truth: Seemingly trivial sports stories — whether Tim Tebow will play, what Alex Rodriguez ate for breakfast — do occasionally dominate the news to everyone’s chagrin, even the sports fans who can’t help clicking on those stories in spite of themselves. Also, when you meet a person whose personality and sense of self seems to be entirely based on the team they root for…it is sad.
3. The Games Are Boring
The Argument: The games are too long and there’s not enough action.
The Grain Of Truth: There is more down time than actual action in most sports. For example, the average NFL game is just over three hours, while the time the ball is actually in play on the field is only about 11 minutes. And this lopsided ratio isn’t exclusive to football. According to the Wall Street Journal, “a baseball fan will see 17 minutes and 58 seconds of action over the course of a three-hour game.” Any basketball fan will tell you that the last few minutes of a game can be painstakingly dragged out. And no matter what the sport, if it’s a mid-season game between two mediocre teams you don’t care about…well, that’s why gambling exists.
4. They’re Too Complicated
The Argument: The rules and regulations are overwhelming and arbitrary. What’s the difference between offensive pass interference and defensive pass interference?
The Grain Of Truth: The rules and regulations ARE overwhelming. On top of keeping track of the hundred or so different rules in every league and knowing how they apply to the game and scenario at hand depending on whether you’re watching the college or pro version, you have to keep track of which rules are changing. Just take a look at the NFL rulebook over the last few years. Plays and hits that were legal 20 years ago are no longer permitted, and even the guys playing the game don’t fully know what’s allowed anymore.
5. They Remind People Of Childhood Trauma
The Argument: A bad youthful experience with sports can ruin them permanently.
The Grain Of Truth: You can’t really argue with someone’s own history. So if you hate sports because you had a bad experience with them (ridiculed, picked on, picked last, etc.), that is an appropriate reason to hate them. And every adult sports fan has also had to realize, at some point, that they were not good enough to keep playing. If you keep playing long enough, eventually you will get picked last.
So, we have to admit that those are five OK reasons not to like sports. Of course, there are many positive things about sports as well, like how it’s awesome when you really want your team to win AND THEN THEY WIN. Man, that is the best. On the whole, then, sports still rule to the max. As you were.