What sports mean culturally
Imagine sitting at a sporting event and not knowing anything about the person sitting next to you.
You don't know their religion, where they stand on the political spectrum or what kind of beliefs they have because you're just meeting this person.
Instead of getting into a deep discussion about all of those touchy subjects, though, you end up just talking about the game, with no worries about offending the person.
That is the magical thing about sports.
It doesn't matter about your beliefs or morals or politics, the only thing that matters is the game on that day.
Think about the Super Bowl. Millions of people watch it worldwide and it gives people something to connect to and talk about. You might hardly know anything about football, or maybe you know an unlimited amount of stats – either way you can discuss it with someone anywhere at anytime.
In the city of Seattle this is a very relevant topic because of the new proposed arena deal. The Seattle Times editorial board has taken a stance against the arena because of some ridiculous opinions that don't make any sense.
Recently Bruce Ramsey of the editorial board said the city government can't help pay for the arena because it isn't a necessity like libraries and other community buildings.
I agree it isn't a necessity but neither are bike lanes, libraries or buses. Yes these things are extremely important to a community and I agree they are very much needed by a community – but how is an arena not a need?
Part of the reason people oppose the arena is because they say it doesn't offer a cultural significance.
This is a completely ridiculous statement. The Seahawks, Mariners and Sounders are a large part of the culture in the city of Seattle. They offer a chance for people to do something on any night of the week and meet new people at any time of the week.
The new arena, and the sports teams that it would bring, would provide entertainment to thousands or millions of people, just like an art museum, park or even a library.
I know for people who don't like sports that it's tough to imagine what kind of cultural impact they have, but in my eyes, and the eyes of millions more, it can be life changing.
For me sports have been a sigh of relief since I was young child. Going outside everyday to play basketball with my neighbors and creating ever lasting friendships with those people.
Today I still live in the same house and I still see children my age running around playing basketball, baseball and football. It brings people of all ages together.
Next time this arena proposal comes up in a discussion, and someone opposes the idea because
it has no cultural value, let those people know that they are wrong and point out what sports can do for a community.
And keep reminding opponents about that person you sit next to at the game: You have no clue who they are, or what they believe in, but you can still enjoy a game with them with no problems.
Ben Goldstein, Sports Editor