What are sports? They basically consist of doing some physical activity that is completely useless except for increasing strength and providing "fun." While I consider the former to be the major (if not only) real value of sports, the latter is, once thought about psychologically, quite sad.
As I said, sports increase strength (duh), and that was pretty much the purpose of them to begin with (in conjunction w/ "fun," which I shall get to later.) This actually has positive real-life side effects, like increased life-span, being able to work longer, etc. I must emphasize that, since this is the only real way to build strength (unless..I dunno...you take fun in lifting heavy boxes and carrying them around to increase strength, still branching off of weightlifting...), this is a very important aspect of sports. Unfortunately, it is overshadowed by the many other aspects of sports that I shall proceed to mention.
It's where the "fun" factor comes in that really disgusts me. I don't want to sound preachy or anything, but I'm sure most people would agree with me in saying Epicurus had human psychology more or less correct: that humans seek pleasure and avoid pain. While this isn't entirely true, most painful actions are done with a pleasure-related outcome in mind, so it is pretty rare someone takes pleasure in pain. However, it is just mankind's luck that we find so much "pleasure" in stupid things like the sport mentioned in the first paragraph, or a simple game of tackle-catch combined with tackle-run with some pads thrown in, rather than picking up trash or reading a history book. Mind you, there are people out there who prefer the latter over the former any day, but if most people took the amount of time engaged in sports, and compared it to the amount of time doing something practical, I'm sure they'd find the numbers quite staggering.
And it's not just engaging in sports which bothers me. It's much more the amount people W