Live sports are currently on pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving the $160 billion US sports industry in a tailspin. Only about half of all sporting events that were originally scheduled for 2020 will likely take place, per a new report.
While all sports will take a hit, some will weather the storm better than others. The esports industry, for instance, will probably do okay. The big stadium events are on hold, but gobs of gamers and fans are still nestled safely online.
Compared to most issues in our fury-fueled political landscape, disc golf is a blissfully uncontroversial subject of public interest.
But, if you plumb the depths of local news coverage, you will find at least some controversy over the upsides and downsides of disc golf.
The debate, when there is one, can be summarized with the following questions:
Does the inclusion of a disc golf course in a public park harm the natural environment, or is disc golf an environmentally friendly alternative to other, more destructive recreational activities?
Does the sport introduce unreasonable physical risks to participants and bystanders, or benefit public health and wellbeing?
Do disc golf communities encourage public intoxication, criminal behavior and community conflict, or provide safe, family-friendly recreation that deters crime in public parks and inspires community engagement, volunteerism and charity?
One of the questions you learn to answer in graduate school is, “Who cares?”
As you work through your research ideas, your teachers drum this question into you. For instance, after presenting your thesis proposal, someone in the audience might chirp: “Your project sounds interesting, but I’m not sure it passes the who-cares test.”
That’s as close as it gets to smack talk in academia.