As the years pass by, I find myself wondering more and more, what is sports really all about? For myself, I try to view sports as entertainment and a pastime. Unfortunately, I think that the majority of the nation views it as strictly a business.
I remember the days when athletes would go out and give their all to be the best in their respected sport. The athlete would compete for the sake of participation, not for endorsements and large amounts of cash. Nowadays, the athletes main concern is how much money a certain team is willing to give up for that athletes talents. Give me a break!
The athlete should not worry about such a petty thing as pay, instead, the athlete should be honored to be chosen to compete on a professional team. With the status of professional sports star, of course there will be a high salary paid to each individual athlete, but when the main concern is pay, that is when a sport becomes uninteresting.
As a sports fan, I find myself dedicated to certain teams. I am a loyal fan to my favorite teams and would never even contemplate changing my team preference. Growing up, athletes are the same way. The thoughts of competing for their favorite team boosts their spirits to compete at a professional level. These days however, it seems as if these dreams of playing for a favorite team are out the window. The main concern is what team is willing to pay the most for an athlete to play for their franchise. Forget about team loyalty.
As a sports writer, I have the opportunity to attend many sporting events in the county. My favorite events are the ones held at the junior high level. These athletes compete for the sake of fun and dedication to the sport in which they compete in. The athletes give their all at this level and the determination, along with the excitement is written across each athletes face.
The biggest thrill for these athletes is to have their parents attend a game and support them as they compete. If the athletes picture happens to appear in the paper, this is a huge accomplishment for the athlete. These youngsters emplify the meaning of sports. The fun, excitement, and entertainment that sports are designed to promote is obvious when attending a junior high event.
It seems to me as if by age, the desire to compete and reach the high status of professional athlete increases. Whether it be for the fame and success, along with the high pay, or for the achievement of reaching this level of competition is unknown, but I do think that professional sports is a far more better career than any other I can think of, simply because of the luxuries that accompany being a sports athlete.
The new trend seems to be athletes skipping college to compete for a professional team. I think that professional teams should think twice before offering high school athletes this opportunity. By drafting athletes fresh out of high school, the team denies the athlete an education. You never know, an injury or retirement just might lead to an athlete actually working for a living, with or without a proper education.
Now I'm not saying that I do not enjoy professional sports, because I do. The one thing that I do find myself wondering while watching professional sports is, why can't we find better causes to spend money on than sports. There are starving children not only in foreign lands, but here in the United States. The homeless rate also continues to grow, but we as a nation would rather be entertained by high paid athletes than see the money aid those in need of financial support.
My final word of advice would be to all those athletes who compete for the enjoyment of competition, never let this excitement die, especially for something as petty as cash.