All my adult life, I’ve had an aversion to the popular professional sports. It’s not that there is something innately evil about them. On the contrary, if people enjoy participating, and watching, such activities then all the power to them. As long as they are not hurting anybody, have at it I say. But there’s the rub. Professional sports has become eerily similar to religion. Football and basketball in the U.S., and soccer in the rest of the world, are taken far too seriously by their fans.
There was a time when I lived in Denver and a referendum was proposed. Voters were asked if they wished to add an extra one cent per ten dollars in sales tax in order to build a new stadium for the Broncos. I saw this as naked theft by the Broncos and their fans. I went door to door campaigning against the referendum. I put up signs and distributed fliers. The referendum passed. It passed not because people had a deep understanding of personal versus public property. Nor was it because they had an advanced sense of right and wrong. It was an alliance of Bronco fans, who were only interested in advancing their team, and gullible fools who were told it would help the economy.
The Denver referendum is one example of professional sports exiting the bounds of healthy fun and entering the realm of harm to others. Another example is the rioting that takes place all too often after games. Yet another is the use of imminent domain laws to confiscate people’s homes to make way for stadiums. This is why professional sports leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
While vacationing in Egypt, the most common word I heard, other than Allah, was Juventus. Being familiar with Arabic and having studied it, I wondered how it was that I had not come across such a common word anywhere in my studies. It later became clear that this was none other than a famous Italian soccer team. Or maybe Juventus is actually the Son of Allah and its members his twelve disciples. People kill each other for Allah and, no doubt, they kill each other for Juventus.
Islam is another passion I have a problem with. It seems to be almost as popular as soccer and its adherents at least as fanatical. Richard Hoste, in his HBD blog, recently posted this video. One of the comments (on LiveLeak) reads:
Why are the uncivilized people of Sweden so obsessed with making extremely insulting drawings of a prophet of 3 billion people?
let me tell you something. In this video you’re looking at normal everyday Muslims. Did you see the reaction they had for the drawing? Now what happens when the extremists see things like this and actually would want to do something about it? I think Europe would be in deep shit… so why not just stop provoking them?
(Emphasis mine and I fixed the English). I wonder if the person who submitted the comment understands that their being “normal everyday Muslims” is, itself, the problem. If I were in control of Sweden, I would probably deport every last Muslim after seeing that video – and especially after reading comments such as the above.
I wonder if every human society is destined to have a certain proportion of hysterical people and those people naturally gravitate to becoming professional sports fanatics or Islam. Or perhaps professional sports and Islam encourage people to become obsessed and hysterical. I suspect it’s a combination of the two.