Wednesday

Football, Basketball, Soccer, Hockey--Don't Let it Take Over Your Home

Nowadays more and more women are sitting in front of the television along with the men watching the game. I tend to compare television sports to the soap operas I use to watch with my mother and grandmother as a child (especially WWE.)

Years ago, I remember the mood of the room changing when my relatives discovered that one of their soap opera characters was being attacked. Sometimes their negative attitude lingered away from the television screen for part of the day as a result. The child that was allowed to sit and watch soaps with them would then be told that she was "in the way...go play..." WOW! The impact of television! Mom would be in a bad mood and so would grandma. It was the same negative sometimes angry-filled emotions that I also had to cope with over the years after my mother watched her beloved Steelers lose a few too many games.

I recall many Sundays smelling a dinner consisting of: a great rump roast, peas, carrots, mashed potatoes, greens, cornbread, and homemade gravy along with a pound cake dessert or sweet potato pie slice. You would think with a great meal like that it was a pleasant, peaceful Sunday, right? Nope, not when the Steelers were playing. Mom was screaming, yelling and telling us children (my sister and I) to "be quiet the game was on!" and sometimes I did pray the team would win so she would be in a good mood. My dad wasn't as emotional and usually stayed away from all of us on Sundays because another work week would begin the next day. From age five until teen years, I witnessed my mom, who to this day is still a huge fan of the Steelers, scream at the TV about bad calls. She has had her share of VIP passes to watch the games, thanks to my Dad's former employer's connections.

So why am I bothered by the football, basketball seasons or any other sport seasons when it comes to the family? Because of the distractions and the negativity surrounding them. People drink during games (thank God my already hyper mother doesn't do that,) some cuss, fight, hit their women, spank their children more, and cry over games!

Just like the soaps, I know what I am about to say will ruffle a few readers' feathers, they are scripted. That's right I said scripted! You may say, "How do you know?" I would have to say, "Conduct your own research to prove that I'm wrong." Yes, there are genuine referee mistakes, serious injuries etc. But then there are also events that are created to get more people to tune in to certain games, picks, etc. ie.) Check out SuperBowl 2009 and you will learn that it was the most watched in television history, hmmm. Think about all of the events that led up to the Saints winning that game. Then think about all of the events that lead up to other cities winning the Superbowl. Think: There's a lot of money needed to run a city!

I read articles where event organizers are trying to figure out ways to get more women to watch sports on TV. If you know anything about sitting in a room with a group of women, they love drama! The marketers know what women like and they also know what men like so why not find a way to make the masses happy, right? If they can't get women to tune in, they sure know how to distract them. For example, why not put a series of Denzel Washington movies on several different cable stations like they did in Los Angeles not that long ago to keep women away from the men while the game was on.

If you ever watched a sports game on TV, you have seen the bad calls or heard your male relatives yell about them. They are referring to something unfair that happened on the field while the ref pretends as if he didn't see something or makes a call that never should have been made allowing the other "favored" team to catch up. With all the TV cameras watching the event, you would think the camera has final say with all of the calls, but it doesn't. I wouldn't be surprised to start seeing some tricks with the television replay. You thought you saw one thing, but once it is replayed (unless you have your VCR recording) you will see something totally different. It's coming, if it isn't already going on now. One's eyes clearly saw that a rule wasn't violated, yet the refs will call a foul anyway. Well, how do you think a bad call plays out in the real world in that little house or apartment in the small county of XYZ with the drunk uncle, angry spouse, or temperamental teen? There is arguing, fussing, bad moods all day, and a host of other negativity in the home just because of a d*mn game! A game that the average man will never play in! A game that doesn't help one spiritually, mentally or physically. A game that robs a father's time with his wife and his children. A game that upsets people for nothing more than the dollar bill! A game that has become a modern day idol! Then some wonder why God doesn't answer one's prayers.

Speed up to decades later and now I am a mother with sons who are passionate about the games they play in school. I am starting to see the same passion is carrying over onto some of those scripted sports games on the TV screen and yes I am concerned--very concerned. So I have been talking with dad about what we should say to the children when the team picked to win doesn't and how are we going to tone down the growing excitement for sports (scripted TV sports that is)?

I personally believe it's okay to watch some sports (that's right only select ones are watched by my children,) but what I don't believe is allowing sporting events or any events become an idol in one's household. How many banners, trophies, numbers, certificates, etc. does one have to display? I like what one father said about the numbers on the back of the young boys shirts. He said, "I would never let my son wear another man's number. I want him to wear his own numbers." I have personally witnessed and took a few physical assaults behind a temperamental viewer's obsession over a scripted game. Those orchestrated bad calls and behind the scenes sports betting may create more viewer interests, but the truth is there are families hurting because some just can't handle being hyped up about a certain team only for that team to suddenly have a great fall for no good reason!

I encourage you to do your own research on past games. Pick your favorite sports and you will see a pattern of foolish calls by refs. Interesting enough, during some of the most important games. You may have asked yourself, "What is going on?" while witnessing one unfair call after the other. But kept on allowing yourself to be mind controlled into believing that the team wasn't doing well, thanks to the announcers and your sports journalists.

Bad calls have happened so much over the years, that when you bring an argument like this to a sports fan, he or she just shrugs his or her shoulders as if no big deal. But when you say, "You know those games, some of those events are scripted." Watch the anger that grows in his or her eyes. The fan says, "Prove it." But the truth is, they can't handle the truth! Rather, when you show them the patterns of games in the past, the history of sports-betting, the tell-all books out there exposing the industry, and the commissioner, team owners and agents affiliations, they don't want to hear it. Unless you are one of the elite, even after researching, you still won't get the whole story, but you will at least get enough knowledge to make a determination whether it's even worth watching the game much less getting emotional about it.

In closing, if you are a mother who cares about her children, tell your children the truth and remind them that everyone can't be "The next great..."there is only so much space on the team. Rather, encourage your children to be the best they can in whatever their destined to become! Your child's talents can be found in this life by getting him or her involved in a little bit of this and that and not just sports!

Nicholl McGuire

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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