Re: Re: US may be leading in Beijing but definitely far behind in Education Olympics

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#25963

GTF
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Actually, you might not be as rare as you believe.  Most US families have a hard time affording the cost of a major league sporting event.  Factor in not just the expense of tickets (which has become huge), but that of parking (plus gas to get there and back is no longer inconsequential), maybe stadium food (major rip-off) and souvenirs for the kids to add to their experience.  Even college sports are getting ridiculously expensive, I believe it would cost me at least $30/$50 (and that is for the crap endzone seats; the $30 is for the cupcake game of the schedule, $50 is the norm) to see the local U's football team play at home.  Is it any wonder I would rather pay $5/game to see the volleyball team play, especially since volleyball is just as interesting to me as a spectator as football is? 

Hey, nobody paid even 5¢ to go see Bill Gates do his computer wizardry as a young man, but I think most anyone you ask would rather be him today than Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, or Alex Rodriguez.  You can say that it is about money and that nobody is paying to watch anyone derivatize or titrate, but just consider the real odds at work.  How many kids who play sports end up getting a college scholarship for it?  How many of those end up doing that sport for a living?  How many end up making a living doing something else?  Which would be most likely to pay off in lifetime earnings or at least in allowing one to function better in the world and derive greater enjoyment from life, time spent on swimming in a pool or on batting practice or on lifting weights or time spent on becoming more proficient at math, science, and just acquiring a greater understanding of the world?

To me, the bottom line statement from this is that the US is all gung-ho about competing athletically, but has to a degree lost the desire to compete intellectually and thus economically.  Why does the competitive fire not translate?  Why are parents all attentive in attending Johnny's football games – even if it were obvious to everyone that Johnny would never compete in that sport beyond the scholastic level or even if Johnny were nothing but a bench-warmer –  yet seemingly would not be as behind him if he were “only” a student and not an athlete?