How culture and society shape our view on sports
by Daniel Smiechowski
America’s philosopher John Dewey found little need in religious dogma despite having been brought up in a church going family. The professor from the University of Chicago understood the significance of the divine upon culture and society. To those who say we do not need the San Diego Chargers football team consider the big picture through the lens of social-psychology and Dr. Dewey’s stance on the merits of religion upon the masses. We ought to all recognize the concept of public good in keeping the Bolts in our town.
Much has been written about the power of the purse and a taxpayer revolt but there has been scant mention of the emotional and psychological import of losing a professional sports franchise. Just as Professor Dewey understood the value of organized religion within the common man, we ought to recognize the social need of maintaining a professional sports team and what it brings to a community.
America is an athletically driven nation. Most little boys and girls for that matter grow up on sports. I still remember the 1963 Milwaukee Braves starting lineup fifty years later. That shows how emotionally close kids become to their sports teams. Many adults also find solace in bonding with and following their local sports team. Dare I say that this relationship is almost religious in nature, complete with rituals such as tailgating, flag waving, face painting and other types of mutual adulation. Understanding that not everyone likes football and recalcitrant taxpayers, it is by keeping the Bolts in San Diego that we promote the greater good.
When the Major League Braves left the City of Milwaukee in 1965 it devastated the morale of children and adults alike. When the NBA San Diego Rockets moved to Houston in 1971 it likewise affected our City by casting a pall over many sports enthusiasts.
Mayor Faulconer is knee deep in an untenable situation. San Diego Charger’s ownership however is playing by the rules of our free market. The National Football League is a business and we live in a capitalist economy. This is our culture and society, yet some of the same people benefiting from its very inherent qualities rail against wealthy ownership of professional sports teams. Perhaps we should equate the extra taxes as earmarked for a public park, which essentially is true, except one pays a fee for entertainment. There will be some long faces in San Diego if the Chargers decide to bolt.
Be nice, do good deeds and don’t be stranger as we at the Clairemont Times value your participation.
Daniel J Smiechowski has been a resident of Clairemont since 1967 and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 858 220 4613