Extra Points Column: Social Media and Sports

Published in the Bedford Bulletin-February 1, 2017 Edition.

The past week has been difficult for me in a lot of different ways. Things that were supposed to happen didn’t and things that no one ever wished to happen, happened. So of course, this week has been difficult and I have felt unfocused. But luckily I was able to have a relaxing weekend which helped.
I have been trying to filter negative stuff out of my life because it is hard to be happy when so many people are trying to drag others down when they are unhappy.
I’d much rather filter out the negative and be happy, and yes to some that means I am naive or ignorant or selfish because I don’t want to know what is going on. I don’t care to see people constantly badmouthing each other, being rude to each other, calling other people names, and people lumping everyone into certain categories based on what they believe, especially when these are the same people that scream we need to unite. Well in my opinion calling your neighbor names and being rude to others is not going to unite people. It’s only driving a wedge further and further between people.
I agree everyone has an opinion and should be able to voice it. I don’t want anyone’s voice to be lost because of this. But I do think that everyone, including myself at times, needs to be open to others views. Argue your belief, but you don’t need to call someone a name or be rude. Stand up for what you believe, but don’t belittle someone else.
A common saying is “Practice what you preach” meaning I am saying people shouldn’t bad mouth each other, so I try my hardest not to bad mouth other people. Especially if we are arguing two different sides of something.
We shouldn’t be lumping everyone into categories either. But social media makes it easier for people to become more divided by arguing with others, to become separated by calling each other names. Social media makes it easier for people to hide behind a keyboard and monitor and tell others how they “should” believe. It makes it easier to bully others, to target specific groups, and to harass people.
If you feel like every time you get on Facebook you are scrolling through, maybe looking at families pictures and news articles and then you find yourself in a heated debate with someone because you feel one way about something and they feel another, before you respond or comment you should probably pause for a moment and think if what you are going to say is worth an argument, is correct information and is insightful.
I am here to tell you that feeling differently from someone is normal, not believing in the same thing someone else does is normal and it’s okay. It’s okay to have a different opinion because if we all had the same opinions about things we would have a boring world. And we would probably be living in a world where people felt they couldn’t speak out.
We live in a world where everyone can speak out, everyone has the right to their opinion. The problem we have is when other try to make people change their opinion, but aren’t going about it in a nice and intelligent way. People are trying to change the mind of others by degrading, belittling and bad mouthing others. And that’s not okay.
So, for me, instead of partaking in the argument I just scroll past it. If it’s going to be controversial I don’t even comment. I don’t want to feel degraded or belittled, I don’t want to be cursed at or felt to feel stupid all because someone is trying to prove that what I believe it wrong.
I don’t want to get so heated over the opinion of someone else that it affects my work, my life and my happiness. No one should let little things like other’s opinions make them unhappy. “Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep,” another great quote that constantly reminds me that an acquaintance’s opinion should not bother me.
I hope everyone will take time this week to love a little deeper, listen a little harder and pray a lot more.
Now onto the pro-bowl. I unfortunately did not get to watch the pro-bowl because I had family obligations, but I did catch the highlights and of course filtered through all the political stuff to find the sports articles.
I saw where Ezekiel Elliott tackled the guy that ran across the field. Luckily the guy wasn’t a streaker. But Elliott and a few other players ran after him and tackled him and when the guy got up another athlete tackled him. I don’t know if he thought he could seriously run quicker than some of these guys or thought it would be fun. Jail time is not something I would find fun, the two to five minutes of fame is not worth jail time and a fine for running out on a field like that.
I am sure the guy will be talked about for a while but it’s still not worth it in my opinion. And on top of that I would not want to be tackled by a professional football player. I am sure he did not tackle him like he would another football player because the guy did not have any pads on, but still I am sure it was not the most comfortable feeling being taken down.
The guy also surrendered when he got to the endzone, just before security was able to surround him he threw his hands up in the air. Watching the clip of that was too funny, I think those athletes had a good time chasing him and tackling him though.
The AFC defeated the NFC 20-13, and the best thing about the pro-bowl is that the athletes wear one uniform to signify which team they are on but they all wear the helmet of the team they are representing. Of course, this is nothing new, but it’s something I notice every year.
I am sure there are people out there that count up which team or teams have the most players in the pro-bowl.
The game consisted of three touchdowns and four field goals, in total. That is a pretty slow game, maybe the stadium being half empty had something to do with it. But in all honesty I am sure it is mostly because the athletes at that time are tired, their teams are not going to the Super Bowl so they really don’t care, even though they are awarded a bonus for playing in the pro-bowl. From what I read winning players received $60,000 and losing players received half that.
For most NFL athletes that is a drop in the bucket of what they make annually. I mean for an average person like me and you that is probably a year or two worth of a salary. I’d be playing my little heart out for $60,000. I joked once, that I could totally be a bench warmer for $500,000 a year with a five year contract. There are athletes that are on the practice team that make a load more money than I do.

One thought on “Extra Points Column: Social Media and Sports

  1. Your viewpoint on sports and social media is so important, especially in today’s society. People really should be more open to other’s thoughts. When online and not in person, it’s easy to not care what others think about us and to just blurt out our opinions without thinking twice about it.

    I can relate to you when you say you don’t want to get so upset over someone else’s opinions that it effects your work. For those of us lucky enough to be in the journalism field and on social media professionally, it’s even more important that we keep an open, unbiased mind.

    Check out my blog https://fansunfilteredblog.wordpress.com/! email: anconley@mix.wvu.edu


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