Sports undermining our society? Nonsense. They not only provide an acceptable outlet for our aggressions, but in a world where there is little permanence, they offer stability, constancy. As a young man said to me recently, "It's reassuring to have at least one reliable thing in my life. If a basketball game is scheduled, I know it will be played. It's not contingent on whether I've been living right or on what the stock market does."
At a time when justice often seems to elude us, we can find it in sports. If the pitcher commits a balk, the runner moves up a base. We may grumble if the pitcher is playing for our team, but deep down we feel good that the rules have prevailed.
I'm no longer a rabid baseball fan. Yet, if I'm driving and heavy traffic is making me irritable and anxious, I will search for a baseball game on the radio. The announcer may not be the Harry Caray of my youth, but he offers me that same "God's in his Heaven/All's right with the world" feeling. The words "the count is one ball and two strikes" are better than any tranquilizer.