Unhappy Valley- Abuse, Sports, and Religion.I've always held organised sports in bad odour. Not just indifference or dislike but disdain and revulsion. Now, there are reasons I have always been able to point to. Sports players are paid ridiculous amounts of money in a society where teachers, firefighters, and many other people who do jobs that directly benefit others are underpaid. It's an example of us valuing the wrong people. Some sports are rather violent, and why glorify violence? High schools and colleges can be focused on sports to the exclusion or detriment of academics. Finally, I view professional sports as our modern equivalent of bread and circuses. Throw the gladiators into the arena and let them distract the masses from what's really going on. But that's not all.
As I cogitate on the wake of the Penn State tragedy I've some to a realisation, that my disdain is similar to one that some people seem to feel towards organised religion: that is't a set up so rife with and the potential for abuse that it would be better is people did it on their own in a less organised way. I know this is sure to offend my sport fan friends. I won't pretend this way of thinking is fair; just like religion, sports give many people joy, common ground, an opportunity to some together, a way to do good and to improve themselves. Recognising that my thinking is unfair, that is based on the "crashed airplane" method of reporting the news, is the first step toward being more tolerant. It's good to recognise that any bias you hold is probably based on incomplete information. Abuse is never acceptable and is usually proof there is need for more oversight...but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Recognise the good, and accept that any time *people* get together, in any format, care must be taken to protect the weak from those who would abuse power.