I like sports.
It is fun for me to be emotionally invested in the success and failure of a sports team.
I’ve noticed, especially lately, people who feel the need to point out how stupid I am for following sports.
“Yay! Put the ball in the thing!”
“Woo! That guy hit the other guy!”
Sarcastic remarks like these are meant to show how ridiculous sports fans are for cheering on a bunch of grown men playing a game.
Most sports fans know this. We know that it is kind of weird to lose our minds over one guy throwing a ball to another guy.
We know how crazy it seems to scream at the top of our lungs when a guy hits a ball really hard with a stick.
But we’re OK with that.
It is entertaining to millions of people all over the world.
Any form of entertainment boiled down to its most basic principles will sound ridiculous.
“Can you believe people actually spend hours reading word after word about fictional characters!”
“Isn’t it crazy that it costs $10 to watch light reflect off a screen for 90 minutes?”
We should be able to enjoy what we enjoy without being mocked for it.
And sports fans aren’t the only people at the business end of this mockery.
Pop culture, fashion, TV — especially reality TV — and social media all receive this criticism.
When much of the Internet was going crazy over a blue-black/white-gold dress, the fun police came along to try and make us all feel guilty about our reactions.
“There’s a conflict in the Middle East and riots about race relations, and we’re arguing over a stupid picture of a dress?”
Apparently we’re not allowed to have fun when serious stuff is happening.
Thousands of people find it fun to keep up to date on who Taylor Swift has been dating — and breaking up with — lately.
Some of us can’t wait until Monday to watch Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal back-to-back.
Nobody is forcing us to follow these things. If you don’t like TV, don’t watch it.
The main reason people mock various forms of entertainment is because they believe these things, and the people who make them possible, contribute nothing to society. They don’t matter.
And if you think they don’t matter, then you’re right.
Sports matters to me because I make it matter.
It’s the same reason music, literature and visual arts matter so much to so many people.
Sports matters to me because I know I can meet a complete stranger and we can celebrate together like we’re best friends because the hockey team we’re both cheering for just scored.
It matters to me because I’ve spent an awesome week with two of my brothers following a baseball team from Atlanta to Miami to Philadelphia.
You may think it’s dumb, but sports matter a lot. Just because something seems pointless to you doesn’t mean it has no point.
So, let people care about what or whom they want to care about, whether that be Kim Kardashian, Calvin Klein or the Cleveland Cavaliers.