In February we had the SuperBowl, March had its Madness, April hoops bring May NBA playoffs. Just yesterday while sitting in a restaurant I witnessed 30 televisions with the following: girls college softball, professional golf, professional baseball, IndyCar racing, NASCAR racing, professional beach volleyball, professional bowling and professional tennis and they were all live coverage. There were two tuned to sports news coverage and one to vintage sports replays. I was sweating just sitting there, of course, it could have just been nachos.
King David asks us a question in Ecclesiastes 1:3, ” What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?”. He will answer it for us later in the same chapter, but, what say you?
I watch as the world invests itself in the menagerie of sports and think to what degree it has surpassed being entertainment. I answer that rather quickly; “to fanaticism”. So then I ask has it surpassed fanaticism? For many it has become obsession in they are willing to set aside family or work to insure their attendance. In a final pursuit of reality I ask if it has gone further than that?
Obsession has overtaken sport and the logical thinking of man. There are those that are delusional regarding the odds of their child “going pro” and fulfilling the family destiny of a house in the Hamptons. It is absurd. In the 30 years since I graduated High School we have had exactly 1 go to the NFL.
This means my freshman year there were 50 +/- guys on the team that year. On average 1/3 of the team will change each year prior and each year after due to graduation. At the end of the day we are talking about more than 550 players represented the team and 1 made it pro.
So what does King David reply? “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.” Ecc 1:14;17
The odds of you going “pro” are staggering while the odds of dying are 1:1. Which of these things do we place more value on as parents? How much time do we invest in practices and schedules, making trips to games both near and far? The expenses of travel, lodging and meals to accommodate these activities?
In the 2014-2015 season more than 2.4 million kids played Little League baseball or softball. There are approximately 278,000 transitions per year, meaning, that many will exit the program and that many more will join the program on an annual basis. The meaty part of the Major League Baseball age curve is 24-30, of which about 72% per year come from the US. There are 30 MLB teams and 40 players on the active roster for each team = 1200 players. This equates to a factor of 0.04957% chance, which is about 1 out of 2463 players.
Locally we have a city of nearly 22,000 residents, not an uncommon number for a midwestern town, with some where close to 400 kids playing little league. This means it would take 6 towns combined to create enough players to reach that probability of 1 making it at the professional level.
Let me ask you, you and God have any practices scheduled this week? How about His coaching? Where do you plan to take the family this week, this month or this year to get in some real “game time” with God?