MISPLACED SPORTS PRIORITIES IN MINNESOTA

In reading today’s Star and Tribune, I couldn’t help but count the number of FULL pages devoted to the Vikings game. The sports section had 6 pages about the game. I then counted 8 separate stories dedicated to the Vikings and the game. Is this overkill or what? Last night’s newscasts on television and this morning’s early local news all led with the Vikings game story.

Because I have totally lost interest in professional football, I didn’t tune in to the radio station that carries the Vikings after the game. I am sure however, that there was much serious chatter about how the team did this wrong and did that wrong as well as the fans phone calls calling for Coach Childress’ head and a cry to bench Favre. Pro football fans are as predictable as the boring predictable game itself. I’m sure if you are listening to KFAN right now you are being filled with the expert analysis of the game by Paul Allen and, of course, the callers who have all of the answers. This is such a ridiculous waste of a person’s time and life to totally turn themselves over to be a slave to the entertainment spectical known as the NFL.

As a little kid, I was a fan of the Oakland Raiders. In the 1960’s they were my team. “Bombs Away” Darryl Lamonica at quarterback going deep all the time to a trio of lightning fast receivers. They had a killer felonious defense that took no prisoners. It was fun to watch. But, alas, I was growing up in the Washington DC area where I had to face and/or listen to Redskin fans 12 months a year. These people have no lives of their own. Their lives are totally devoted to the Redskins. I found that to be disgusting. I used to wonder, don’t these people have families, mortgages, jobs, responsibilities, etc. It dawned on me as a child, it was that way because their fans were all government bureaucrats on the trough that really didn’t have real-life conditions. I thought fans in other NFL cities were hard-working folks who had to keep their enthusiasm for the local NFL team in its proper perspective. I have since found out different, at least with Green Bay and Denver. The fans of these teams are just as obnoxious as the ones in DC. I was very disappointed, there has to be more to these peoples’ lives than being totally consumed by the Packers and Broncos.

Now there has been a turn for the worse, I’m finding the fans of the “Viqueens” have become as consumed and obnoxious as those of other teams. I used to complain about the Washington Post’s incessant Redskins coverage, even though the Orioles were in a pennant race, the Bullets were making a move in the NBA, etc. Pandering to the empty-headed NFL fans! Evidence, the Minneapolis Star Tribune today! Disgusting. How much can be written about the events of a television entertainment show? Are they now interviewing members of the grounds crew? How about the beer and peanut vendors in the stands? No television entertainment show can warrant the kind of coverage these games get in the media.

You will notice I refer to the NFL as a television entertainment event, not a sport. Prior to television, pro football was on the verge of failure, couldn’t compete with the real sports of major league baseball and college football. Then, in the 1950’s, television came along, made tweaks to the game to make it more entertaining, and VIOLA! you have pro football events now. They are perfectly choreographed 3 hour television events that generate billions for television and the NFL. It takes three hours to get in a timed 60 minute event. The average player is in “action” for only 7-8 minutes out of the 60 in an event. Do you still consider this as a major athletic competition? I doubt it, or at least you shouldn’t.

Unfortunately, for those of us that would like to be “football purists”, Division One college football is going the way of Hollywood now as well. I guess there is still high school football to hold onto. Oops, maybe not for long, ESPN is now carrying a high school game nationally every week! I guess we “purists” will need to turn to other events to entertain ourselves, like watching grass grow or paint drying!

I would think, if you’re a sports fan anyway, that you would be puzzled by the Star Tribune’s first mention and story of the Twins games was on the 11th page of the sports section. Keep in mind, the Twins are now battling the Yankees and Tampa Bay for the best record in major league baseball. That’s right, THE BEST RECORD IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL! With the best record would come home field advantage throughout the American League playoffs. The Twins have been lights out since the All-Star game. They have run away with the Central Division and are now fighting desperately for home field advantage. Oh, the Twins roster is composed of stand up gentlemen that are committed to the team and the community. There are no thugs or degenerates on the team or in the whole organization. These guys pull together all year!

Now that the NFL season has begun, the soap opera crap that came out of the Vikings camp in Eden Prairie is showing its ugly head. Between hold outs and injuries due to poor conditioning, the team has started 0-2. Even though it is a television staged event, football teams, in order to be successful, need to have all players pulling together for the common good. The Vikings so far, have shown they are lacking that attitude. It is tough when the star, the starting quarterback, is trying to use the regular season to play himself into game shape.

I still favor the Viqueens in the Division, mostly because of my great personal disdain of the fans from EdGeinsin. If it takes the ‘Queens to shut them up, so be it! Anyway, here’s to the end of season success of the Twins, in spite of the media not giving a damn, and hoping they go deep into October with victories! Thanks for today’s read.
Cam Obert

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