We are in that time of year where you can have overload of sports. College and Professional Football are in full swing, Basketball and Hockey are in preseason, Major League baseball is approaching the World Series and auto racing is in the final lap. It is quite easy to overload or get in trouble with your spouse this time of year.

Many people around the country live and die with their teams or heroes. I am partial to college and pro football and wear that allegiance on my sleeve. I have a bar that caters to my pro team even though we are hundreds of miles from the home city. My college team is nationally known, so I have many opportunities to see them on TV, but when I can’t, enter the internet.

These events bring people together, most of the time for camaraderie, sometimes in competition. These are opportunities for all of us to show our own sportsmanship. The results of each contest result in week long discussions. Conspiracy theories come and go, complaints are registered, wins are celebrated, loses are mourned. The true benefit this year is that we get distracted from the politics that have overwhelmed our entertainment options. Politics are not bad in general, but who is elected dog catcher is not an end of the world decision. Sports just gives us a break, possibly giving us a chance to breath and look at the political landscape with a fresh attitude after a weekend of sheering on the home team.

Unfortunately, the full sports story is not on the field. I am a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. My team had to play the first four games of the season without their star quarterback. This absence was due to the personal conduct of that player. He seems to have trouble making good choices when in comes to behavior off the field. He has been accused of rape. He has driven his motor cycle into the side of a panel van during the early hours of a morning. He has exposed himself to a woman in a bar with probable sexual contact in a public place. If he can get the team into the playoffs, most fans will forgive him, some will always condemn him.

So what does all of our sports addiction do for us? It gives us an escape. We can claim to be part of an activity that most of us do not have the physical qualifications to perform. It allows us to ignore the rest of the world for a few hours. It allows us to argue about something that is not politics or religion. In the end, we are less active and eat poorly while watching people exercise and having well maintained bodies (except for some of the linemen in football and designated hitters in baseball). As in all things in life, some good and some bad results come from sporting events. My advice is to get as much enjoyment as you can from any source. And just to complete my affiliation confession – Go Texas Longhorns

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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