While I have no desire to put a damper anyone’s enjoyment of today’s Super Bowl or this month’s Olympic Games, let me share with you some reasons why I won’t be watching the Super Bowl or much of the Olympics.
What’s Wrong with the Super Bowl?
In January 2015, I posted an article titled “Super Bowl Idolatry.” I don’t need to repeat what I wrote then, although I would be happy for you to read (or re-read) that here. I still think about the same as I did three years ago—although now I am having serious thoughts about not watching any NFL games next season.
One major reason for giving up watching football is the “violence” that is part of the game. In the first half of their last game of the season, it was painful to see Travis Kelce, the Kansas City Chiefs’ star tight end, get up wobbly and helped off the field after a hard hit caused his second concussion in three months.
So, in addition to my objection to the over-hyped, over-commercialized, “idolatrous” nature of the Super Bowl, also because of the violent nature of the game that injuries skillful athletes such as Kelce, who is just one of many, I will not be watching again this year.
What’s Wrong with the Olympics?
But what's wrong with the Olympics, whose participants are amateurs rather than over-paid professionals? Well, I’ve written some about that before, too, and I invite you to read “Questioning the Olympics,” the article I posted (here) on Feb. 15, 2010.
Added to the misgivings I had then, there is now the sordid story of the sexual abuse of U.S. Olympic female gymnasts by the team physician. More than 150 women accused the doctor of sexual abuse, but he was not sentenced until this year although charges against him go back to 1997.
And then there is the Tonya Harding story. I haven’t seen the new movie about her, but I do remember the sordid events involving her prior to the 1994 Winter Olympics. It seems that she was psychologically abused by her mother, partly to get her into the Olympics.
The pressure on (especially?) girls to get into the Olympics and to win a medal is so strong that psychological abuse is largely overlooked, and even the response to sexual abuse has been shamefully slow.
Isn’t North Korea’s Participation Good?
One of the noteworthy aspects of this month’s Olympic Games is the participation of North Korea. For athletes from both North and South Korea to march in together under one flag and for the Korean women’s ice hockey team to have players from both countries is remarkable and perhaps a sign of hope. But maybe not.
I would like to be as positive about this as the college student who wrote “The Olympic Truce: Giving peace a chance,” a Jan. 31 piece posted on the website of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Sadly, I think that North Korea’s “Olympics rapprochement” is likely to be a “global scam,” as explained in this Jan. 24 article on The American Conservative website.
As you regular readers know, I don’t usually cite TAC (or agree with most of their articles), but I’m afraid the author may be right in this case: Kim’s action is likely “a ruse . . . designed to give North Korea more time to get to the only thing it really does want: a nuclear weapon.”
So, sadly, these are some of the reasons I won’t be watching the Super Bowl today or (much of) the Olympics this month.