Football bashers need to stop stereotyping those they don’t know

I never thought I’d have to write a column in response to something written in The Minnesota Daily. But there it’s been for the last week — an argument over the merits of football taking place on our fair editorial pages.
Apparently, there’s a sentiment that football is “a bunch of guys fighting over a ball,” according to the letter, “Football is idiotic” from Rose Symotiuk in Wednesday’s paper.
I know some people think there’s no merit to the sport. In fact, Symotiuk went on to say that “people get nothing out of football. What is the point of watching a bunch of guys you don’t know fight a bunch of other guys also you don’t know?”
If people are arguing against football this way, why not argue against all sports? Why watch any sporting event?
Let’s go a step further. Why should we give a damn about “Romeo and Juliet?” Who the hell was Van Gogh, and why should I care what he was painting?
There’s a simple reason.
We all identify with somebody. Some people identify with the delicate portraits in museums, some identify with the verses of fine writers and some identify with athletes because they, too, play those games.
So my question to those who have written to the Daily about football — and there are others besides Symotiuk — is: Why do you feel compelled to attack sports? For a group (and I’m stereotyping here) who proposes to be an enlightened and welcoming community to all comers, why do you discriminate against people who like sports?
I’m struck by how many people seem to hold a grudge against sports. Even here at the Daily, there are employees who would rather read 1,000 budget articles than one article about the football team.
I’m tired of sports fans being viewed as the dregs of society. I’ve never been drunk at a sporting event, I’m not an alcoholic and I’m not fascinated with violence.
Zuh? How can I be a sports fan? Sports is more than just guys hitting each other. There’s more to every sport than meets the eye. I hate to watch gymnastics, but I admit that the routines are incredibly difficult. And I’ll never say that it’s pointless.
So, Rose Symotiuk, allow me to tell you and anybody else who hates sports what we should do with the arts to which you suggested we devote our time.
Let’s stop funding ’em. All of them.
Why are we giving money to a state orchestra that not even 10 percent of the state’s population will ever see or hear? To hell with them. It’s just a bunch of outdated music that nobody is interested in anymore.
And don’t tell me that these works are highly developed, beautifully designed and need to be preserved.
Nobody cares. I’d much rather watch Jimmy Page perform “Stairway to Heaven” (which he doesn’t anymore) than put up with some snotty music from a guy named Chopin.
See? It’s easy to be closed-minded and ignorant.
It’s funny that people who like certain sports or play certain sports get stereotyped as unaccepting jerks. I don’t see any of them stomping on other people’s fun in the paper.

Jim Schortemeyer is the sports editor and welcomes comments at [email protected]