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Oh Say, Can You Play? A Satire

Brendan Dickson, Wilcox and the World Editor

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COurtesy of USA Today
Last year, undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. was the highest-paid athlete in the world at $300 million. Of course that’s no surprise with guns like those.-
America is unquestionably a sporting nation. The Super Bowl is the most televised event in the country. Baseball is our “national pastime” (although nowadays the NFL is giving it a run for its money). The salary of your run-of-the-mill sports star could pay seventy-five US Presidents. If you ask the average American what the three branches of government are, they just might say the NFL, the NBA, and the MLB. This is America; we love our God, our guns, and our ball.
We are both the inventors and the only fans of without a doubt the three greatest sports known to man: basketball, baseball, and American football (the real kind). Hockey fans, go back to Canada. Soccer stays in Mexico. As far as we are concerned, if a sport wasn’t invented or popularized in America, it’s not worth playing.
Yes, you read that right. Soccer is a joke. Who cares if it has four billion fans in like 200 countries? Look at it this way: if America doesn’t care about your politics, why should we care about your favorite sport? Soccer games on TV have more actual playing time than advertising breaks. God forbid that we lose our beer commercials!
It’s always been a rule that Americans never talk about two things: politics or religion. At least we aren’t ashamed of fighting over sports. It is the patriotic duty of every true-blooded American to defend the name and honor of their favorite team, at risk to life and limb if necessary.
It is also a time-honored American tradition to spend a weekend out at the races. Fifty years ago, that meant the horse races; now we’ve progressed to dragsters. NASCAR has it all: smoke-spewing, hyper masculine machines tearing around in ceaseless circles amid deafening noise. What’s not to love?
Speaking of hypermasculinity, every red-blooded American male needs his daily dose of testosterone, and where better to get it than from sports? Hence the sweat, the chest-bumps, the ripped torsos that dominate our newsstands and magazine covers. If we can’t play like them, at least we can lift like them. And why should we care about female athletes? Guys are the players, girls are the cheerleaders. Our womenfolk don’t give a rip about sports anyways; don’t waste the airtime.
And who in their right mind would begrudge our sports stars their $30 million paychecks? These guys are All-American, the cream of the crop! They deserve every penny. Besides, most of them ditched college for the pros, so they don’t have a degree. How do you expect them to support themselves and their pop-star girlfriends after they retire from the game? They commit their futures to our entertainment, a worthy cause if there ever was one. The least we can do is make them filthy rich.
While you’re at it, you might as well pay everybody, college and pros alike, and make it official. It’s common knowledge that no sane university coach follows the “scholarship-only” rule. Rules were made to be broken. It’s not like the guys who get caught ever get punished. We could care less whether the money moves over the table or under it, as long as our favorite schools keep winning.
Everybody’s favorite subject: steroids. If doping is the only way that the Cubs can finally win the World Series, then go for it! A surprising upset makes a better headline any day. It’s all about the entertainment value. We want more sensation in sports. Bigger muscles equals bigger plays: more slam dunks, more touchdowns, and more home runs. If steroids can accomplish that, then who are we to complain? The end justifies the means. It’s only illegal if you get caught. For that matter, let’s just make it legal in the first place and be rid of the controversy. Then we can argue about the real stuff (like how on earth the Golden State super team blew a 3-1 lead. Seriously, how?).
Do you question America’s greatness? *cue laugh track* Okay, maybe we aren’t the best in the world on all counts (sixth in median household income, seventeenth in education, thirty-first in life expectancy, and so on). But there’s one category where the United States is indisputably the best, and that is sports. We blew the competition out of the water at the Rio Olympics. US swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, has more medals than half the countries on Earth. Never mind that China is closing fast, that America is forty-third in medals per capita, and that we pour a vastly disproportionate amount of money and resources into our Olympic team. We’re number one–that’s all that matters!
You still think there are problems with sports in America? You don’t like the testosterone craze, over-commercialization, the tyranny of the Big Three, misogyny and undercoverage of women’s sports, the shameless overpayment of pros, under-the-table college payoffs, or drugs?
Were you even listening?

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The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California
Oh Say, Can You Play? A Satire