I sat down to watch a football game yesterday, and I was appalled. I knew it was a repeat, but I did intend to watch as if it was live, and I didn’t know the outcome. But it was a giant fail! Most of the game was framed by three local commentators eating, drinking, and making obscure inside jokes. It was one of those “What is the world coming to?” moments, which are happening with increasing frequency.
I do understand that there are rules. Sports are a form of entertainment, like circuses and magic shows, not an epic battle upon which the fate of the universe or local pride rests. Entertainment is for watching. I am watching it on a screen while eating and drinking, so others must be doing the same. Plus, given that there are 752 channels that run 24×7, content must fill the time, so much of the content is people talking. In fact, there is more content of people talking about sports than there are televised sports, so the cycle of discussion circulates around the same people, sports, drama, behind-the-scenes will so-and-so play or get paid or ask to be traded, &c.&c.&c.
(This plays out elsewhere. I was in the lap pool swimming yesterday, and there were three fellas in the seating area outside the steam room at one end. In between gulps of air, I heard “quarterback.” When I came up for a turn at one, another person not in their party had walked up and was wildly gesticulating while yelling something about Aaron Rodgers. It’s worth noting that said Rogers is not on any team in our local area, but he does seem to inspire many people to get very excited. This is proof of the ultimate success: you generate controversy nationwide even though you are just an aging human being who occasionally throws a ball a long way.)
So this is where we are. There is so much talking to be done about this entertainment form, that when you go to experience the entertainment, it’s packaged as another type of entertainment: “Watching the watchers.” It’s a disturbing trend.Continue reading “Watching the Watchers”