Pop Culture: American Athletes Becoming Adjunct Components of Entertainment

Luke JohnsonContributor IIIAugust 8, 2011

Logistically speaking, excellence is a caboose to a long train lead by a conductor of American economics.

If we engage the specimen of economics in conjunction with the pluralistic diversity of sports across the world, one can distinguish this elemental factor in the brunt of big business athletics.

Capitalism, the base of capital in comparison to the fraction of cost-profit, is the means by which our nation muses. Without a sure sign of growing capital, one can assume the individual, family, company, corporation or nation is not thriving.

To thrive, abundance must follow. For farmers reaping a continuum of strong yields, planning for the future is of the essence.

The seven-year roll over of agriculture—meaning on the seventh year the farmer turns the top soil allowing the land to rest—is a metaphorical principle by which all capitalistic entities adhere to.

But is this a means for rising up excellence in all strata’s of life? Is it a means for raising American athletic excellence first and foremost in our pursuits for dominance and worldly success?

No. Consider yourself for a moment.

Last night by the pushing of your friends you went out drinking knowing full well you would wake to your alarm this morning bright and early. Despite the benefits of fun, your ability to think clearly and cohesively was lost when you said yes to a hazy hung over brain the following day.

Running late by over sleeping your alarm, you speed past a cop quietly waiting for an opportunity to pull over the idiot driving 65 in a 45. He fires up the red lights and the curling siren, playing a game of cat and mouse, while you, half-asleep, continue somewhat ignorant to the fate that has besmirched you.

Pulling over—your headache pounding like a hammer—the slow moving cop comes circling around to your window. He quietly asks for your ID and does his deal with a sure sense of power and no sign of actually respecting your time.

Late to work? Absolutely.

It does not stop here though. The dominoes of life are now keeling over—leading you further down a path of failure for the rest of the day.

Not only on arrival did your boss come brooding through your office door with that look of utter disapproval but he gave you an extra project and asked that you complete your reports by noon.

By noon! These weren't due till tomorrow and now, forced to maximize the three waning hours, you speedily rush the reports.

The results? Bad grammar, chaotic verbal dysfunction and a graph that looks like a fifth grader put it together. Not to mention, these reports will read by the CEO at a meeting reaching out to a high caliber round table of investors.

You great one, just lost your job and the company some serious business. Your desire for bright bulbs of entertainment cost you the undertaking of disciplined excellence.

Like a sub-current, the purity of livelihood and the means by which you work harder than most, sped off quicker than a New York taxi through rush hour traffic.

But did you have fun? Yes, if fun means the dwelling of experience was the demonetization of what once was your purpose.

American athletics have been diminished in the grip of entertainment. Large net profit is the jowl munching at the athlete who at some point somewhere, bought into making people clap over making people wow or fall in love with the practice itself.

Our society is as numb to discipline and artistic genius as a tongue induced with Novocain. Led by the multi- trillion dollar industry of Hollywood we've been Snookie'd and injected with a poor sense of appreciation for the things that make a nation great.

Read a book lately?


Gone to the gym or ran a few miles?

Continued education?

Disciplined life and taken to the notion of mining for discovery over instantaneous gratification?

Probably not, and why should we?

Fostered to work and be dumbly entertained—we all were raised around TV shows with the concept of ease: Mr. Belevedere, Charles and Charge,The Love Boat—our appreciation for that which is intrinsically good has been upturned by menial caste of beauty—meaning entertainment.

Fake tans. Enhancements. Vertical jumps. Athletic rawness. Twists.Turns. Spectacular. It is as though we never leave a circus extravaganza.

Today's popular athlete has been molded by Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, Vin Diesel and Pam Anderson.

There are reasons why every NBA Finals featuring Greg Poppovich's throwback team-oriented- Spurs, tanks in the ratings.

Reasons why according to this article Baseball leagues from age seven to 17 saw a 24 percent decline in youth participation over the last ten years.

Clearly Baseball cannot compete with the likes of Tony Hawk kick flips or steroid gargantuan' in football pads. Its ritualistic mundane, is a lesson in patience, no gen y or z athlete can understand.

Hence why stuffing a ball through a hoop in dramatic fashion is worth a decline in defensive fundamentals and shooting technique.

John Stockton, can you please go sit outside? This is Dunking 101,a class for the athlete who sells tickets, jerseys and buys us valuable face time on TNT, ABC and ESPN.

For this reason alone I am positive Larry Bird would not excel in today's game. Not because the greatest shooter and competitor in NBA history is void of abilities, rather, because his classicism of the game would not sell.

And the driving point in today's sports economy is excitement. But, excitement truly is only a derivative of the culture itself.

When the color TV rocketed to fame in the early 70's—the total units jumping from one million nationwide to 44 million—the average American household, according to livinghistoryfarm.org used "escapism on television" to deal with the fray of both the hippie movement and the Vietnam war.

These turmoil, both caused unrest nationwide and worldwide, making Americans, neutral and comfortable by nature, seek a healthier escape than drugs or alcohol.

Thus the world by which Gen X, Y, and Z were born into is one of celebrity. All three of these current world leading sub populations originated from a TV culture fostered by a delirious sense of escapism.

Is it fair to then blame a current sub culture for its many indiscretions? Not really.

But if America hopes to re-emerge as a world elite in the circle of athletics, we'll need to get back to the basic practices that originally got us there.

If not, then the irreverence for hard bodies and high priced glam clubs will ascertain primary control of our nationwide consciousness, which, according to the heralds of Chad Ochocinco or Hollywood sell out, Baron Davis, is the perfect atonement for a life of both athletic fame and million dollar mansions.

But for the diehard critic, it is the very nature that will ultimately shred our once superior world talents to pieces.


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