Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Guiding Light and the NFL

     Football season is upon us, reminding me of the connection between, say, the Chicago Bears and Days of Our Lives.
I’ve never been interested in either. Oh sure, when my kids were little and I was home all day, I really tried to watch soap operas. I’d turn one on when I had pants to hem and everyone was down for their nap, but even though it was wonderful to hear an adult voice, I grew impatient. Everyone in these shows was swanning around in the middle of the day, dressed to the teeth, with no apparent employment, nattering on about the way Phillip looked at Nola and how Nola looked at Joshua.

       And yet there were legions of dedicated viewers who followed the twists and turns of these characters’ lives with more interest in them than in their immediate family.

          I was lucky enough to marry a man immune to basketball and football on TV, and pretty much any other sport, only waking up every spring when the Red Sox take the field. As the years have worn on, I’ve worried right alongside him over the various broken feet of Dustin Pedroia, Jason Veritek, and Victor Martinez. I’ve bemoaned Big Papi’s hitting dry spell and cheered when he was whaling them out of the park again. 
     What I learned was that 50% of sports is the drama. A conversation between fans is as much about the players’ personalities, attitudes, and  physical highs and lows as it is about the strategy of the game itself. Sports may have begun centuries ago as a surrogate for actual battle, but the reality is there’s as much vicarious emotion in soccer or hockey as in the histrionics of any daytime television.

          Face it. Professional sports are soap operas for men.


  1. Well said! I agree one hundred percent. :-)

  2. Ha! I guess that's true. What I've never understood is WHY we need a surrogate for battle. It seems like we'd all just be happy that we weren't fighting and leave it at that! (I am not a sports person, as you can tell.)

    I used to try to watch soaps in high school and college, but I never got very into them. They always bored me.

  3. never thought of it like that but you are right.

  4. Football is a great reason to leave the house.

  5. I know some who would not exit a burning house in favor of watching the game.

  6. And for women like me. I love the personal aspects of the players but only get totally involved when my Marlins take the field.

  7. Perhaps that is what they have become and why I am not addicted to them.

  8. Hey, I like this post. It's sad comment on sports that they are similar to a soap opera. I don't watch sports. Not enough game! Too much chatter!

  9. I never had any interest in daily soaps, Days of Our Lives was never watched until my mum came to visit. She watched every day for the two weeks she was there; on day one a woman in the show went into "labor" by day 12 she still hadn't had that baby...
    what a load of horse hooey!!


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