If Reading Were a Spectator Sport…

Just Read It

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.

TV Golf Tactics

So you’re closely monitoring the scorecard of your favorite golfer online hole-by-hole while you wait for golf to come on t.v. You’re very anxious because he’s in the top 10.

When it finally comes on t.v., it doesn’t. Nope, there’s a basketball or football game going on instead. Golf will finally come on when the other sport finishes.

But that’s okay because there is only 2 minutes left. Except for the fact that the last 2 minutes of basketball or football takes more like 15 minutes.

They even call a time-out if they’re down by 50 points with 1 minute to go! What’s the point of that time-out? To prolong your misery? If it’s a close game, then I would understand.

But then if it’s so close that it ends with a tie, it goes on for another 15 minutes, which of course means a half hour.

Eventually, golf actually comes on. When it does, what’s the first thing they do? Come on, guess. I’ll even give you a few reasonable choices:

(A) Show highlights of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson

(B) Discuss the weather and how it will impact the course.

(C) Immediately begin by showing the golf.

(D) Do something totally unrelated.

Yep, you guessed it, (D) is the correct answer: The first thing they do is take a sports break to tell you what wonderful things are going on in the world of basketball, football, or hockey.

Wait a minute! Didn’t I just turn on the golf? Is this the wrong channel?

Attention, golf announcers: We turned on the golf to watch golf (as difficult as this may be to believe). If we wanted to know who won a basketball, football, or hockey game, here’s a thought: Maybe we have already watched it!

I can’t remember the last time I was watching basketball, football, or hockey and they took a 10-minute break to tell me what was going on in golf earlier that day.

So when golf finally begins, the player you were watching – who was doing really well when you were following the scorecard online – has since made a few double bogeys and is now totally out of the competition.

Now that the golf is finally on, you don’t even want to watch it.

But I guess this works, otherwise why would they do it?

Maybe if I included 20 pages about baseketball in the beginning of my books (which have absolutely nothing to do with basketball), I will start selling more books. 🙂

With this in mind, I may as well include information about one of my books after my name, even though that book has absolutely nothing to do with golf (nor any other sport). What better way to symbolize the irony, huh?

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers