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OP-ED: The sports industry is pointless

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Sports are pointless in the 21st century. This is not an attack on the Texans or TexAnns, I am very proud of all the things that our sports teams are achieving and doing this season. However, at the end of the day, they are still pointless. The sports industry is an industry which fuels itself, causes unnecessary injuries and is costly. 

Take football for example. The whole point of football is a group of guys who are aligned with a school or a professional organization, are trying to run over a line on a field to score. Once one group of guys scores more than the other group of guys, a winner is declared. If a team is so good at running a ball over a line, they will eventually get to a championship of some sort. In this championship they will receive a trophy and a ring. And that’s it. In a few months the football team will start up again trying to run a ball over a line in a field and beat all the other teams. You can take this same line of logic and apply it to every sport.  I am not discrediting the skill and ability it takes to play sports, they all have more talent in their sport than I do. But ultimately, what do sports achieve? The only purpose of a sports team is to defeat another sports team. Outside of that, they have ultimately no purpose.

I do understand that winning championships can bring attention to the school and increase applications. However, are there not better ways to receive attention for a high school or college? Why not focus on graduation rates and the academics at the college, Ivy league colleges have football teams, but ivy league colleges also have an amazing academics presence at their college and very successful graduates.

Many supporters of sports will argue that sports teach teamwork, camaraderie and discipline. Yes, the sports will teach them that. But that is not the only way to learn those skills. I believe that I have teamwork, camaraderie and discipline; but I don’t attribute that to sports alone. Those skills can be achieved through a variety of ways. 

The sports industry also leads to countless injuries which happen at nearly every level. Take Pee-Wee sports. The athletes are young children who will tear their ACL and have to wear a brace at 13 years old. A 13 year old had to have an ACL surgery and will forever has a messed up knee, because they were playing a sport which ultimately means nothing. At the professional level the injuries only get worse. According to the Brain Injury Research Institute there are an estimated 1.6-3.8 million sports and recreation related concussions which happen every year. According to BIRI in 2001-05 an estimated $2.4 million sports related injuries occurred in children and youth aged 5-18. 

There are quite literally millions of people who are getting injured each and every year for a sport and they probably won’t ever play professional, yet those individuals have still life altering injuries. 

The sports industry and sports in general is also highly expensive. Tarleton is a perfect example of that. The new stadium which Tarleton is building cost $10 million just through private funds. Even without the money from Tarleton and the A&M system, $10 million is a lot. How many buildings or departments at Tarleton could use that money to fund new research projects? How many academic buildings could be upgraded? How much could Tarleton fund back into student success? This also accounts for all the money in Tarleton’s budget which also goes to purchase jerseys, hire the best coaches, buy new equipment, paying for trainers and the list goes on. 

Once again, I am not attacking athletes at Tarleton. They are very talented athletes who are dominating their sports right now. But, in 10 years people will remember that Tarleton helped fund amazing research projects and discover things. The sports industry is an expensive industry which causes unnecessary injuries and is only relevant inside the sports industry. 

9 Comments

9 Responses to “OP-ED: The sports industry is pointless”

  1. Reed Baize on November 13th, 2018 9:55 PM

    As a former J-TAC editor, I feel that this editorial wasn’t created simply to generate “buzz.” If that was your goal, then I commend you for your coup d’état.
    That said, I find your reasoning flawed and erroneous. Granted, it IS your opinion but you cannot underestimate the reach of a successful athletic program. Did you know that the D2 Football Championship game last season was shown on television in 50 states, Canada and Mexico? What avenue does Tarleton have to reach that many potential enrollees? If they make it there this year, which they have a very good chance of doing,) they will have reached a level of exposure that would not be possible otherwise.
    Be strong in your beliefs but be wise in the way your use your platform. If this is strictly an incendiary topic to promote discussion then you have succeeded. That said, promoting flammable discourse is not the job of the media. Their job is to report the news: a fact all too often lost on today’s journalists.

  2. Tyler on November 14th, 2018 12:06 AM

    Sounds like to me that you have never taken an economics class. The amount of revinue that a teams produces doesn’t all go to the team. It goes to the community around them. That involves financially supporting schools and basically anything they want to put them money towards. Sports also forms a community to which people of different backgrounds can relate. With your logic basically anything is pointless. I mean who would want to have a goal and meet it anyways?

  3. Mike Hernandez on November 14th, 2018 8:02 AM

    I respect anyone’s opinion or stance on athletics, I do agree there is minimal research or practical experience in this articles approach to truly identify what is on this persons mind. If it was to create a stir, good or average job in doing so.
    Former college athlete or not, if a person does not see the self efficacy, character, class, and discipline, of being affiliated with a successful sports team develops, that person has closed their eyes to society and is not even close to being socially aware.

  4. Emily Miller on November 14th, 2018 2:21 PM

    This is ridiculous “sports have no purpose” what the heck… 1. They teach you to set goals and once you achieve those goals to Serb higher and higher until you’re the best version of yourself by trying to better yourself. 2. They teach you social skills and team work. There are so many kids these days who haven’t played sports who have no idea how to interact in a social setting. 3. It also teaches you to work with other people with a common goal. 4. Teaches you to be selfish by going for what you want and unselfish in making sure those with you can achieve it as well… I’ve played sports my entire life even a year at a juco my freshman year. This. Is. Absolutely. Ridiculous.
    I always feel people are entitled to their opinion but when people are ignorant to facts and completely disregard the truth is baffling.

  5. Emily Miller on November 14th, 2018 5:40 PM

    As a DIFFERENT Emily Miller perspective on this topic I think that I definitely don’t agree with every point Joseph has made but I do respect him for posting an article containing an opinion that the majority doesn’t agree with. I also believe that since this is an opinion piece it’s important to respect that. People who are creating agendas just to attack Joseph personally automatically lose the argument due to disrespect. I appreciate people who go against the status quo regardless of the hate they get. Good job Joseph!

  6. M L Lewis on November 14th, 2018 6:36 PM

    I would invite anyone who may agree with this opinion to find the Mike and Mike – Bill Curry, 2x Super Bowl Champion: 11/17/17 interview on YouTube and cue it at about the 12:40 mark in the interview and take a listen to what (in this case football, since that was the op ed example used) sports has the ability to do. Injuries also happen to people who step off curbs wrong. Do we shelter ourselves from everything because we fear pain? The benefits surely can outweigh the negative. I get it, it’s not for everyone. Neither is chess. But to say it’s pointless, is in itself, the same.

  7. BofaDeezNuts on November 14th, 2018 8:19 PM

    You dumb af

  8. Travis Stevens on November 14th, 2018 9:16 PM

    Pointless? And yet the writer of this article claims that other experiences can teach one the same valuable lessons as sports….. hypocrisy?? Confused?? I’m not sure. It’s a new generation of of news writing, facts are no longer necessary it seems. Please have something that holds water before publishing another erroneous article like this. Truth. Not opinion

  9. James Brice on November 14th, 2018 10:28 PM

    Yes sports can cause lots of injuries, but sports are a choice by that person. When he/she decides to join a sport they know of the risk they are taking. No one ever forces that person to join that sport. They do it out of the love for the game and the desire of being part of something more. Everyone that has played on a sports team understands what it’s like to be part of team. It’s not about the trophy or the rings. Instead it’s about meeting different people and getting to know them like there your family. You make a bond like no other and it can’t be replaced.

    You also said all sports are pretty much stupid. So your including the Olympics and the Special Olympics which brings countries and people all together.

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