Cancel the Super Bowl!
(Or, Vince Lombardi Was a Putz)
The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.
- Chinese proverb
The time has come to close down commercial "sport" businesses and return sports to their rightful status as participatory, local, recreational activities for everyday citizens.
The quickest way to return sport to its rightful place as recreational activity for the population-instead of a travesty open only to the few, the dumb and the oversized-would be to cancel Superbowl XLIII and all such subsequent commercial football contests. This would serve as a dramatic statement that we, the public, no longer wish to patronize these grossly commercial distortions of the sports we loved to play as young people.
Yes, the upcoming Superbowl XLIII should ideally be cancelled immediately, and all the parasitic business enterprises which exploit televised commercial games to sell T-shirts, motor vehicles, vacation packages, beers, deodorants, insurance, floor cleaning products, power tools, toothpaste and dog food should find other uses for their advertising budgets-like bus stop kiosks.
Those businesses which call themselves "professional sports" delude themselves just as we ("sports fans") are self-deluded. Truly, there is no lasting glory where grown-ups devote their lives to performing highly-regimented seasonal games simply to sell tickets, garner endorsement contracts, and return large dividends to team investors.
Accurate Naming Helps Understanding
We must first honestly name these activities if we are to understand their effects. Although different "sports" may be employed in different settings, team corporations uniformly exploit some sport-like activity, be it baseball, football, soccer, etc. Their goal (you'll pardon the expression) is to convert a healthy community-based sporting activity into a business opportunity which can be exploited to produce a profit.
Colleges, too, compromise themselves and the sports they exploit, while spending public resources meant for education on small numbers of student-athletes, most of whom would not qualify academically for admission. Although athletic departments protest that marketing revenue and ticket sales "earn" whatever they spend, and even that some of their profit supports scholarships in less popular sports like wrestling, the awkward fact is that college athletic departments drain enormous academic and administrative resources from (public) universities and divert attention from the primary raison d'être of a university.
Call Them Commercial Sports Businesses (CSBs)
The most accurate term for what are inappropriately called professional sports teams appears to be Commercial Sports Businesses (CSBs). Let us agree for now to use the initials CSBs as a convenient abbreviation, so as to keep clearly in mind the essential commercial nature of these enterprises.
Another possible term, "commercial sports pimps and prostitutes" has also been suggested, although that phrase becomes a bit wordy and rolls less readily off the sportscasters' tongues, so we must settle instead for CSBs.
In summary, CSBs distort the noble nature of sports just as Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevic distorts the noble nature of elected office in a democracy by auctioning an appointment to a U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder; in each case deliberate exploitation debases the very activity which it attempts to leverage for a profit.
Commercial Sports Businesses Sap the Vitality from Sports
Commercial "sports" corporations debase the intrinsic qualities of true sport beyond recognition, thereby negating the very virtues for which sports are valued. League corporations, commonly called "professional sports teams", as well as the multitude of newspapers, network and cable sportswriters and sportscasters that fawn over them, have been willing accessories to this exploitation which has robbed sport of any integrity.