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CrossFit is everything that’s wrong with America

AMERICA is its sports.  That’s a strong claim, but try coming up with a more pervasive, more intrinsic lens through which we see ourselves.  Politics?  Religion?  Check the stats and you’ll find that about 122 million of us voted in the last presidential election and about 129 million of us regularly attend church, but in 2009 the US Census Bureau reported that nearly 270 of the 313.9 million Americans participated in “sports activities.”  That number includes everything from the little leaguers on the ball field to the huffers on the treadmills, with walking, unsurprisingly, as our number one sport.  America is a sporting land.  And that includes the land itself.  Sure, we may officially reside in states and counties, cities and towns, but we live in athletic divisions, regions, and rivalries: home team and visitors, us vs. them.  I’m in Ohio and on any given day I can probably tell you how our baseball and football teams are doing, even though I find both sports snoozers.  Like pop hits or smog, sports is in the air.  We breathe it in at the checkout counter, the water cooler, the bar.  All the more so in an age with an Internet and interstates.  There isn’t a great geographical or cultural difference between Cincinnati and Cleveland, but it sure as shit matters if you’re in Bengals or Browns Country.  Map America, and the Mason-Dixon line looks quaint compared to the scrimmage line.

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