As a kid and young adult, I LOVED sports. I watched sports more than I watched cartoons. And not just football, basketball, and baseball. I watched any sport that was televised. Hockey, badminton, diving, it really didn’t matter. If it was a form of athletic competition, I was watching it. This is when ESPN was coming into existence, and they showed everything. And you still had Wide World of Sports on ABC. I was in heaven.
When I would miss some games, I always had SportsCenter to help me catch up. Some highlights, and the box score. Just like the paper, or the nightly news, except without the news. It was great. But, like almost everything else in life, too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. We started to get more and more highlights. And the sportscasters putting their own twist on things. Then you had the Top Tens popping up everywhere. It really became about the entertainment value they could give you in that hour.
At first, I didn’t mind it at all. I enjoyed the top tens, even looked forward to them. I would look for potential top ten plays in every game I watched. It was one more thing to enhance the enjoyment of the games. Then, I started noticing players actually going for the big play. It was forget the layup, I got to get this dunk so I can be on the SportsCenter Top Ten. Players started going for the big hit, instead of the sure tackle. Let me get this slapshot instead of making the extra pass. It was too crazy, but it was definitely noticeable.
Jump forward a few years, and now it’s all I see. Everybody is going for that big play. Everybody wants to do something extra so they can be in the Top Ten. You see it when players score touchdowns, or make an interception, or hit a home run. All you see is showboating. Yes, I know this flamboyounce helps the ratings, and gets the casual fan. But, for hardcore fans like me, the games look sloppy. It’s tough to watch these guys getting paid millions of dollars, and they can’t make a simple tackle. When I see guys botch routine lay ups because they are trying to throw down the dopest jam, I turn the channel. I want to be able to enjoy the sports I watch.
The fundamentals are what lead to the spectacular. That holds true in all things in life. Slash is a great guitar player because he knows the basic notes. The great dancers can pull off the spectacular dance move only because they have a solid foundation. Without that foundation, everything else will fall apart. I know the trend is pretty much irreversible, which makes me appreciate the fundamental greats while we still have some out there. That’s why I love to watch the Tim Duncan’s of the world. They play the game the way it’s suppose to be taught. And that’s a beautiful thing.