The appeal of, some might say the obsession for, sports in our society reflects not merely a desire for recreation and release (which are legitimate human desires) but an internal need to see good human traits modeled. Against the sometimes random imposition of harms and garnishing of goods, sports at its ideal elevates quality above mediocrity, hard work above laziness, skill above chance, and even right above wrong.
As with any human endeavor, our ideals fall short. But if a sports activity fails to comport with expectations of fair play on a regular basis, the pattern of inequity undermines our sense of integrity. When the rules are not faithfully applied, we are discouraged. If the rules are constantly flouted – or misapplied – we are demoralized. Indeed, if those who apply the rules lack proficiency and the outcome of the contest then is determined by incompetent application, the effect over time can undermine character, because the worst of human traits are then modeled.
Such is becoming the case in the National Football League. As the owners’ lockout of the officials stretches past the third week of the regular season, the incidents of obvious failures in application of the rules and embarrassingly poor calls continue to multiply.
Natural law compels bringing back the regular refs. I love it.