Why Can’t We Just Talk About Sports Like Normal People Any More?

Above: The aftermath of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is the perfect representation of the current state of sports fandom

People don’t talk about sports like normal human beings any more.

We don’t just take an event at face value, share our opinions and accept the thoughts of others for what they are. All we do is deal in extremes and anyone that doesn’t share our point of view is either an idiot or trying to be a troll. It’s now unconscionable for someone to have a different take on an athlete, game or event.

The aftermath of Saturday’s colossal Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was a perfect representation of the current state of sports fandom, with two clear sides emerging.

In one corner, you had casual boxing fans that may or may not have spent $100 to watch the fight and came away talking about Mayweather running, the fight being a flop and declaring boxing dead. In the other corner, there were passionate boxing fans, ready to counter-punch every attack at the fight and their favourite sport as quickly as possible.

The arguments played out like schoolyard shouting matches, devolving into a chorus of “No – you’re stupid!” and “You’re obviously just trolling!” because that’s sadly something people legitimately do these days – take the contrarian position just to stir the pot and start arguments.

Neither side relented, ever – they just kept trying to hammer home their respective points regardless of what the other side was saying. There was no dialogue, just arguing and a relentless push to make the other side accept that (a) their opinion was wrong, and (b) “what I’m saying is the only opinion that is valid and you should adopt it now or stop talking.”

The truth, as always, resides in the middle.

Mayweather-Pacquiao wasn’t a great fight – it was a typical Floyd Mayweather tactical outing where he landed more than his opponent and did a great job of avoiding taking much punishment, which is a pretty smart strategy in a competition where not getting punched a lot generally increases your chances of winning.

Is boxing dead? Of course not – Saturday’s fight made insane amounts of money for everyone involved and there are entertaining, highly anticipated fights across numerous platforms (Showtime, HBO, NBC) most weekends. NBC doesn’t jump in on “dead sports,” so saying boxing is dead is obnoxious.

That being said, boxing is also nowhere near as big as it was in previous decades and you can’t just point to the money being made by Saturday’s headline fighters as a counterpoint. The heavyweight division hasn’t been overly compelling since The Brothers Klitschko ascended to the top in tandem and there are fewer mainstream boxers today than there were 20, 30 years ago when casual sports fans were checking out all the marquee fights en masse.

But neither side is willing to acknowledge that middle ground – to allow that “Okay, boxing obviously isn’t dead” or “I can see what you’re saying about it not being as big a deal as it was in the ‘80s” because that’s not how we behalf as sports fans these days.

We now operate in a First Take world where you state your opinion and refuse to budge even an inch because never show anyone that any other opinions are acceptable! If someone doesn’t agree to the points you’re making the first time keep shouting those points at them at increasingly louder volumes until they finally relent!

There were some people that thought Mayweather’s performance was outstanding – another clinic from one of the best strategists to step into the ring in some time. There were others that thought it was craptacular – not enough stick in the “stick and move” and definitely not worth the grandiose billing and hefty price tag.

Both of those opinions are perfectly valid. No one is an idiot for thinking otherwise.

And no, I’m not just trolling.

Related Posts

Previous Post Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *