I write about sports a lot, and here is why? First of all, I love sports and have always good at them. John McEnroe once stated in an interview, “I never met a sportswriter who didn’t want to be a professional athlete.”
In that pearl of wisdom, McEnroe summed up the male ego aspect of sports reporting, in which every sportswriter is a ‘wanna-be athlete’ at heart. This shows up usually in the forms of ignorance & bias, which have been discussed at length already.  
I must say in reply to McEnroe: I’ve seen very few professional athletes who DIDN’T think they would be good journalists or broadcasters. I freely admit I wanted to be a professional athlete when I was young, but injuries & other circumstances took me in another direction. There are literally millions of these ‘failed athlete’ stories, everywhere. What’s special is that so few people actually care to find out why so many of these young boys & girls are being injured. 
These youth injuries are mostly the result of ignorance in medical science, and an obsessive desire to win-at-all-costs, from the bulk of the youth sports coaches. Most youth-level coaches are dads, who themselves are ‘failed athletes’ bringing their lack of skills & knowledge to a new generation. The motive to coach is (nearly) always nepotism, as they all stop coaching when their kid advances past their coaching level.
This is likely the main reason skills are largely lacking in ALL sports in America, despite the now-widespread availability of top-level instructional video via the Internet.
Shown above is a nearly-perfect serve from Serena Williams, broken down in super slow motion, with all the analysis one needs. Every tennis coach in the world should use this video (or a similar version from Federer, etc…) to teach the proper technique to maximize power & skill, while avoiding injuries. Yet, most U.S. tennis instructors won’t even think to use something like this, as their own ego is their master. That largely explains why there is no American ‘heir apparent’ to Serena in women’s tennis.
I learned much of this when I was young, so as a middle-aged adult I have no regrets about my life in recreational sports. I am simply an athlete. I’m not a professional one, and much happier for that. Professional sports is a tightrope walk for an entire career, competing against the best, to become the best. That is how the best think.
That is also what drives them past the edge, when it comes to PED’s and other forms of cheating & unethical behavior. Eventually, everything comes down to winning, and ALL the best athletes (in every sport) are faced with this dilemma: do I lie & cheat to win? It’s the proverbial Faustian deal, and it always haunts the athlete; whether it’s detrimental health side-effects & pain/addiction cycles, or the threat of blackmail and eventual public disgrace from those insiders who know, and always tell in the end.
I don’t regret my failed attempt to be a serious professional athlete, having to compete against this mentality, which is 90+% of the way top athletes think & act. I’d rather be able to actively enjoy my life into (and past) middle age. The demands & stress on those striving to be the best causes many of them to immediately go into ‘breakdown mode’ upon retirement. Notice how many former top athletes are overweight & unhealthy-looking in their middle age?
I’ve written about the NFL  , NBA  , soccer , tennis & the Olympics  . MLB is my main sports beat, with the San Diego Padres as the home team. Why the Padres? Because they are my new favorite team, and they get very little coverage in mainstream sports media. 
Baseball is the most historical game, with precise accountability, making it the best sport for connecting deeper social narratives. Baseball, like all other sports, has been overrun by greedy billionaires, commercialism, militarism, and entitled ‘superstar’ athletes.
I spend time on all this because these ideas need to be discussed and understood. Right now, what is published on this site is considered ‘unmentionable’ in mainstream sports media. Everyone mouths the truth, “Sports is a business,” and then immediately goes back to cheerleading their favorite teams and/or athletes.
All the staging for a sports event, with the incessant advertising & hype around it, are choreographed with specific ideological intentions. Values promoted by Madison Avenue in sports broadcasting include: alcohol use as a lure for sex, expensive & powerful motor vehicles for affirmation, militarism & conformity– all through brand association with top athletes. The best example of this is in NASCAR, which I’ve covered in great detail.   
Fantasy sports is a huge problem of sports addiction, meeting gambling addiction. Fantasy started in MLB, but is now most popular (by far) in the NFL. ESPN has been featuring Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournaments for over 10 years now, leading to all kinds of confusion over what is a sport, and what are the benefits of gambling? 
In short, Americans are addicted to sports. This wanna-be complex has destroyed the minds & bodies of several promising generations. Addiction to celebrity culture & winning is a crisis of capitalism, in which nothing matters except the brass ring. There is no longer any morality or ethics when it comes to professional sports, and when one realizes that every college, high school & youth league organization takes its cue for the professional leagues, then the magnitude of this human disaster starts to come into focus.
As a society, we must STOP pushing our children towards sports glory & professional athletic aspirations. In the vast majority of cases, it is one (or both) parents(s) pushing their own dreams upon their children. The child ends up resenting their parents, and either 1) gets hurt & gives up sports; and/or 2) ends up absorbing the values & methods of their hated father/mother when they reach adulthood.
Sports are about fun, fitness & healthy interaction. Those are its best values which need to be re-embraced. Money corrupts everything under capitalism. Therefore, the filth that seethes around professional sports must be rejected as a mortal threat to a healthy human society. If universal rottenness is the fate of our sports & recreation, then what prospects do we have in political economy & the rest?
The message is: Never give up on yourself as an athlete. Never cease maintaining & improving your level of overall fitness.  Do this without delusions of grandeur, unless you are already a genius:
Become a student of anatomy & physiology. Stay away from the pharmacology, as much as possible– all drugs have side-effects which is a serious issue. Pursue internal vs. external goals.
This is what a true athlete does.