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Handling sports' all consuming nature

Going Long with Geisler

By Andrew Geisler
On April 28, 2014

There are days when I think today's sports world can be a bit overwhelming and, at times, all consuming. The MLB season lasts 162 games, and its October Classic now ends in November. The NBA playoffs will take the next two months to conclude. The Super Bowl is pushing up against Valentines Day, and it's clear Roger Goodell is primed to add more games - at the peril of the player's health, but to the benefit of his wallet.

If the seasons seem long now, it's almost certain to get worse. Some view this as a good thing. Sports are the fun thing you do at the end of the day when you don't have to think about life's problems - something a fan can't get enough of.

But the length of season presents some interesting complexities for a fan who would like to adequately follow each of the major sports and ultimately empowers a wave of the sports world's very own explanatory journalists, who somehow find the time to catch every moment of every game.

We may have reached a tipping point: we have too much of what we fans love. We live in an age where you can see every game of every major sport if you have the economic means. And the size of each league has ballooned to around 30 teams.

The NHL's Original Six seems a quaint notion, but at least it was possible to know what's going on. Sometimes following sports feels like a full-time job. And some days this is great. ESPN makes this habit manageable, but you always feel like you're running behind.

Ultimately, striking the balance is hard, and picking and choosing becomes key. It's tough to watch all your favorite baseball team's games even if you'd like to. Right now, there's really no way to sleep enough and watch all of these great NBA and NHL playoff games. Football coverage in the fall renders me a Saturday and Sunday couch potato from late August through the Super Bowl.

Fortunately, with this expansion came a whole sports industrial complex. If you miss a game, somebody saw it and wrote about it. That write-up is easily accessible. And on a slow sports news day, listening to ESPN or ESPN Radio is like watching CNN ever since that plane went missing.

Nostalgia for an age I have only read about is something I must guard against. The sports industrial complex probably improves the quality of my life. But picking and choosing can be an unsatisfying strategy. I want to see all of the NBA playoff games, but I'll never have the time.

The side interest of choice for the American male can eat too much time away. But life is all about choices between priorities. James Harden, somewhere along the way, decided defense didn't matter to his ultimate success.

Maybe we could all learn from the bearded one in our sports consumption habits. Prioritization is the name of the game; sports are fun, but so is real life. We should all aspire not to be stuck on the couch as life runs by us.

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