73 Comments

There's a parallel with our relationship to war. It's been centuries since our political leadership led from the front. Instead, they order young men to conflicts in which they share no physical risk themselves, acting for the most part as spectators at a horse race - the only thing they have to lose are their wagers.

With the elite having taken this stance towards warfare, it is perhaps no surprise that watching sports, rather than playing them, has come to the fore. To stand back and observe is what the high status people do, and the rest, as always, emulate them.

Another thought: how much toxicity has the professionalization of every activity resulted in? Sure, professionals do their task to a higher standard, for they do nothing else. But they're unbalanced as human beings. Humans, however, are not really meant to be specialists. Look at the Greeks: mostly they were not professional athletes, or soldiers, or philosophers, or sailors, or artisans: the ideal was to do all these things, and thereby become a fully developed human. Even in our own society, it was not so long ago that almost everyone was an athlete, a musician, an artisan, a marksman, a soldier, a wordsmith, a farmer, and so on. Even scientists were mainly hobbyists and dilettantes. And it was in this era that we made our greatest artistic and scientific advances. But now that everything has become professionalized, we are each of us unbalanced, highly developed in some narrow range of talents while the rest of our capabilities atrophy. Is it an accident that we have become myopic and small of soul in the process?

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Pro Sportsball is the bread and circuses of clown world: https://yuribezmenov.substack.com/p/root-for-pro-sportsball-kaepernick-pfizer

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Oct 7, 2023Liked by Johann Kurtz

Small town high school sports are the last communal ritual left to communities lucky enough to still have them. It’s also the last crumbling redoubt of a merit based male hierarchy for young men to participate in especially one with any physical risk involved.

High School Football was certainly the first and last place I found fraternity and even if it is the fake and gay version of getting the boys of the Fyrd together to see of some Vikings.

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The esports phenomenon takes this voyeurism to a new level. It's a copy of a copy of a copy. The normalization (and monetization!) of watching other people play video games is one of the things that worries me most about Gen Z.

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I agree 100%.

I always thought that people who played the SIMS games were weird. Or any RPG for that matter. It was pointless. I don't want to play a game where I don't do anything. What the hell is the point?

Similarly I've never like watching sports. I like playing, I used to play basketball all the time, but I could never watch it, because it's just boring. Standing on the outside and criticizing the people playing is like women gossiping -- while they sit at home and don't do shit.

Of course I don't play sports as much as I used to, but I did setup my basket ball goal so that me and my two boys can play. It's fun, and we all have a blast. It's much better than sitting inside.

On a related subject, there was a relative of my wife's who married this guy who was a total waste of space. All he did was bounce from job to job, and watch sports all the time. The relative and the waste of space guy had a kid together, and the kid was the same as the dad! No joke, when the kid was around 3 we went to an outdoor adventure place. There were gas powered go-carts racing around the track, and some dudes tossing a baseball. The kid was glued on the two people tossing the ball around! I couldn't believe it. I could see the kid watching the ball -- if there were no go-carts speeding around right behind him. I just thought it was strange that a kid that young would be disinterested in loud go-carts, and focused on WATCHING people throw a ball. If you gave him one, he wouldn't do anything with it.

Nonetheless, people need to get back to interacting PHYSICALLY and playing more. I think you've stumbled on one of the problems we have right now as a society.

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Oct 7, 2023Liked by Johann Kurtz

Cracking article - I've recently (only this year) joined an MMA gym. I've been going for eight hours a week and it's the best thing I've done since I left childhood. I did a little then but let it fall by the wayside which I really regret. I'm making up for lost time now. I feel like I've come home again.

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As a modern man, I have spent the majority of my life in para social relationships with athletes and intellectuals.

Interestingly, Substack is becoming a place for truly social “play” like you’re describing. While not physical, it at least has the potential for comradery and wrestling in the abstract.

Thanks for the read.

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The formula for controlling the plebs has always been bread and circuses: empty calories and spectator sports. Meat and individual achievement produce the opposite effect.

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i have been watching hockey every year, even though I know I shouldnt

maybe this is a sign to stop

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Oct 7, 2023Liked by Johann Kurtz

Got this notification while watching Formula 1 highlights.

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Oct 9, 2023Liked by Johann Kurtz

While I generally agree with the sentiment to make and not just consume, watching sports is one of the few remaining activities that allows men to get together and bond over something. Male spaces have been systematically decimated over the past 50 years, but at least we've got Saturdays and Sundays in the fall.

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Oct 8, 2023Liked by Johann Kurtz

All of the pro teams took a knee, disrespecting our flag and country..

No patriotic American should watch or support them.

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Oct 8, 2023·edited Oct 8, 2023Liked by Johann Kurtz

In the 70s at his first team the Montreal Expos, today the D.C. Nationals, the baseball plucker Gary Carter made some public effort learning the local language, the practical cultural influence of which was “J’aime le 7UP” teevee ads (Rusty Staub also did same outreach bit, but was from New Orleans & gay). Corporate sports share many of the defects of corporate punk rock and corporate healthcare. Disorienting part for me as Gen X geezer is the Max Headroom-esque merger of pro sports and pro politics, e.g. new California ringer Senator.

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That's a no-brainer, literally. I don't watch televised sports, and the only sports I go to, involve my children's games. My dislike of professional sports started when a sporting team went from being an honest clean cut christ-like club to hiring criminals because they could carry, catch, or throw a ball.

Any sports-like thing that I do, involves me and whatever object i decide to kick.

I do sports-shoot at a range, and once upon a time, I did archery, Karate, and a bit of kung-fu.

I won't go to an event and just be part of the crowd, it robs me of something.

Also, I have a problem with a sports-player that earns millions of dollars for playing said sport, then makes more selling products with his name on them, and can't even be bothered to give back to the fans that pay good money to show up.

I so believe in the purity of sports that I believe our legislative and executive branch should meet in a ring somewhere and solve their problems.

In the first 50 years of the United States Government, Senators and congresscritters could duel, if they felt strongly enough about their speech.

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Great post. Really enjoyed it. I've watched professionalism save and then destroy two sports I used to enjoy, cricket and rugby. It all got very boring. I now look back with regret on the time I wasted watching the stuff.

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Feb 14Liked by Johann Kurtz

How about this: you can watch sport only if you regularly play yourself

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