Sports...vast and empty
Okay, I know I said I was going to keep politics out of Xcargo, at least mostly, from now on. And I know I’m supposed to be writing about candles. But, well, I can’t help myself. I’ve run across something that is absolutely infuriating. I mean, it has brought me to the point of pure, white-hot rage, and I’m going to write about it.
I’m afraid it may lose me friends, but …
Here’s the thing. I’m not a big fan of sports. I don’t play them. I don’t watch them. I couldn’t care less about them. Yes, I exercise on a regular basis. I jog a mile and a quarter (that’s about 2 km for you metric types). I take frequent walks. At one point, before summer got too hot for it, I was averaging 5 miles three times a week.
But I don’t do sports. I have never done sports. If you want to do…or watch…sports, be my guest.
However, I object when I am forced to play sports, or watch them, as I was in P.E. classes all those years ago. And I am actually angered when my tax money is committed to sports without my say so, as it is when my local communities build sports stadiums or whatever, even though I…and most everyone in the communities in question…will not benefit from them.
Which brings me finally to my point.
I have just discovered an article on the Associated Press website by Collin Binkley and Ryan Foley entitled, “Flush with COVID-19 aid, schools steer funding to sports.”* According to the piece, many public schools received big money during the Covid lockdown to help deal with all the issues that came with that crisis.
And what are they doing with the money? Raising the pay of teachers? Hiring more aides? Buying more and better equipment for classrooms?
Surely you jest.
Many of them…not all, but many…are using the money on sports. That’s right. Sports…which already consume an outsized share of educational expenditures in this country. Rather than do something like, you know, spending the windfall on actually educating students, they are building new football fields and installing bigger and better weight rooms.
In a word, or rather an acronym, WTF.
Look, I don’t like sports, but it is perfectly fine if you like them. It is perfectly fine if schools and school boards want to have sports programs. It is even perfectly fine if schools and school boards want to spend some of the federal Covid money they got on physical education.
But not all of it. Schools, public schools particularly, were meant to teach. They were meant to teach science and art and literature and art and a hundred other things. And that money, the Covid money, should have gone…or much of it should have gone…to teaching everything from Bach to Shakespeare to Physics.
Instead, it went to football fields…
That is a disgrace. And it says way too much about how little our culture values education, much less educators, that school administrators and school boards across the country did not see it as a disgrace.
We ought to be ashamed.
We ought also to be afraid…
For every day that we allow our schools to decay, we fall a little further behind in the world.
Until, one morning, we will awaken to discover that we, as a nation, have descended into ruin and irrelevance…
And not all the football championships provided to middle aged parents, living out some sort of pathetic vicarious triumphs in the touchdowns and home runs of 16 year olds…
Will change that.
Until next time.
Onward and Upward.
Source: * “Flush with COVID-19 aid, schools steer funding to sports,” Collin Binkley and Ryan Foley, AP News, Oct 6, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-school-funding-sports-5b468b260ebd2593e53f03f9104d9bca
Copyright©2021 Michael Jay Tucker