Really? Are professional sports in some way responsible for the population's increasing problem with excess weight?
Nah. Well, who knows. It's at least as good a theory as blaming microwave ovens. (Or workplace vending machines. Or PBS, Paris Hilton, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, or leg warmers. But it sure is fun to blame someone, isn't it?)
Actually Crabby just feels like picking on spectator sports today, so she will. She went to a baseball game over the weekend, so she's especially eager to make fun of that sport. (She actually had a great time, what with the sun and the snacks and the Anchor Steam). But towards the end of the post, Crabby will even go out on a limb and proclaim Baseball a Stupid Sport! Be sure to tell all your friends to come here and see for themselves what a complete jerk she is.
But first, a quick list of reasons why spectator sports, particularly viewed at home on TV, are Bad For You:
They are generally viewed in a seated position, and they go on forever. Think about it: televised sporting events are about three times as long as normal TV shows. Even without the pre-game this and the post-game that. And true sports fans always need to see a pre-game this or a post-game that.
Worse, since you have to watch games in real time, you're sitting through all the commercials. (Which tend to feature beer and junk food). If you watch House or Gray's Anatomy, for instance, you Tivo it or whatever and you don't even know what crap they might be advertising. But during a ball game, you end up hearing about every damn topping Domino's decides to dump on their pizzas that week.
But here's the most insidious thing about spectator sports: the way they trick the spectators into thinking they've gotten exercise themselves.
Ever seen a total sports fan watch a game? They go through all the agony and the triumph, riding the same roller-coaster of endorphins that the actual players do--but they do it all sprawled on the couch with a big bag of Doritos in their laps.
When it's over, do they jump up and go out for a run or to play a little game of football or basketball or baseball themselves? Your actual mileage may vary, but from what I've observed: they do not. Sure, a nice big hunk of the day is gone, but they've helped their team win! (Or almost win!) They're tired now. They need a nap.
And now, as promised, Crabby's going to complain even more about Baseball, a game that perplexes her. The thing she finds most confusing is why all the smart, thoughtful, otherwise admirable people she knows seem to find it so enchanting.
It's designed, on purpose, to be boring! Hardly anything ever happens!
For one, the season consists of seven hundred thousand games, plus the playoffs, so no individual game actually counts until the very end.
And in what other sport do the participants get to delay the game whenever they feel like it, with no penalty, just 'cause they don't feel quite "ready?" They need to think about it. They need more practice swings. Batters finally get all crouched and ready and then they step out of the box again to scratch their noses and take even more practice swings. Pitchers stare and swivel around to second base. They adjust their crotches and stare some more. Ready yet? Ah... no. Not quite yet.
Sometimes when the pitcher's screwing up there's even a little tea-party on the mound. Why on earth is this allowed? The pitcher and the catcher and maybe a baseman or two all decide to have a conference. What could these guys possibly need to say to the pitcher besides: "could you please stop walking people and pitch a few f*cking strikes instead?" But they have their little committee meetings anyway, and the fans all just sit there and wait. And have another hot dog or a few more tortilla chips.
Okay, to be fair, sometimes there's action. An occasional home run. Watch the ball... it's going over the fence... Yep, there it goes. It's gone.
And then every now and then a pitcher will hit a batter "accidentally" in a way the boys in the dugout take exception to. This is indeed exciting. Suddenly, everyone comes charging out and they're all hitting each other! (Though generally not a fan of violence, Crabby actually sort of enjoys the sight of overpaid professional athletes mixing it up. She's not proud of this, but its true). Unfortunately, this hardly ever happens.
Crabby really, really doesn't get why people are so enthusiastic about baseball. She officially declares Baseball a Really Stupid Sport.
(Crabby, ducking hurled objects, makes her exit quickly, stage left).