Gettysburg’s Address 7 – The O Sports Show

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Gettysburg's Address

Gettysburg’s Address

You’re listening to the Gettysburg’s Address Podcast and I’m sitting in the Busy Little Beaver Studios in Maryland, and my guest today is podcaster Scott from The O Sports Show.

This episode we will be addressing sports. Now I know some of you are rolling your eyes and reaching for the dial – hey, this is my intro and if I want to imagine you listening on an old fashioned radio I will – but give me a second to try and convince you to stay.

Let me start by saying that if you are listening to this episode with the hopes if the dissection of batting averages and on base percentage, with the expectation of a detailed breakdown of the NFL draft and who had a shining moment and who was a bust – really Chicago, what the fuck was that? – then you are possibly in for a letdown. This discussion will be about sports in a more societal and cultural basis, and what it is that drives certain aspects of the spectator and the player.

Sports is a worldwide commonality, baseball is a world game now, there’s football – not American pigskin gridiron football – but what we in America call soccer, is the world’s most popular game. Track and field, which largely goes unnoticed in the U.S. until every four years when it becomes talked about during the Olympics, is followed closely by many other nations and in some is a national obsession. Playing and watching sports is truly a human thing, something which binds us all together.

Recently I watched the ESPN 30 for 30 films called “Believeland” about the city of Cleveland and the impact the NFL, MLB and NBA teams have on not only the economy, but the very heart of the residents there. It was a powerful and moving film and in it you can see the heartbreak and joy that comes with being a fan. If you have not seen it I highly recommend it. The film got me to thinking about what sports is on a larger level and what being a fan means.

Not long after I viewed that film there was a bloodletting at ESPN, the self-proclaimed “worldwide leader in sports.” About 100 people, mainly on-air talent, were let go and the social media universe had a field day. Some were upset but there was a also a lot of happiness expressed. You see ESPN has in the last several years been brining politics more into its programming, and this has alienated a lot of viewers. Why? Because for many the decision to turn on sports or sports related programming is the decision to get away from the pure bullshit and vitriol that has become modern American politics.

So what will this mean for ESPN and what is the true impact of sports on the mass market culture? What difference does it make when sports highlights continually loop a player celebrating a three-yard run for a first down when his team is losing by 21 with six minutes left? What is it really about sports and where it is in the 21st century that is right, wrong and just baffling?

We address that and much more with Scott, this episode.

 

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