Imagine if reading were a big-time spectator sport like boxing or football:
- Nerds would be the jocks.
- The most popular slogan would be, “Just read it.”
- Common advice would include, “Keep your eye on the text.”
- Franchise teams would have names like the Chicago Verbs, Denver Hyphens, Los Angeles Chapters, Mississippi Twains, Dallas Texters, London Haiku, and Philadelphia Lyrical Wonders.
- Fans would come to the big event shirtless and with words written across their chests and cheeks.
- Every tail-gating party would feature poetry recitations.
- The only injuries trainers would need to attend to would be eye soreness and backaches.
- Close plays would be shown again in slow motion on Instant Readplay.
- The umpire would shout, “Read Words,” at the beginning of every game.
- The big game at the end of the season would be called the World Sentences.
- Instead of people spending $100 to watch two guys beat their brains out for several minutes and 99 cents to read a book for many hours, thousands of spectators would pay hundreds of dollars to watch their favorite teams compete as readers for a few hours.
- Participants would be called acathletes.
- Acathletes would earn millions of dollars to show off their amazing reading skills.
- Teens would dream of going on dates with the top acathletes.
- Coaches would earn good money to teach valuable reading skills.
- Publishers and bookstores would sponsor the teams, adding their logos to the jerseys.
- Stores would sell expensive jerseys featuring authors, books, and acathletes.
- At home people would watch the big event on giant e-reader screens.
- Kids would spend their free time practicing their reading skills and would dream of becoming talented readers when they grow up.
- People would think, “We sure have come a long way since the day of the gladiator.”
Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen
Educators have permission to freely copy part or all of this list entitled “If Reading Were a Spectator Sport…” for non-commercial purposes in order to help promote the spirit of reading.