It's rare (at least in America) to find moderate attitudes toward sports. Either people are rabid fans, clothed in team colors with painted faces and deep hatred for "the other guys"; or they hate sports themselves, eschewing all teams equally, ranting about the meaninglessness of stats and the evil of an entertainment saturated culture.
The rabid fans are clearly misguided, but the sports-haters also miss the point: sports aren't synonymous with professional franchises and paid spectator events. Five kids with a baseball and a bat are able to play baseball fully just as much as the Atlanta Braves, and maybe more because they're playing purely for love of the game. It isn't multi-million dollar contracts or giant stadiums that form the essence of sports.
A dictionary defintion of "sport" would say something like, "Sport is the pursuit of physical and/or mental struggle against individual opponents or teams according to predetermined rules yada yada yada......" But that's really boring and doesn't embrace the reality and innate joy of sweat and sore muscles and exertion and making an impossible shot and keeping the other side from scoring.
Sports have always been divisive. In the old days, knights in armor beat each other up with blunt swords and axes, and were often killed as a result of wounds incurred. Some people thought this was a great way to test manhood, while others thought it was an evil and a sin. In some ways, they were both right. But the ones without an excuse were the audiences who just sat there and watched the violence, cheering and stuffing food in their faces.
Man was not invented merely to sit around drinking beers and eating pretzels dipped in mustard while ogling images on a screen. But he also wasn't invented to be prim and proper all the time. We all have bodies, and we all need to do something other than work sometimes, and sports help us keep our bodies fit while relieving us of the stresses and drudgery of everyday life.
There's not even anything wrong with being a sports fan, as long as you're reasonable about it. Anything that takes up inordinate amounts of our time is an idol, and when we eat, sleep and breathe the Houston Astros (sorry these are all baseball analogies, it's just the best sport), we're not spending enough time eating and sleeping and breathing for Jesus Christ, who is the only reason we can enjoy and appreciate sports in the first place.
God isn't against sports, especially not when we play them amongst ourselves. A lot of homeschoolers put tons of emphasis on mental intelligence while physical improvement kind of goes by the wayside. Sports are a great way to teach character (and, for homeschoolers especially, teamwork) while simply letting kids have fun. They've also been a vital element of every culture throughout time, and we offer our modest collection of sports-related titles here without shame or embarrassment.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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