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What She Said

January 27, 2003
9:38 AM
What I want to know is this - how come no one ever says we should ban sports? I mean, after last night's Super Bowl the citizens of Oakland, the losing team, rioted and looted their own town. What surprises most people - amazingly - is that Oakland instead of Tampa Bay rioted. See, usually the winning teams' city riots. Not this time, this time the losing team' town riots. I'm too tired and lazy to Google it but it seems every time there's a major sporting event, there's a riot shortly afterward. It's like clockwork. I think every time the Chicago Bulls won the championship (and in the Jordan years this was pretty common) the town burned that night.

So why don't we ban sports? When I was a kid and me and my sister would get into a fight over a toy my parents would take it away. Why not outlaw sports for a while every time something like this happens? Every time there's a riot just ban the sport for a year. That should teach people, right?

Every time some kid goes and gets his grandfathers' arsenal and unloads on his school, there's calls to ban violent movies, violent video games, violent music, and you're often seen as someone stupid if you tend to think perhaps there were other forces at work - like maybe the kids were just plain dicks. Some kid blows his head off because he got robbed in EverQuest and suddenly we need stickers on game boxes because - shock - video games are addictive! Never mind the fact that the kid was mentally depressed, refused medication and doctors' orders to quit playing the game, and that he was alone at college. Some 400-pound teenager eats at McDonald's every day for years, and then sues McDonald's for his obesity, claiming that their deceptive advertising forced him (and others in a class-action suit - surprise, surprise) to eat there. This is like playing russian roulette every day for years and then your parents suing the ammunition company on the day you blow your brains out. Fortunately this case was recently thrown out.

And yet despite the fact that every time there's a big sporting event and the winning and/or losing team riots, no one ever says we should get rid of sports. Perhaps because there's not enough dead children involved - no one seems to get motivated to change anything unless there's a crying mother on Dateline. And while we're on the topic, tons of priests cornhole little boys in the back of their chuches, but no one ever says we should abolish the Catholic Church. Cigarettes kill tons of people a year - the only thing that gets sold to the public where if you follow the instructions you die anyway - but the only thing anyone seems to want to do about it is to put bigger warnings on boxes and pay off anyone with a voice box - at least we can blame that one on lobbyists.

Until we ban all riot-enducing sports don't even try and blame the media for life's problems.

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