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

Escapefrom real world troubles. – Well and I think thoselast two are very much like, I just don’t think it’s fair to pick being.

A sports fan apart ifyou’re not willing to pick being a movie fan apart. Like, you’re gonna wastetwo or three hours. You watched Wyatt Earp? That’s three hours, man. – What kinda jerk are you, man? What are you doingwatching Wyatt Earp again.

Hours! – You could say the samething about a lot.

Of things, including every singlething that we’ve put on the internet for people to enjoy. Including this very conversation. Meta much? And finally, because itprovides a sense of belonging and connection to a wider world.

– Okay so interestingly,speaking directly to that. Eric says in his articlethat a popular theory is that sports are asubstitute for tribal warfare, which is what I’ve always thought. It’s what I said in my littlerant that was not as awesome as I thought it was. But there’s an article Ifound in Psychology Today which says exactly the same thing. An evolutionary biologist says that essentially, this is.

Tribal warfare that has become, it’s a safemodern-day expression of it and that’s.

Why we identify withit to the degree that we do. Evolution is survival of the fittest. That’s an aspect of it, so, yeah, you fight, you fight to– – By emotionally supportingand associating yourself with a winning tribe, you are propagating yourown DNA, essentially. I still believe thatthat’s an aspect of it. – Depends on what happens after the game. – But the most interestingthing that I found that I’d never heard ofbefore is something. And so basically, simplystated, about one-fifth of the neurons that fire in the pre-mortar, I cannot speak today. – You’re not even saying neurons right.

– Neer-ons is what you’re saying. About one-fifth of the neurons that fire in the pre-motor cortexwhen we perform an action, say like kicking a ball,hitting a golf ball, also fire at the site of somebody else performing that action.

An article that was linked to.

By that first article, wherethey had three different groups of people watch guys shootbasketball free throws, simple action. There were guys who playedbasketball in the first group.

Were expertwatchers, like sports writers, and then the third group werestudents at this university, I think it was.

In Italy whohad never played basketball. And the players and thewriters had areas of their brains activatedrelated to the motions of shooting a free throw.

Non-sporty students did not. And this is also true whenpeople just read about sports. So hearing about sportsactivates the same parts of the brain that it wouldtake to play those sports. And that’s why if you haveexperience with a specific sport, again, golf is somethingthat is incredibly difficult to master, not just to master,it.

Is incredibly difficult to become a.

Non-embarrassinggolfer, right? – But to complete your thought, it’s impossible to watchhaving never played and begin to even startto appreciate that.

In the way that I now appreciate watching Ninja play Fortnite. I think I’ve talkedabout this at some point. I’m not a gamer, but becausemy son was playing Fortnite and I tried for a littlebit. – I then can now sit, and I don’t seek out Ninja’s.

Videos but I follow him on Instagram.

And he’ll do these littleclips and instead of just passing over them mindlessly, now, I watch them and I’m like dang. I understand how, first of all,I have a point of reference for the physical space he’sin because I’ve been there. But I can also appreciate howamazing he is at what he does, and I could see myselfsitting down and watching it for an extended period of time. Because I put myself inthose shoes, so for me, that continues to be a big part of it. Now I’ve never playedfootball but I’ve played.

Lots of sports and I’m really into sports and I’m really intocompetitive things and so– – You become much closer to identifying to what it would feel. – And how bad it would hurt my back.

Mytheory which means I love it, because–(Rhett chuckles softly) Even if you didn’t play football, your dad was obsessed with it and Georgia football so you had a bond. You were taught how to experiencefootball as a spectator through somebody who waslike the sports writer in the study, right? Your dad taught you how to watch it, and he created an environmentwhere memories were made that.

You subconsciouslypull on all of that and you passed thatexperience on to Locke. I do not have thatexperience with Lincoln. I mean, we started going toClippers NBA basketball games because it was your idea and I was like, you know what, I wanna.

Think Lincoln’s into playing NBA Live. He’s really into basketball now. – 2K, because, he startedplaying video games and he started playingit in the.

Real world and we went to Clippersgames and I wanted to foster something inhim that I didn’t have. And I’m glad to saythat he plays basketball multiple times a week, and ofcourse Locke’s very into it. Going to the, I can’t remember my point. Going to the Clippers games,was something about that. – I didn’t have enough of that connection and it was hard for me tofoster it at. – And when I make that connection. And even if we go a littlebit over our typical time, I do wanna talk aboutLeBron.

Coming to the Lakers because I.

Know we haveopinions about that. – But specifically when Iwatch sports with Locke, or when I talk about sports with my dad, which does continue to be— A point of. – The majority of the point of connection that I have with my dad. At those points, itdoesn’t feel like a waste. And I said that, that wasmy closing line in the rant was something about, it gives me something to text my dad about.

Say froma psychological perspective– – So you don’t think it’s a waste. – You shouldn’t needthis in order to connect with somebody, you shouldconnect with somebody on something more personal that you share between the two of you that’s more direct and not some intermediarything, but the fact is, when I sit there and watchTiger or NC State by myself, which ends up happening.

Locke’s doing a bunchof stuff on the weekend, at those points it feels like a waste. When he’s there with me andwe’re watching it together and we’re really getting into it and the trifecta is, we’re watching it, they win and he’s there. At that point— Triple overtime, it’s like going on a nature hike, it’s like going on a backpacking trip and having a near-death experience but then making it throughand you’re grabbing each other by the collar and.

You’relike, “We made it!” – Hey man, this is a Hanes.

I think, now thatI’ve thought through.

This, I think my theory, myanswer to the question is, if your connection to the sport, based on something thatmay ultimately be unhealthy or something that’s deepin your reptilian brain, if that causes you tothen connect with somebody in the here and the now, it’s not a waste, but me just sitting thereindividually enjoying it like a junkie and just Tiger vision. – If that is my experience–(laughs) Then I feel like it’s a waste. But here’s the thing,sometimes I’ll watch it and then, okay, so Locke wasin North Carolina recently, Tiger’s playing and hecalls me, he’s like, “Dad, you see Tiger? “Did you see what he did?”and we talked about it.

So I had a point ofconnection with my son. – Can we really get to the point though? – Yeah, sure.- How do you feel about Andre Agassi when he went bald? I’m. Do you really thinkthat you have to justify being a. – With a connection with your son? – I do feel that way. Yeah, I do feel that way because I– – So you can’t watch a.

– No, never gonna watcha movie alone again. No, I just think that– – Wyatt Earp, man, three hours alone.

I thinkyou gotta go all the way and you gotta.

Defend it asjust a form of recreation. When I enter into a movie, I’m doing it with the understandingthat this is just for me to be entertained. That is not why anysports fan watches sports.

Think sports fans,non-sports fans think that sports fans watchsports to be entertained.

– Sports fans watch sports because they can’t help themselves. Because of the self-esteemboosts that we’re talking about and this identification with it. Now I’m not saying some ofthose things are not in play when you’re watching a movie– – And the last point is, to me, I at least begin to understand. You’ve been built, you’veexperienced sports directly and indirectly by playingthem, with your dad growing up.

It’s a part of, like watchingit is some magical connection that I do not have becausesports was only associated with anxiety when. So for me, I don’t feel anxiety, well I do feel some anxiety when I watch, but I ultimately, I just don’t connect. It’s a biological language that you’re having with this thing. – Yeah, well I don’t disagree with that. But what I’m saying is I don’t feel like it’s the same thing as watching a movie. Because when I go into amovie, I’m going into it completely selfishly.

To be entertained, and yeah, it’s cool todo.

That with somebody but I could do that on my own. When I’m watching sports, I’m not choosing to do.

It to be entertained, because if it was about being entertained, then you could substitutesomeone who wasn’t Tiger Woods which has happened everysingle weekend this year, who in that instance is better than him. And I don’t wanna watchBryson DeChambeau vision. You know what I’m saying, Icould care less about that. He’s better than Tiger right now.

But I don’t wanna watch him. It’s not about being entertained. It’s about this psychological connection to something I’m hopingthat someone can accomplish for me that benefits me in some way that I don’t even quite understand. – I think you’re describing actually, don’t sell that short.

Way and you could then be building your case that this is a deeper formof entertainment for you. A deeper form of connective recreation, in the same way that someone may describe 10 years down the road,how much.

More advanced virtual reality will be. When I’m in it, it is me! – Well I do think that.

Weconnect with entertainment that taps into our empathy. When you can relate to a character and you are putting yourselfin the shoes of a character and you want them to win, that is how you enjoy the best stories. – I just don’t think yourlanding point should be that you should slough this thing off and well as long as.

I do it with my son, it’s more than just aform of entertainment that feels like I actually should begoing to therapy for it. – But there’s tangible, the reason I think thatI could do that is ’cause there’s tangible benefit in that approach. There would be tangible benefit– – I’m trying to— If I took out of my life–.- Apart from the connection that I made with other loved ones. – I’m saying that, if Isat down with my therapist. I haven’t discussedthis with my therapist.

Explainall this and he said, “Well I think you shouldwatch sports with your son “but I don’t think youshould watch it by yourself,” then I would be like,I understand the logic behind that decision andI can’t dispute that. I mean it’s not my place to tell you what your position should be.

– ‘Cause I’m already watchingmovies and television. – I’m fighting on behalf of sports fans to not, at the end of this conversation, have made where theycome from illegitimate.

Something that needs to be fixed. Because hey, I think it’s stupid, but you, my friend, havegot to champion this. If you enjoy these things— I don’t think it’s stupid, by the way.

Things,yeah, ’cause you’re like the cable news producerthat wants there to be two opposing opinions.(Link laughs) You’re American cable news. You’re like a Fox News producer right now. You don’t have to havetwo different opinions. But we can ’cause what I’mgonna.

Say right now is– – I’m actually thinkingabout that thin slice of sports fan that is listening. And I think I’ve learned things, I think you’ve brought things to life that not only make meempathize but it’s just like, you know what, I kinda envythat deeper connection. I don’t have it because of,those things were missing from my upbringing. So I start to feel, Iactually feel jealous. So I’m starting to thinkmaybe you don’t have to defend yourself, you’re just like, it’s actually a. – But if I don’t feel good after I do it, then I think I could— That’s probably a problem. – So now you can takean experience you have while watching sportsalone and then.

Connect with someone else after the fact. That’s what happens all the time. Oh you’re a Pittsburgh fan too? And then you’re into a conversation. So I’m just saying if itbenefits relationships, then I see direct social benefit, but I also recognize thatin some ways we’re just tapping.

Into some deepersomething in our brains that doesn’t necessarilyneed to be fostered. My opinion is not going tochange anybody’s behavior, I don’t think. Sports are not going away anytime soon, with all the changes in the landscape. Let’s just talk brieflyabout LeBron coming to the Lakers and how we think about that ’cause we haven’t discussed it in detail but.

I know that we havedifferent perspectives on this. So as Link said, we have been and I am, continue to be a Clippers fan.

Lot of people are like,”Oh you’re a Clippers fan “because of when youmoved to Los Angeles.” I am a Clippers fan fora number.

Of reasons, let me state them very quickly. The Lakers to me have always seemed like the Carolina of the NBA, right? There’s people who likethem and wear their jerseys just because they have a winning tradition and so as an NC State fan I despise UNC. We have talked about this repeatedly.

Theworld and you see people have no affiliation with the university who just like to wear the jersey, and they’re all about their tradition and all the winning that they’ve done and it just makes me sick, right? Yeah, sure, I’m. But when I moved here to Los Angeles, I was like, I don’t wanna be a Lakers fan ’cause it feels. It feels like just gettinginto some sort of tradition that I’m not a part of. At the time, Vinny Del Negro,former NC State Wolfpack star was the coach of theClippers and I was like, perfect opportunity, Ican be a Clippers fan. Turns out right after that,the.

Clippers were just starting to get good and thenthey became way better than the Lakers. And then of course what happened recently. – But he did not remain the coach. – No, Doc Rivers became the coach and the Clippers had alittle.

Run but now basically everything fell apart. – They had a run the yearthat, well two years ago. – And things kinda fell apart for them and who knows what’s happening. Meanwhile, LeBron (clickstongue) comes to the Lakers. And let me just say quicklymy opinion on LeBron is I think he’s great. I think he’s probably the bestplayer to ever play the game.

And I tend to gravitatetowards people who are dominant in their sport and soI’ve been a Cleveland fan simply because LeBron,’cause I wanna see him win wherever he goes. – So, like Tiger– – Same exact principle.

Least as far as the excellence goes. You can’t deny that, I mean– – But unlike.

Tiger— There are people who do. My mom’s husband Lewis,last time he came out here, I picked him up from theairport and I don’t know how we got on LeBron ’causethis was before he said he was coming to the Lakers. He said that in his heyday, Lewis said he could take LeBron. – I thought he told youthat all of a sudden, if he could inhabit LeBron’s.

Body, that he could be a better player. I think he said somethingabout like the winning.

Mindset or something, I was like— Yeah he talked about how he’s a ball hog andhe’s not a team player. – Okay well, here’s a thingI’ll say about LeBron as well. – So there’s people who don’t like LeBron. At least, we don’t knowabout the specific details of LeBron’s life, but itappears that he.

Has been a faithful husband, an incredible father. And done all this stuff for his community and has been very outspokenabout a lot of things, and so, it seems like thecharacter is there as well.

Reasonsto pull for LeBron, right? Now, he’s coming to Los Angeles. I’m mad about it becauseI have too much pride to become a Lakers fan. I want him to lose badly, because now, I can still be a LeBron fan personally, but my hate for the Lakersand that whole tradition– – You don’t. – You hate winners because we were losers. And you know what, I’m tired of losing. – So hold on, you’re gonna bandwagon? You’re seriously gonna bandwagon? – I went, I got seasontickets to the Clippers and you know what, it. And it just wasn’t quiteenough to bake in allegiance. I even knew the name of thatguy who came off the bench, the big guy who would.

Mo in!” I would say things like that, like, “We need some Mo. – He’s playing for somebody else now. He had no allegiance to the Clippers. Any more than LeBron had to Cleveland! – If the Lakers wanna pay.

Root for them, I will do it, okay? – I just didn’t. I don’t have an allegianceto the. We had a lot of fun, butwe bought too many tickets and then we didn’t go to all the games. And they didn’t win! It was a disappointment atthe end, and I was still, I just hadn’t fully committedand. – But that’s not howwe make decisions about who we’re gonna pull for— I’m not gonna buy Lakers season tickets, but if I’m gonna go to a game, I think it probably needs to be the one that LeBron is playing in. – By the way, we bought season tickets and when LeBron came from theCavs to play the Clippers– – He sat out.- He sat out! He wasn’t, he sat the freak out! – It was like one of thereasons we.

Were excited about season tickets and then he sat out. And Kyrie sat out that game as well. To wrap this up, I will goto a Lakers game with you. – Oh okay, I will sitin a different section. – I don’t want you to– – Are you gonna root for.

Them? I will go and it willbe pure entertainment to just be able to see LeBron in action. – That’s all I’m givingat basketball right now is just, I’m going towatch it like a movie, because you know what, Ikept score for the girls’ middle school basketball. That’s my only connection, man. I watched half the seasonand then we’d take– – Are you like keeping score in your head? – We’d take our friend— Rebound, rebound. – And he’s like explainingwhat a triple double is, and I realize, I didn’t evenknow that was indicated on the, I could look at that score. I realized I wasn’teven enjoying the game. I’m gonna go watch LeBron justlike some fair-weather dude but I’m not. – Okay good, as long asyou’re not a Lakers fan.

You just can’t be a Lakers fan. – But that Kevin Costner,boy he is something. (Rhett chuckles) Put him in a western, boy he’s great. – Is he a Lakers fan? Was that your callback? – It was a Wyatt Earp callback.- Yeah remember, we watched that together. – Yeah yeah, I think itwas his best performance. Okay, I don’t know if we’vecome to any conclusions. – So the LeBron thing, you can’t do it because– – I’m not gonna be a Lakers fan.

Clippers leave Los Angeles, I will reconsider. – If it wasn’t for whatyou just said to everybody, you could have just been a Lakers fan. – No ’cause people knowthat I’m a Clippers fan. – People don’t know, people don’t. I don’t do that, I don’t flip, man. I’d rather be a consistentloser than a flipping winner.

Be a winner, you just see who the bestteam is and you root for them. – But I do agree that I can’tjust say, “I’m a Lakers fan. You’re out for good butwe’re gonna go to a game.

– I do feel like our allegiance to either the Chargers or the Ramsis still up for grabs, even though I did go to.

ARams game and I bought a hat. – We should get two— Two years ago. – Yeah, you tried that, it didn’t work. – But then, the Chargerscame and Philip Rivers is the quarterback, NC State grad. So, I don’t know, is he? – I don’t know. – We should get two friends,we should go to a Lakers game, we should paint our chest. B-R-O-N, and then when somebody goes to the bathroom, we’re either gonna.(Rhett chuckles) Like is there a Ron on the Lakers? – We could be RNB. Any way you slice it,anybody goes to the restroom, only one at. – Or if two of us gowe’re just like pound. (Link chuckles) – I need a diagram to follow this now. Well there you have it,we talked about sports. – Okay, if you’re still listening,thank you for doing that.

#EarBiscuits, let usknow what we should watch on YouTube, or talk to us aboutwhat we just talked about. – Yeah, in fact, just this past week whenyou guys started talking.

About the textingconversation, a lot of.

People took issue with some ofthe conclusions we came to in that particular episodeand then began to explain how texting had been soinstrumental in their own personal communication and I don’t know, it opened my eyes. – Some of you talked abouthow you got a lot of anxiety around just normalface-to-face communication and.

Texting allows youto be able to do that and so, I totally get that. I still stand by the whole idea of texting and face-to-face communicationbeing used together being the.

Most effective way, but– – But it can go a lot furtherthan we at first realized. – Share this episode withsomebody who loves sports or hates sports or is anywhere in between. – To hear this EarBiscuit in its entirety and make sure you don’t miss an episode, follow the links in.

Thedescription to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or anywhereelse podcasts are available. – To watch more Ear Biscuits, click on the playlist to the right. – To watch more of our daily show Good Mythical Morning.

Clickthe playlist on the left. – And don’t forget to click the circular icon. – Thanks forbeing your Mythical best.

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