Without Pro Sports

A few weeks ago Washington POST sports editor Matt Rennie ("Imagining a world without pro sports") riffed on the possibility that, in the absence of the NFL, NBA, etc., people might watch more college and high school games on television. He finished his essay with a comment on seeing a kid (presumably his daughter) in a close finish at a swim meet.

But academic sports are actually a huge commercial enterprise nowadays for many schools, as well as a talent-scout auxiliary of the pro leagues, a training ground for cheating, and a negative life-distraction for the vast majority of "student" athletes who will never make a living at their game.

So instead of cheering from the sidelines — and subsidizing a broken system — wouldn't it be better to do something rather than pay to watch others do it? A lot of that is already happening; I see it at local running events, for instance. How much would society benefit if doing rather than passive watching increased — in better physical and mental health, in greater local economic activity, in less super-star wealth concentration, and in reduced corruption at all levels?

cf. Fun vs. Entertainment (2006-08-31), ...) - ^z - 2011-07-31