Friday, October 30, 2009

The Decline of Sports

Sports aren't going anywhere, it's just that they're not immune to the pressures that every business faces, although generally facing them well off the front pages. Money drives everything, and the game is often played on the outskirts of legality to make more of it. The NBA tries to exploit their refs in quasi-legal ways to maximise profits, and it surprises no one.

The NBA has approached this in the dumbest way possible, the one that everybody can see. And MLB isn't much better by allowing steroids for so long. Issues that all can see will eventually be found out. Best to let players take uppers or something to increase their energy (no, I'm not endorsing that). The NFL is okay for now because steroid bodies can be hidden by the uniforms, but if it weren't for that we'd have the same issues we have elsewhere.

As an aside, I continue to believe that the much maligned Tour de France is the cleanest pro sport in the world because they take drug use seriously and don't just sweep away their issues. Good for them.

But no, the end of sports will never come, as there will always be people like me suiting up to play in adult leagues every weekend. Professional sports are in trouble, real trouble, and they need to face up to this, but something will be around. In what form?

Even if one of the major sports leagues fail, another league will take its place because there is too much money to be made. But, is there a chance that some element of professional "wrestling" will come into sports? Has that already happened in the NBA? I believe it has. I hate to say it, but everything in the book I linked to rang true. We've entered an age of sports as entertainment, and not fully sports.

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