American Ninja Warrior

Is this the future of sports? If you ask my brother, you’ll get a big yes. He cajoled the whole crew into watching the finale during our family vacation a few weeks ago and it was quite special. Gail and I found it very inspirational. These dudes are doing some serious training for basically no money.

I gotta tell you, I’m getting sick of big time sports. I don’t know what it is specifically – the raping, the cheating, the drugs, the drama, all of the above, I’m not sure. I’m formulating a plan to detach from aspects of major sports beginning as early as September 1st when ND plays Navy in Ireland. I’m considering taking a year off from college athletics. Operative word: considering.

Think about it, that time I waste on Thursday night and Saturday (all day) could be spent getting in shape for American Ninja Warrior, or at least trying to simulate it. Heck, maybe I should take up a non-competitive sport like parkour.

CYNICISM ALERT! Isn’t that where our priorities should be? …taking care of the self before watching so-called college students get their brains scrambled so wealthy donors can brag about their football team.

That’s a dangerous pact though, football does a lot of good. How do you support men’s golf or women’s rowing without football money? I don’t think you do, period, which is sad. But what’s the point of college sports anyhow? Do they drive participation in general? Does participation, in turn, drive a healthier society? I think not. Participation in sports has been growing for decades but we continue to get more obese. The TV ratings for the Olympics this year were bigger than ever, growing just like our collective waist lines. Our sports culture has had the opposite of the intended effect, we aren’t getting stronger, leaner, and faster like our sports heroes, we’re becoming expert TV watchers.

And what about the community aspect of watching football with friends and family members? It’s a shared experience that has the power to bring friends closer and cement tighter bonds between siblings. Are we, am I, ready to forsake this for some juvenile act of civil disobedience? How do I handle it if my friends get together for a college football game watch? Do I miss out on all of the non-sports discussion and relationship building that goes on at these events?

These are hard questions, I don’t have answers.

Oh well, I gotta bat those around, in the mean time, I need to clear the decks for getting ready for the end-of-days. If you’re a ninja, you really don’t have to be too concerned about being a survivor.