Bryce Harper is one of the bright young stars in Major League Baseball. The Washington Nationals’ right fielder was last year’s National League Most Valuable Player and is sure to have another good season this year. He made headlines before the season began for saying that baseball “is a tired sport because you can’t express yourself.” And Harper is all about expressing himself.
Harper is on a personal mission to bring “the fun” back to baseball, but his version of fun doesn’t make for an enjoyable watch. He is a glory-hound who likes to exalt himself when he does something good, while gloating over his opponents at the same time. On the flip side, he gets angry when something doesn’t go his way and he doesn’t care who knows it. He was recently suspended for cursing at and berating an umpire.
This is fun?
What I don’t get is why Harper gets all the headlines. There are other young stars just as good as, if not better than, Harper who conduct themselves professionally, are respectful of their opponents and the umpires, and don’t embarrass themselves by getting into fights with teammates in front of the television cameras. Why are we glorifying boorish behavior and calling it “fun”?
The coarsening of our society has blurred the lines between “boring” and “fun” so much that we’ve come to believe we can’t have fun without belittling others, gloating over others, and drawing attention to ourselves.
If is this is what passes for fun, then I’m content with being boring.