Is Watching Sports A Waste Of Time? | Ear Biscuits Ep. 162

Public movement. – You know what, let’s tablethat, but let’s think about it. – Okay, is this still the ad? – Still the ad. – You can also get Link’s shirt. You can’t get my shirt, youcan’t just get a. You have to go— We should sell blanks. – You’ll have to go to theHanes section of Walmart to get that. – When you don’t shootblanks, use a carpet. – Not carpet, it’s not made of carpet. – What is it made of? – I don’t know. I successfully delayedus talking about sports for 20 minutes approximately.

– I feel like I need toaddress this right up top. I think I need to address those of you who for some reason haven’talready clicked away, because you’re like, Idon’t want to hear them talk about sports, I don’t like sports. This episode of Ear Biscuits is for you. You don’t have to likesports to appreciate the conversation we’regoing to have about sports. And we’re not reallygonna have a conversation directly about sports, we’regonna have a conversation about the merits of watching sports, specifically beingentertained by watching, and I think I would say on television.

Talking about going to sporting events,which I feel like– – Interesting. – I feel like theycould be lumped together and it’ll change how I feel. – Okay, we can lump them together, but, at least when you go towatch a sporting event, I’ve had people who say,I’ll go to a basketball game or I’ll go to a hockeygame and kind of experience the group thing. – I’m just talking about a man like me, a man, a woman, anyonesitting down on a couch just watching other people do stuff in a completely disconnected place.

Is it worth it? And you know what. – What got you thinking about this?.

(Rhett sighs) I know you’re anticipating thatI’m gonna be in opposition. I am definitely comingfrom a different place, but I want you to tell mewhat got you into this.

Well first of all, what Imeant earlier when I said– – Not sports but this conversation. – What I meant earlier when I said, my answer to that questiondoes not dictate my behavior, whatever I said, was thequestion to me is yes, the answer, it is a waste of time.

But I do it a lot and Iprobably will continue to do it. So I’m not gonna try to argue necessarily. I’m interested in the psychologythat keeps me going back. So I’ve got a littleresearch that we’ll go into. So I’ll tell you my experience. – Okay well then I gotta sayit’s not a waste of time. I think it’s sad for you to be so, I want.

You to quantifyhow into sports you are. And then what I’m gonna tellyou is, I think.

It’s sad that you’re as into sportsas you say you are–.

– You’re asking me a questionand now you’re telling me my answer is sad. – You haven’t even let me answer it yet? – If you quantify your lovefor sports and it is a.

Lot, I think it’s sad that you would say yes, it’s a waste of time. That doesn’t go together to me, man. And I think you would change your own. – Quantify your love ofsports, just start there. – Eating dessert is a waste of calories, but I’m gonna keep doingit because it’s fun.

Okay, first of all,I feel like there are two different audiences and I’m so, I’m super self-aware aboutthis, so I feel like I have to.

Both of them, becausein the general population, I’m kinda like, kinda into sports. Like when you take intoaccount where I grew up. – Like when’s the last time you painted any part of your body to alignwith a sport color motif? – Never. Well, college once,when we had a new coach. Herb Sendek, NC State basketball coach. Four of us, you and me and Greg and Tim painted ourselves H-E-R-B,and it kinda just looked like a marijuana ad. – Herb, man, Herb! (Link chuckles) And no one.

Knew what we were trying to do because it was his first game coaching. – When was the last timeyou altered your schedule for an extended length of time for sports? – This past weekend.- Yeah, so, that’s what got me thinking about this. So I am, on the scale of peopleat Mythical.

Entertainment, I am on the very top end of the spectrum, with just a couple of otherpeople who care about sports. But in normal groups of people, okay, Alex here.

Cares about sports,he watches Michigan sports, we talk about college sports. And Darren cares a significantamount about sports. – But when you take yourplace on that continuum and you apply it to the greater, just the general population, you’re low on the fanatic scale.

I feel like I’m just averagedude, but I don’t know. And I get the sensewhenever I talk about sports on the internet, just likeI did on my little rant that I did last season ofGMM, which I really thought was gonna be awesomeand was gonna.

Get shared by a lot of people and it wasn’t, so.

When I— It burned you a little bit and that’s informing this conversation. – When I talked aboutit, when I talk about it on the internet, the people whointeract with me on Twitter, they seem to just not have anyidea what I’m talking about, nor do they care at all.

The majorityof people who comment on things that we’re apart of on the internet do not have a space forsports in their life.

Like it’s been taken up by either us or things tangentially related to us and more related to. – I think your clarification,those who comment. So, people who commentunsolicitedly, is that a word? Because what actuallyhappened recently is.

A couple weeks ago we did an episode.

And then in Good Mythical More, it was the Good MythicalMore with the Kobe episode. So we’re back in the studio and we went throughugly basketball shoes– – And for those of you who are fans of us, Kobe Bryant, the guywho was on that.

Episode, he was a very good basketball player.

– Yeah, and so I made ajoke about the Fab Five, you know, the Michigan— I know, man. – 1991 or, I don’t know what year it was. But I made a Fab Five jokeabout the Chris Webber shoe and there’s an extra time out in the shoe because of the. – It looks like they have acheese grater on the bottom. Like you can grate cheesewith the side of your shoe. – Yeah, here’s the thing,you unfold that little part that says Web, you get a extra time-out. (crew laughs) – Boy, you’re really search with that one. That’s like a Fab Four references. Were there five of them?- It’s actually Fab Five. – Really? – There’s some people outthere who appreciated that joke more than.

Anything that’sever been said on this show. – Well Darren was like, “Iget that, I appreciate.” Then and I made a comment like, for the one of you outthere who understands what I’m talking about,I had.

Two or three people who have never tweeted atme, who’ve never commented tweet and me and say, “HeyI just wanna let.

You know “that I really appreciatedthat Chris Webber joke.” Never commented but just letting you know. – You think they’re listening right now? – I think there are peoplewho are sports fans, but the Venn diagram, thecrossover between sports fans and then people who reallywant to engage vocally with us on the internet,it’s a small crossover. We are gonna get into some psychology. – So first just getting to, I mean, you.

Haven’t painted yourself but you have cordoned offscheduled aspects of your life and altered.

And I think this isgonna blow your mind, because the sport that has consumed me to a certain level is thesport that most people.

Consider by far the most boringsport to watch, golf. And not only, it’s thiscrazy intersection. How ironic is it that not only is golf, from someone who on the outside, the most boring sport you could watch, it also is by far the lengthiest. Name one other sport wherethey play four days in a row for four to five hours at a time and you have to watch all of that if you wanna watch the full event. Could you imagine abasketball game that lasted like 15 hours and you had to watch it over the.

Course of Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday? – Well wait though, I’dlike to see that once. I would like to see— It’s a slug fest! – I would love to, I wouldwatch that. I would watch like– – The never-ending basketball game? – If it was the best NBA players, like if it was the NBA championship, like one year they’re like,guys, they’re about to do, what’s the toss up thing? – The tip-off. – About to do the tossup and they’re like, guys, I just wanna tellyou before we start. – There may be a weather delay. – When it gets dark, you’re gonna sleep. You’re gonna start atdifferent times, but, I would watch that. I mean, can you imagine themall getting so exhausted? But I digress, also, inthe interest of digression, I wonder what the secondlongest match play sport is.

I know some tennis matches can go, record tennis matchescould be like eight hours. Jacob, look up the– – Longest tennis match.

Ever? – Longest tennis match,professional tennis match. – There’s probably abaseball game that’s gone for a long time before. – Yeah baseball can go a really long, well not as long as a tennis match, but we’ll come back, go ahead. Number one, I typicallydon’t watch the Thursday and the Friday, I watch the weekend. And I’m also recording all of this and then I am doing whatI call Tiger. – Now first of all, I embody everything thattrue golf fans hate. Because I am that guy who only cares and I’m only watching because Tiger Woods is in contention again. If you haven’t beenfollowing, and first of.

All, when this comes out, thisepisode will come out, all I’ve seen is I’ve seenhim play the BMW Championship but the tour championship,the final event of the year will have just finished like last night when this episode goes up, so I don’t know what ended up happening.

Sure I know and sure I watched it. But yes, I am that guy who– – I’m sure.

We’ll both be tweetingabout it at the same time. – I am that guy who onlycares about.

Tiger Woods when it comes to golf. I played on a high school golfteam, didn’t set any records. Shepherd is currently goingto golf a few times a week. So I’m kinda getting back into it. – There was a period oftime in which I watched back when he was the.

Greatest player to ever play the game, andwas winning all the time. It was one of those, it wassorta that Michael Jordan, LeBron James factor wheresomebody begins to dominate in such a significant waythat it just.

Intersected with me at a time in my life where I just really. – It was 20 years ago andthen up to about 10 years ago. We’re getting some feedback on this. The Isner-Mahut match, the2010 Wimbledon Championship took 11 hours, fiveminutes, over three days. Wow, they had to keep coming back. I didn’t realize— Three days, 11 hours. That’s a sport thing that I almost knew.

Is like anotherpotentially boring sport.

– But not nearly as boring as golf. – Right, and so, and we’re gonna get– – They’re constantly playing each other. – We’re gonna get intowhy some.

People find– – For 11 hours.- Certain things boring, but so I admit, I ameverything that is wrong with golf spectatingbecause as soon as Tiger had his whole deal, his whole world fell apart because of what he did and cheating, and then he got hurt. – And you just saidthat in a dangerous way, but we’ll come back to it. – Said it in a dangerous way? – It seemed like you justmade Tiger the victim. “You know his whole world fell apart. He was responsible forhis world falling apart. – I know, I’m givingyou an opportunity to, especially, you know– – Which is an interesting aspect. It’s an interesting aspect ofthis because I recognize that, ’cause there.

Are somepeople who are like, okay, he showed his true colors and he was this.

Totally deceitful guywho has no character, he proved that and it was public. So I’ll never pull for him again. For me, it has always been and still is just about the athletic dominancein this particular arena that I.

Am personally interested in. And again, I’m not saying I’m proud of it, I’m just saying, I cannotpull. When he came back this year– – So you’re not defendingthat you’re right in being a fan of Tiger Woods. Would you actually callyourself a fan of Tiger? Or you’re just– – I’m a fan of Tiger Woodsthe athlete without a doubt. – But you’re not defending that choice as being righteous or– – What choice? – The choice to follow himand therefore support him given his past– – At.

How annoying it is for all these other guys who are out there doing incredibly well in the golf world and no one caring about them for 10 years until Tiger comes backand all of a sudden– – I’m saying especially given what, I honestly don’t know everything. I remember vaguely pieces of it, but. – Let me tell you what herepresents to me, okay? He’s 42. And he’s got back issues specifically.

Had exact same injury that I’ve had with the herniated disks,he had fusion surgery. He’s coming back and he’scompeting with these guys and. And I feel like there’s this part of him that represents this40-something year old guy who still has it and can still compete and I feel like I am pullingfor myself in some ways. Strictly talking about athletically. – In spite of the factthat he cheated on his wife and whatever.

Else he did thatI may not be able to remember. – I’m conveniently settingthose.

Things aside, and I recognize I’m convenientlysetting those things aside. – Well I think it speaksto the power of sport.

In your life that it’s notabout him, it’s about you. – Yeah and so– – On a brain level, I mean,there is science that says that when you watchsports, you’re not just.

Your brain interprets it as a relationship and you’re in it, you’rea part of it, it’s you. And so it’s a very powerfulthing psychologically that has much less to do with, I mean, you may beintimately acquainted with in.

The world of football, the whole concussion injury thing and that just doesn’t make sense.

How could you understand what’s going on with people, with theirbrains and still support it? I mean people will saythe brutality of boxing. There’s something that Ithink you’re hitting on there that’s very fascinating that it’s about– – Of course it’s about me. – It’s not only that it’s aboutyou.

But there’s this deep, ineffable connection that certainpeople, not everybody has. And so I’m, when it comes to Tiger, I can see how the thingsthat you rattled off very much make it about you andso that.

Starts to make sense of why you would devoteyour entire weekend to it. – And I’m exaggerating a little bit. So Locke and I werewatching the third round of the BMW Championship at home, on Saturday. And Locke has gotten into it as well. Locke’s played a little bit of golf.

We’re gonna talk a little bitabout what the research says about if you’ve played a.

Sport, if you have a physicalconnection and appreciation for a particular sport, it actually, what’s happening in yourbrain is one of the reasons that you find it not boring. I could only imagineif I never played golf or had an appreciationfor what it’s like to do what they are able.

To do, that it would be the most boring thing Icould possibly imagine. – But we’re sitting there watching it and we’re like, we get really into it. We’re like, we get up,we yell, we give fives. You’ve seen how ridiculousthe fans, the Tiger fans are. If you watch this for alittle bit and you see how crazy these people react to golf.

Well the thing that I’ve noticed when I look over yourshoulder because I saw you, it was a Monday and atournament was continuing and you were doing your Tiger vision. – Well I couldn’t do Tiger vision ’cause it was the livestream. – He would drive the ball off the tee.

All of a sudden, the shot would be on himbut I would just hear, at first I was like, after hedrives the ball off the tee, multiple people are injured.

Groans dramatically) I know, it’s like, that’s literally what it sounded like to me. (Link yells and yelps) – They get so into it,they get so into it. – It’s like you pullsomebody off the front lines of Gettysburg and you’re amputating them at the ankle or something. But so, and I was telling Locke– – The raucous. – I need Tiger vision becauseTiger vision for me is, I recorded the wholething and I wait until I won’t catch up with live,and I stay off of the internet.

And then I fast forwardand I wait until I see the red sweater or the red shirt. That’s on a Sunday, and I stopand sometimes I get it wrong and sometimes we see a puttgo in. I just want a programthat is just Tiger vision. People would pay for Tiger vision. I know it seems like it’sso anti-the sport, but, I just wanna see what he’s doing, and then anyone.

Who’sactually competing with him and is relevant in comparison to him, I like to see them every once in while. – I’m sure they’ve thoughtabout just putting a camera, there’s a camera followingthe whole time, right? Why can’t you just watch that stream? It’s like freakin’ a la carte viewing. – Golf Channel will do that sometimes where you can follow a featured group. I don’t want to follow the featured group because it takes the featuredgroup four hours to play. I wanna see Tiger’s highlightsand see a score change.

But all back to back inlike a 40 minute period. Honestly, how much timeare we talking about? He’s onscreen doing his thing. – I think you’re describing SportsCenter.

Chuckles) – But it’s not the same’cause I don’t feel like just watching the highlightsdo it because, I don’t know. And I haven’t even gotten totalk about NC State sports. – Okay the other thing that’s happening is it’s freakin’ football. And I don’t care about NFL football. And yeah, there’s CarolinaPanthers, but they didn’t really, they weren’t around when Iwas growing up, and plus, they’re in Charlotte andthat’s a Carolina town and we’re NC State. I don’t care, who cares, right? I care about NC State sports. I care about the football team.

And so I have made ita point to find where the game’s gonna bebeing.

Broadcast and then, I do watch that mostly in real time. Sometimes I’ll skip the firsthalf and kinda catch up, but I do rearrange— Why? – So, what I would say— ‘Cause I don’t.

I watch it is because I– – Can I tell you the reasons why I don’t?.

Because this would be really quick. Because they lose a lot more than they.

Win and I experienced so muchdisappointment when I.

Was close to it, ie, in collegeand going to some games and then getting out ofcollege for the next few years trying to maintain my allegiance,and it just, heartbreak. – I don’t believe thatthat’s why you don’t watch. It’s definitely not fun to watch and lose much more than win. – Okay yeah but that secondpart of the equation is not true with NC State football. We’re actually pretty good at football.

I feel like if I startedwatching, we’d start losing again. – That’s called sportssuperstition which is a totally differentthing we could get into.

I definitely believe in that. – You don’t have to refuteme, just keep going. – That would be what I would say, if you were watchingCarolina football this year. Carolina is the worst team in ACC. – Maybe I should start watching.

I mean I— So it isn’t about that. For me it’s definitely not aboutthe fact that we’re winning or that we’re losing. – I’m just saying, I gave up at a time when that was the case. – For me, it is about, Ihave placed some portion of my own self-worth.

On the performance of the sports that I watch. I don’t watch sports disconnected. There are some people who are like, just show me a. I won’t watch a random basketball game. I won’t watch, like evenwhen March Madness is.

Around, it’s like, every once inwhile I’ll get into.

Like following a team but likewhat I really connected with is NC State sports andthen a few random athletes like Tiger Woods. Usually somebody who’s likedominant in their sport. Like LeBron James, which, we’ll talk about how he’s complicated thingsin coming to Los Angeles. – You sure you don’t mean Ginobili? – Exactly, so, but with NC State, interestingly, so what I wouldhave said before I looked at the research is.

That there’sa portion of my self-image and self-esteem that is tied into the performance of these things. I have either made an association. Like with Tiger Woods I haveno association with him at all, but I’ve made an association– – You’ve made an identification. – He’s about the same age,back problems, all that. With NC State, it’swhere I went to school. – And that comes up inconversations now with people.

Mean, on any weekly basis,you’ll probably mention that you went to North Carolina State. I’ve actually found thatto be true of myself. I would assume thatthen having a connection to the sports program andespecially in success, there’s like, you.

Start to feel better about that association. That’s why Jessie’s always like, “If you’re gonna choose towatch them, I hope they win.

“because I know how youwill be after this game.” And I’m sure anyone who’sactually a sports fan could very much relate to this. Is it something I’m proud of? No.

Have any impact onthe outcome of the game that happened probably inthe past because I’m watching a recording of it on theother side of the nation? No, I didn’t have any impact on it, but yet I still receivepersonal self-esteem.

Boosts by watching them win andassociating with them.

Now, let me just talk a little bit about what the science says becauseit was pretty fascinating. Because my theory is that ithas to do with your upbringing. I think, knowing about you and about me, I trace it back to that. – Well definitely, that’swhat entered, yeah. ‘Cause if you go back, my dadwas and is a. Again, mostly college,very much Georgia football. He watches all sports, but thething he’s passionate about, the thing that he hastied his self-esteem to is Georgia football.- Completely? His self-esteem is completely tied to– – When it comes to sports.

And he takes it harder than I do. He will be, and Iremember this growing up. If they lost, and thegood thing is is that Georgia’s been traditionallyvery good at football, so if you’re gonna tie yourself-esteem to one team and one sport— It’s safer. – Georgia football isnot quite like Alabama, but it’s pretty good.

I remember the way that we experienced sports, and we would find it in anything. I remember watching reallycompetitive tennis matches and golf and back whenthere was no sports channel, there was no ESPN, and so themajor sports championships were on network television,everybody watched them in real time, you watchedthem with your family and my dad and my brotherand I would sit there and we would watch thesethings just intently. – Everybody would know about it.

Of like, Boris Becker playing tennis,you know what I’m saying? – Yeah (chuckles). And identifying with it,so it was in my household so it.

Was ingrained in me in that way as far as the nurture side.

You don’t make an active decision to tie your self-esteem inany capacity to these things, but it happens. I think that’s probablywhat you’re gonna get at.- Because my argument is, is it a waste of time? It’s not only a waste of time, it’s a.


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