OP-ED: Sports are anything but pointless

The Editor-in-Chief of The JTAC recently shared his viewpoint on why he believes the sports industry is pointless. I believe the complete opposite of his view. I think sports are more than what they may seem. I am not the most athletic person and tend to be very clumsy as well as the fact I am prone to injuries so I only played soccer when I was in kindergarten. Even though this may be the case for me, I see how beneficial sports are to others.

My brothers are athletic and played football and soccer up until they were in high school. I grew up going to their games and seeing how their teams were together. I always wished that I could have a sense of what it was like to be a part of a team that was close and working together to hopefully pull out a win and then working even harder when they lost. As we all know, kindergarten soccer tends to be a free for all. Even though I learned how to work with others, there tends to not be the sense of team that my brothers had.

While in high school one of my brothers was in band, while I was in Future Farmers of America. FFA isn’t a sport and band could be considered a sport, these organizations taught my brother and I certain skills that I believe translate into what people learn while they are on a sports team. My brother practiced multiple hours a day for band. He was there through most of the summer practicing and making sure the details were perfect. They had the band do work outs and instilled in them teamwork and determination.

I can’t speak for everything that band did for those that were in because I was not in band, but I can speak for what FFA has instilled in me. The FFA motto is “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.” I remember trying to live to this motto every day.

I was in FFA for three years while I was in high school. During that time, I raised three pigs and competed on the public relations Leadership Development Events team twice, the wildlife Career Development Events team and the entomology CDE team.

This organization gave me that sense of a team that I wanted when I was younger. It gave me something to work for. I would get up early to feed my pig, make it to team practices, would go to the barn after school to work with my pig, clean the pen out and then feed them once again. I was determined to make sure that my pig was as put together as possible. I was responsible to make sure that my pig was taken care of.

FFA gave me so much that I believe that sports gives athletes. You become determined. You are able to work on a team. You all have an end goal that you strive for whether it be winning a game or placing in a show. You feel like you have a purpose. Your work ethic is stronger. You become more responsible and become more of a leader. All of these and more are things that become a part of you when participate in sports, FFA, or even band. These are things that you most likely will not learn from just a single class.

Not only does it instill these values into people but there is also the inflow of money brought in from sports that was neglected to be mentioned. Business Insider did a study over  Division I school and the inflow of money that comes from different sports. The NCAA average revenue by sport showed that football revenue average was $31.9 million, men’s basketball revenue average was $8.19 million and women’s basketball revenue average was $1.8 million. We are a Division II school so these numbers would be different for us but look at the substantial impact that was made.

I believe that sports brings people together. For my family, Thanksgiving is always centered around what football game is on and I know a lot of other families that are the same way. Although people will disagree about what team is better and there will inevitably be the bashing when someone’s team wins and the others didn’t but it’s all in good fun.

If sports are pointless then why would so many people travel across the world to watch sports. If sports are pointless then why would athletes spend so many hours to try to get better for themselves and their teams. If sports are pointless then why would people go out of their way to make sure they could make it their to cheer on their college team.

Sports are so much more than just two teams playing each other. It is more than just a game. Sports are not pointless.