Was That Worth It?

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

When I turned 11, my mom gave me a choice for my birthday present: Atari or Summer Camp. I couldn’t have both (we couldn’t afford both), so I had to choose.

On the one hand Atari was the “it” game of that era. You could plug it into your TV and play games by yourself or with friends. Games like Pong and Combat. Missile Command and Pac Man. On the other hand was summer camp. Two weeks in the mountains camping, swimming, fishing, and hiking. You got to bring back packs, sleep in bunk beds, and ride horses.

I chose Atari.

It only took a week or so before I was bugging my parents to buy more games (they didn’t – that was a blessing in disguise). By May, it sat alone in dark cabinet, collecting dust. I was duped by the “glitter” of Atari and found out it wasn’t worth it. I had to wait over a year, but the following summer, I got it right and went to camp.

A thought I had as March Madness finally wound down on April 8 was is it worth it? The time invested…worth it?

To the NCAA, media, marketers, the schools, the athletic associations, the coaches and players – it is worth it (even though the players get exploited, they do have the memories and a t-shirt, unless you’re New Mexico State). For die hard fans, I suppose it is worth it to them as well. To me, it just seems to be about the NCAA making money off of everyone and everything and I just don’t know if it’s worth it.

There are many guys, young and old, who expend a lot of time, energy and effort to go the games, only to wake up the next day empty, far from home and lighter in the wallet.  If you’re over 40, was it worth it? Is it worth the time off from work, time away from home and time invested in the games? I didn’t travel to any games or take time off, but I did prioritize time to watch my team, and chose that time over time with the family and I don’t know if that was worth it. My home state was represented well, my school finished second, but how does that impact me? Do I get a benefit? Am I a better man because of it?

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy competition and accomplishment. I enjoy going to occasional games and cheering on my team, but what if I put more of my time, energy and effort into something that really mattered and less into things that are really distractions? What if I put my talents towards feeding the homeless or providing clean water to a town in Africa instead of watching a game that other people play?

I think that might be worth it.

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1 Comment

  1. Nancy Miller

     /  April 11, 2014

    Yes it worth investing in people over things , well said: I pray I always remember do and teach others thus important trait.


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