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It's only a game

Posted at 3:06 PM on March 16, 2009 by Chris Dall

As we head into March Madness, you'll no doubt see some articles about how office productivity goes down during the tournament, as hoop heads fill out their brackets, stay up to the wee hours watching Duke play Alcorn State in the first round of the West Regional, and watch games online while they're supposed to be working. (I think that article must be stuck somewhere in the evergreen file of every newspaper sports section in America, along with the ubiquitous "Why is Soccer So Boring?" and "What the Hell is Curling?" articles.)

Hopefully, this year's tournament won't be the straw that broke the camel's back and throw the country into a Depression.

As much as this concern about productivity is overblown, it did get me thinking about how much sports dominates American life. As a lifelong sports fan, I've always been torn about my interest in sports. Why do I always read the sports section first? Why do I care so much about whether a team of millionaire ballplayers, with no real link to the city in which I live (or grew up in), wins a certain amount of games? Why do I care if Joe Nathan blows a save, or Tarvaris Jackson throws an interception, or that Randy Foye will never, ever be as good as Brandon Roy. More importantly, how much more productive could I be if I didn't spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about these things?

I still haven't figured out an answer to those questions. But whenever I get concerned about my obsession with sports, stories like this one come along to remind me that Americans still have some perspective about sports.

Enjoy the tournament!

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