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Redefining Sports

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Sports have held great importance in the world for hundreds of years. Modern Americans in particular have displayed a profound love for many different types of sports by playing them, watching them, and merely conversing about them. However, even though sports have been around longer than anyone can remember, the definition of the word has changed drastically. Long ago, almost any sport could be defined as an athletic display of strength and skill. Although this may still be true, it is only to an extent. A more accurate definition for modern-day sports is a money-making franchise and extreme fan rudeness.

When a young child has lost his first sporting event, be it a soccer game or a tennis match, his parents are most likely to tell him something along the lines of, “It’s not about who wins or looses, it’s how the game is played.” In reality, this of course is true, but recently the phrase only seems to be truly accurate with the added “as long as how the game is played makes money for someone.” Apparently, this includes cheating. Esteemed NFL coach Bill Belicheck, who has led his team, the Patriots, into what fans call a “dynasty,” was recently caught cheating during a game. Even though the Patriots are thought by many to be a good team, Belicheck wanted to cheat in order to ensure a win, and more money, for himself and his team. However, it’s not just coaches who are money hungry. In recent history, athletes have gone on strike in order to gain higher wages from their teams’ owners. Nowadays, it isn’t unheard of for big-league pro athletes to have higher salaries than most doctors! This demand for money isn’t just in the professional leagues, though. Children's recreational sports ask for a large – and sometimes almost unreasonable – amount of money from parents before their children participate in the sport. These payments do not usually include the required gear, which for some sports (such as hockey) may rack up to several hundred dollars. Sports have clearly become more about the money than the actual displayed talent.

While the people directly involved in sports seem to be more concerned about the finances than the actual events, sports fans have become unreasonably overenthusiastic about their sport of choice. This causes their behavior to turn nastily rude toward rival fans, referees, and even inanimate objects. It is considered normal for people who disagree on something to argue or debate in order to express their point of view. However, with some sports fans today, their competitive behavior goes beyond a simple argument. Fans get so worked up over a disagreement on a sports subject that they develop a tendency for vulgar and uncivilized name-calling, harsh taunts, and physical violence. Even young kids today are developing rude personalities towards rival fans when it comes to sports. Unfortunately, it isn't only other fans that the sports fans are lashing out against. Teenagers and adults who work as referees for recreational leagues for sports, such as soccer, have often reported extremely rude behavior from the coaches and parents of the participating children. While the kids, generally speaking, just want to have fun and already understand that they should respect the referee's calls, some coaches and parents deem the referee as “wrong” and will yell nastily at him. Some sports fans seem to have a need to yell and insult something no matter where they are. Therefore, when they are sitting at home alone watching at game on television and have no-one else to shout at, they direct their rudeness toward the TV. The verbal assaults committed on televisions every game day may be a sign of borderline insanity, as the TV is not a sentient being and cannot hear them. However, the television's lack of hurt feelings does not change the fact that sports have become less about displaying talent, and more about displaying rude actions and language.


Sports used to be just about talented people displaying strength and skills. Today, this is still a somewhat accurate definition of the word, but not entirely true. Many coaches, athletes, and managers of leagues are clearly more concerned about how much money they can make from being involved with sports. Many fans, on the other hand, see sports as an excuse to behave rudely. Clearly, the definition has been modified. Sports are no longer just an athletic display of strength and skills.



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