Many people spend a lot of time thinking about what's wrong with modern athletics, suggesting that it's the money, the fame, an inordinate emphasis we place on them, or other factors. Certainly part of the issue is that most things we call "sports" or "athletics" are neither. Sport is historically blood sport like hunting. Athletics, historically, is track and field. We have a problem predominantly not with sports or athletics, but with games.
Even that, however, misses a central point. The central problem with our games is that we're letting someone else play them for us. Despite the fact that they're neither athletic nor sport, our games do serve as a proxy for training for war--"Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton", after all. When we primarily watch, instead of play, we create mercenaries.
This is a problem, of course, because mercenaries are historically known for quite a bit of looting, boozing, and wenching; societies have made moral exceptions for them out of fear of what they'll do if we don't, more or less.
So if certain players for the ViQueens (or your other favorite/least favorite team) remind you of the Huns, there is a reason why. A very important reason, and one that should drive you to participate in real sports and manly games for yourself instead of watching steroid mercenaries on TV.
The North Loop Is Burning!, Part II: Kotkin Was Right! - A few years ago, we wrote about an article by urban planner Joel Kotkin. Kotkin is a left-leaning urban planning type – is there any other kind? But he’s...
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