Overblown sports deserve to see the clock run out


Jonathan Swift had “A Modest Proposal” and so do I.

Let’s do away with all college and professional baseball, basketball and football teams. I, for one, would live.

After making it through March without Madness and April without Opening Day, and accepting the cancellations of numerous games across a range of sports, I came to a realization.

Who needs it? Not me.

I am proposing the elimination of all major college and professional sports. Keep college softball. The players don’t take drugs or leave after one season. The coaches don’t make more than the GNP of some small countries, like Nick Saban does.

Scandals are increasing. The Astros steal signs, legacies are being ruined by performance-enhancing drugs, salaries are ridiculous, and I can’t escape the Broncos even when they haven’t played a game in six months.

“One and done” has ruined college basketball. Thanks, Kentucky.

I have followed my team to a dozen states, stayed by the radio late at night to hear games that weren’t being televised, and was found, slumped and weeping, when Tyus Edney dribbled the length of the floor in 4.8 seconds in 1995. And scored the winning basket.

I can watch that game and hundreds — thousands — of others on cable or on my computer the same way that I can watch hundreds of my favorite films over and over.

In other words, there are already enough great games in the library to last from now until eternity.

We’re still watching “I Love Lucy” and there haven’t been any new episodes since 1957.

Why not “I Love Flutie”?

Billions of dollars are spent and billions of dollars are earned by and because of college and professional sports.

Why not re-route the dough into education? Pay elementary, middle-school and high-school teachers what they’re worth.

The same for college faculty, especially art teachers.

More than 54,000 bridges in America need repairs.

Surely, sports bar owners aren’t going to be happy with this. My idea would establish a 10-year plan to compensate bars and restaurants and hotels near stadiums for the loss in revenue, and send each of them candy on what would have been Super Bowl Sunday or the seventh game.

College football, partly, was intended to give young restless lads something physical to do after the Civil War.

What becomes of the restless lads who come out of high school and don’t have a college or professional career to look forward to?

I haven’t thought that far ahead.

I am not proposing the abolition of sports: only the ones that have become grotesque, beyond logic and proportion.

Alabama’s Nick Saban is not the highest-paid college coach. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, at $9.3 million a year, is. Madness.

Charlie Blackmon? Great player. Made $21 million in 2019. Madness.

The Rockies reached the World Series in 2007. For Rockies fans, it will never get any better than that. Watch reruns.

On September 24, 1994, Cordell Stewart threw a 64-yard pass for a touchdown on the final play of a game between Colorado and Michigan. It is still breaking my father’s heart in heaven.

For CU fans, it will never get any better than that. Watch reruns.

What’s-his-name Elway won back-to-back Super Bowls. For Broncos fans, it will never get any better than that. Watch reruns.

Let’s call the whole thing off.

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.


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