Do Lakeside Students Care about Pro and Collegiate Sports?

Lily R. ’20

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         Sports have long been a source of pride for the Lakeside community. With roughly 80% of students participating in school sports or club sports, Lakeside’s athletic student body contributes to the school’s hardworking, energetic, and spirited environment. But outside of Lakeside, how much do students watch professional and collegiate athletics?

         In the United States, sports are a nationwide phenomenon, attracting millions and millions of viewers and fanatics. Especially in the Seattle Area, home to teams competing in every major and sub-major sport except for men’s basketball, it is hard to go anywhere without seeing a wave of blue and green jerseys. Seattle Seahawks fans are regarded as some of the most rowdy and energetic in professional sports, the University of Washington Huskies boast countless PAC12 and National Titles, and the Seattle Storm came off of a WNBA Title and returned for the playoffs. Most other high schools in the Seattle area experience more city-wide sports spirit with teachers and students alike carrying out their own pre-game rituals, discussions, viewing parties, and celebrations. However, Lakeside seems to be an exception. According to a recent Tatler Poll, only 38% of Lakeside students keep track of or watch professional or collegiate athletics. Of those who do watch, the vast majority spend only 1-3 hours a week watching sports, not even constituting a full football game.

         It’s not that Lakeside students aren’t sporty; in fact, many people who play Lakeside sports are still not enthusiastic about watching professional teams on their own time. Max S. ’20, a three-sport athlete in football, lacrosse, and wrestling, says “[he enjoys] going to games but [doesn’t] like watching sports at home.” When he is not going to games, he spends less than an hour a week watching or researching professional sports.

Unsurprisingly, it seems as though lack of time is a huge factor for Lakeside students. Lucie M. ’20 is a swimmer and lacrosse player, but when asked about her interest level in watching sports, she responded that “I watch swimming and I enjoy watching ice skating… [but] I don’t go out of my way to watch sports unless it’s the Olympics.” When asked why she doesn’t, she said that it was a “waste of time.” On a similar note, Sally H. ’20 is a cross country and track runner who enjoys “watching sports when [she is] with other people, especially baseball, soccer, and football,” but she doesn’t ever watch sports on her own because she doesn’t have enough time.

Sophia C. ’20, an avid rower, put it bluntly when she said that she just doesn’t see the point: “I just don’t have any interest. Often the sports on TV are teams that I know nothing about, from cities I’ve never been to, and everything either looks like it could be legal or illegal. It doesn’t make sense to me, and frankly, I would rather spend three hours of my time watching the Great British Baking Show, which has much more drama than a single football game.”

With homework and extracurriculars taking up so much of students’ time, it can be difficult to set aside time to watch a team that they don’t play for. And while professional and collegiate athletics aren’t a big source of pride for Lakeside students, we still have our own Lakeside teams to root for. 

Sally H. ’20 warms up during a sunny cross country practice (Mike Lengel).