It’s been said that the Sports page is so popular because that’s where the good news is (that is, of course, outside Washington). As opposed to the rest of the paper that dwells on shortcomings and controversy, the Sports section celebrates accomplishment. Moreover, it satisfies an instinctual craving for competition and for victory, and provides daily proof of the reward for dedication and hard work. True, there are plenty of scandals and controversy in sports, too, but they generally involve cheating of some sort, showing that even in scandal, sports can teach us all a lesson about fair play.
Perhaps sports shouldn’t be the multi-billion dollar industry that it has become over the last century, but the fact remains that people do care, and care very much, about the results of these contests. As I said above, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. So, as you become absorbed by a bunch of boys throwing an orange ball through an 18-inch ring, don’t be ashamed. Just sit back, crack open a cold one and revel in your humanity.