Professional sports - and the intersection of professional sports with American culture - have become more like The Hunger Games and less like mere athletic competition. More like the gladiator games, and less like athletic contests. As if the leagues are operating a human lottery - trading lives back and forth, dangling the illusion of prosperity and fame before many with little opportunity for either, all the while wasting their bodies, minds, and spirits in an orgy of physical pain, exacting the last measure of strength from its players. And in the end offering only tin trophies and a hollow thanks. While we watch, cheer, and are corrupted ourselves.