I get it… you don’t like sport.
You think sport is a waste of time and would rather spend time taking Polaroids of typewriters. You’re repulsed by the idea of playing cricket in the backyard in case your carefully-selected-to-look-as-though-I-don’t-care-what-I’m-wearing clothes get a grass stain. You don’t want to debate the Brownlow voting system – You’d much rather debate whether Joan Miró or Salvador Dali was more surreal.
You’re an ironic paradigm shifter, a rebellious non-conformist. And you’re all the bloody same.
Well I’ve got a news flash for you, sport-hating hipster: You suck, and sport is awesome.
Sport is a net gain for society – Your half-finished liberal arts degree will contribute… what exactly?
Watching, supporting and attending sport is part of our culture as humans, and not just Australian culture, either. Even the French… yes, that culturally laissez-faire nation of chain-smoking, baguette eating conceptual artists who are basically born hipsters… even the French love sport. It’s natural! People have attended sporting contests for Millenia. It is inherently human to enjoy watching the best compete at any given activity, whether it be Tlachtli (played 1000 B.C.) or Slamball, people want to watch competitive sport.
I’m not saying pro athletes deserve the absolute hero-worship they currently receive… and yes our medical researchers and CFA volunteers are under-appreciated… but that doesn’t mean that people who enjoy watching sport are twisted individuals. It just means that people enjoy watching sport. We don’t judge you for wearing jeans and a blazer on 40 degree days, so don’t judge us for watching sport.
(OK, I admit that I absolutely DO judge people for wearing those clothes on hot days… but at least my judgement is based on logic!)
Playing sport itself is something you avoid at all costs. Your fixed-gear bike is the closest thing you get to physical activity. This is in part because your jeans are far too tight to allow a full range of movement, but also because any show of strength might betray the adrogenous look you’re going for.
It’s fine if you don’t want to play sport. Some people just aren’t all that good at sport, either, and that’s OK too. But don’t condescendingly sneer when you hear that someone plays 2 games of indoor cricket a week, and label them as not worth your time. They’re socialising with friends, keeping their motor skills in tune and doing something that benefits every organ of their body including their brain. When we’re all old and grey it’s the folks who took a balanced approach to physical activity that will keep their mental capacity, not the folks who spent all their weekends listening to cassette recordings of Hemingway read by Stephen Fry on their Op-Shop sourced Sony Walkmans.
I’ve heard all the anti-sport arguments in the book:
The government spends too much on sport! Yes, I would agree with that.
Money should be siphoned from sport into the arts! No, I do not believe so. Education and health, perhaps, but not the arts. The arts provide no more benefit to society than sports.
Sport just encourages kids to become brain-dead jocks! Sports stars might be below-average academically (since they devote themselves wholly to their sport at a young age), but intelligence is not entirely dependent to your ability to recite Shakespeare. For kids, sports encourage a healthy active lifestlye, develop social and motor skills, and show the value of teamwork. And besides, not all pro athletes are jocks… just ask Jannie du Plessis, the South African rugby star and fully-qualified M.D. or former AFL player Peter Bell who spent his down-time qualifying as a lawyer.
Personally, I enjoy playing and watching sports and I’ve had the time and mental prowess to earn an entirely self-bestowed and completely not-fake degree in pop psychology from The University of Mike or The Don. As such, I can tell that the reason you reject playing sport is rooted in your deeply held aversion to competition. This is why you’re drawn to art, music and other areas of life with no ‘right or wrong answer.’ If there’s no winners and no losers, then you can’t be a loser! That’s great, but it’s pretty far removed from the reality of life, my friends.
So all you hipsters need to stop hating on sports. Sports keep us healthy, we enjoy playing them, watching them, and supporting our team. Sure, the government might want to scale back funding for car races as long as there are people waiting for hospital beds… but on the whole sport is a massive plus for society. You can cast disdainful looks at the kids wearing their footy jumpers all you want… but they’re more likely to be happy, more likely to be healthy, and are preparing themselves for the competitive nature of reality. Don’t look down on them. Envy them.
Mike or The Don.
Note: There are hipsters who have posters of Roger Federer on their wall right next to their poster of Senator Bob Brown… I’m not saying that all hipsters hate sport, because they don’t. Really this post was directed at a sub-culture (sport-haters) within the hipster sub-culture. Woah… a sub-culture within a sub-culture? It’s like ‘Inception’… I think I just blew my own mind…