Some news is more noteworthy than other news, right? Well, of course. But what’s the criteria? Yes, each of us has her/his own criteria – but what is it about news that just absolutely grabs our attention, and won’t let go?
I tell people that there are three things that humans are fascinated by: 1) Fire. Fire? Absolutely – have you ever had a good stare at a fireplace? Or been able to take your eyes off the burning building, or burning car? Or, the forest fire footage? Ok, so fire is one. What else? Well, I’d say two is water. C’mon now. We all love a fountain, right? Even when we have a fountain that isn’t working, as long as there is water and we have the hope for the water working its way through the fountain – this is enchanting, yes? And then of course, there’s the ocean. Or the bay. Or the river. Or the waterfalls. Yes – we love, Love, LOVE the water. Which brings us to number 3 – perhaps obviously, #3 is other people’s tragedy. Yes – this is a function of the human condition. We are fascinated by other people’s tragedy. Sure, sure. We like to hear and see the stories of success – but the stories of success are made only better if there was some sort of overcoming – to rise above the challenges; to stiff-arm the setbacks. Yes, we are fascinated by the tragic – particularly when it is happening, or has happened to others.
But in a media-rich environment that punches its way into almost every moment of our lives – when we have to be contemplative about what we let in and what we do not – and when we are bombarded with media and marketing messages; for 24 hours a day…well, certainly there are those matters which are barely more than mundane.
So with all the hype, and the glorification, and claims for hyperbole – all this that has surrounded this Olympics, the competitions, the venues, the journeys, and the sacrifices to get to this month – August 2016 – perhaps we are over-glamorizing the Olympics? Nooo. Not possible. Perhaps what is even more likely, is that we are just not able to give the Olympics its due. It’s just too big. The sacrifice required is beyond our contemplation? Well – maybe.
So I thought of this little exercise. Since we’re talking – Olympics – let’s keep on with a narrow scope – but we’ll widen it just a wee bit – to sports. Yes. All sports. This is still a fairly narrow scope, but wide enough – let’s try it, shall we? So – Across all sports. In your experience. What are your top three (3) “Yeah, whatever” moments?
Why do this – why have this exercise? I submit to you that by acknowledging the mundane, we may more greatly appreciate the fantastic – So, here we go….
Wait. I should explain a little more, yes? By definition, a “Yeah, whatever” moment is when you hear or see a story, in this case, a sports story, that completely fails. It doesn’t grab your attention. It doesn’t grab your heart. It doesn’t spark your mind. In fact, it may even be a little annoying. Like, for example, to me, Alex Rodriquez’s entire career has been a “Yeah, whatever” moment. Now you go. Send me – or tell me, your top three “Yeah, whatever” moments.
By Dr. Rodney J. Blackman
Dr. Blackman is the Chair of Recreation Management at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.