Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sports, Politics, Honesty, Loyality and the Like


OK, I have to admit neither Jim nor I are into sports that much.  For me this is a complete backlash from my childhood.  I think every conversation I ever had with my Dad or brothers (in those days) had some game playing on the radio or TV in the background.  The fact that they were looking at the screen 80% of the time didn't enhance the communication levels much either.  They were fanatics.  It didn't matter what kind of ball it was, it was the focal point of everyday.  Baseball, football, basketball, golf, bowling, whatever.  Ugh.

The only sport I enjoyed watching as a student was basketball.  I enjoyed playing that and can still beat a lot of people in that sport with my free throws.  I might add it has knocked the socks of some unsuspecting people like our grandson, Ross, much to his chagrin and Grampa's delight.  I also played a lot of volleyball in school.  And as young marrieds we went to several Giants games in San Francisco and that was fun.  But as I kid, during the World Series or the Rose Bowl, I could have run away from home and gotten to Nevada before I was missed.  My Mom and I were utterly defenseless when it came to a ball.  So that definitely put a damper on my sports enthusiasm.

For Jim, I think his lack of interest stems from all the other things that fill up his time.  More often than not, we are on our way to the Super Bowl Party hosted by one of my brothers and have absolutely no clue who is even playing.  Yeah, it's pretty bad.  Thank heavens for mobile devices and Google on the fly, to help us appear a little more enthused.   There is one exception to our disinterest in sports.  We do love the Olympics.  But once every four years hardly denotes a sports enthusiast.  When Jim was young he wrestled and did track but didn't play a lot of other sports.  He was the exemplary Dad though and muscled through coaching little league and attended all the kids games through out their growing up years.  Me too.  But at the end of the day...we are just not that connected to any kind of a ball.

In fact, many times during my adult life I have been curious about the sporting arena.  I have seen  grown men cry when their teams lose, demonstrating extreme loyalty.  I have seen people I worked with bet lots of money and mostly lose it on pro games.  I have seen fights break out over games in places where fighting is not appropriate in the least, like cultural halls in meeting houses.  I have seen reasonable parents make complete idiots of themselves at ball fields where their child in a player.  I guess we all have.  I guess that all falls into the realm of the natural man and /or woman.  In that respect I get it.

There is one aspect of some fans that I do not really understand though.  When their favorite team is a winner their loyalty is intact.  However when they lose...hmm, not so much.  Some sports fans can be so fickle.  Not everyone can be a winner, right?  Just sayin'.

You are probably thinking at this point what has this to do with politics?  Well, just last week I was saying to my friend that when I get involved in politics it gives me a big insight into sports and how fanatical fans feel.  If I let myself, I can get totally swept away in the Presidential Election years.  I wrote a post about this that is found here.  I said how tired I was about the media slant and how it is just so annoying.

Well, some interesting things have happened to restore some of my non-existent faith in the media since the first Presidential Debate on October 3rd.  I have actually noticed that some diehards have had to admit their man failed miserably in that debate.  Some hemmed and hawed and said it was a draw, but for the most part I saw honesty in their reactions.  Now that was refreshing.  I don't think I have ever written something with 'media' and 'refreshing' in the same sentence before.

Of course there are the people that are loyal to their man no matter what, like a sports fan and that is to be expected.   And there are others who are fickle and just want to be on the winning team.
And there are some that are open and even change their minds, even doing an about face.  I like to think that they have learned or discovered something new.   I fear the media does such a number on so many of us that it is good to see people look at another point of view that is based on their own viewing of a debate.  We need more live viewings of political things like we have Monday Night Football where there is no time or space for editing or the media bias to creep in.

This reaction is brought about by our past experience with slanted reporting and unethical journalism.  But I have liked the more honest responses to the debates in the press.  Although the skeptic in me is hesitant, I am trying to be optimistic about a hopeful change in a medium that has been going south for a long, long time.  It is nice to just have the story reported without so much subjectivity.  After all isn't that their job?  Of course when they are discussing it in their our parlors they are as entitled to their opinions as  the rest of us.  However, when reporting the news as professionals I like them to stick to the facts.  That would be totally refreshing.  That is loyalty to ethical journalism.  Perhaps it is a little too Polyanna-ish but I sure would love to see it.

The correlation between sports and politics are good but they also differ in many ways. Sports are entertainment and have little long term effects on our daily lives.  Although politics can be entertaining, the long term effects are pretty real.

I thought this one was pretty funny 
and entertaining from the VP Debate

The way the sports announcer does a call by call during a sporting event, is how I would like to see things in the political arena relayed in the media.  Our only opportunity to see the real candidates is live.  That leaves the debates for most of us who cannot follow politicians around in person making personal observations.  Seeing them live guarantees they are not being edited to fit someone else's political hopes, special interests or agenda.  In the best of all worlds, we should to be able to rely on the truth as we receive it on media reported events.  Short of that, it seems to require an endless amount of research into every nook and cranny of the public records in hopes of finding something to base intelligent decisions upon.  The rhetoric and campaign propaganda spots on TV just don't cut it.  It all comes down to loyalty and ethics and honesty and trust and being responsible.  Sadly, we find our world spiraling downward and away from these things.

But just this week I felt a little glimmer of hope when I saw people telling it like it really was during that first debate.  But then again, it was just like a sporting event in that is was a live broadcast.  It is hard to call a touchdown when it clearly wasn't. 


Stephen Kent Ehat said...

Romney vs. Obama was a boxing match. Of the fifteen rounds, President Obama played "rope-a-dope" (look it up, it's a guy thing) and did it for the entire fifteen rounds, never coming out of his corner. Scorecard: Romney 15, Obama 0.

Ryan vs. Biden was a laughing match. Disgusting, un-presidential, demeaning, and immature are some of the nicer things to say about Mr. Biden. Ryan was steady and knowledgeable, deficient on only his ability to articulate a clearly superior role for the American military in the Afghanistan war (of which Mr. Biden took unfair advantage by one of his repeated interruptions). Score: 50 to 50 on substance; 100 to 0 on style.

Barbara said...

Bon - why on earth are you not authoring books?
Love you,

Sister Susie said...

We need not to leave out the importance of knowledgable referees! I believe there should have been a large penalty if not removal from the game given to the moderator for the fouls she made with Robin and the Joker!

Marie said...

Well written and thought provoking as always Bonnie. Mitt's my man. I only wish I had a vote! xxoo

Bonnie said...

Steve and Susie,

I really enjoyed how you carried on with the sports analogy and couldn't agree more with either of you! Martha, a died-in-the-wool Obama supporter is very strong in foreign affairs and knew that that would be Biden's long suit. And his incessant interrupting was just plain rude. Neutrality in a moderator should be demanded.

I blow the whistle on the whole shooting match! And just to throw bowling in too;just for holding his own with all the gutter ball fouling from Biden...I think Ryan deserved a strike. I know those aren't exactly the rules of bowling but, hey...who uses rules anyway?

Bonnie said...

Barbara, thank you for thinking I could author a book. If I knew what to write about I might consider it. In the meantime....I blog. Love you too! Bon

Bonnie said...

Marie, the UK needs you but so do we. Just knowing you are in our camp is a good thing. I wish you could somehow cast a vote. Now if it was President Uchtdorf you'd
find a way I bet. Smiling! B

Caroline Craven said...

Hi Bonnie - long time, no comment. Sorry about that. I get pretty involved in other stuff and forget to check blogs that I love reading (your & NIcki's).

This season, I actually prefer sports (even golf) over the politics. I'm tired of the name-calling and deplorable lack of substance that seems to come from the left. Admittedly, I'm conservative in most of my thinking, but even disregarding my own bias, this has been nothing but gutter-sniping campaigning from some quarters. I'm not sure if the nation reflects its leadership or not, I hope I don't reflect the kind of leadership we've seen lately, and certainly we can all do better. It's time to climb out of this depression - economically, politically, religiously and characteristically. It's time to live on a higher level, both as individuals in this great nation and as leaders of this great nation. We need to get back to the human basics of decency, honesty and integrity, and elect leaders who reflect said qualities. Just my opinion! And, yes, you should write a book - just pick any subject, you'll do well.

Caroline Craven said...

One last thought, compare the political climate to our last General Conference. The difference is astounding, and I had a completely different feeling after watching General Conference than I did after watching the VP debate and the second Presidential Debate. Duh!