A Little Unprofessional


Usually I let it go. Most people think paper airplanes are infantile. It’s probably true that a lot of people make and fly them in a childish way. When people smile and shake their heads at what I do, I get it. I have the world’s best job. I throw paper airplanes for a living. My fellow humans frequently have a hard time processing that. So, yeah, I let the put downs blow past me. It’s actually kind of fun to see the confusion on their faces as I agree. When they go back to their job on Monday, are they thinking about changing gigs or following their passion? Maybe.


A peevish man-child is at the top of tennis. Djokovic was 26-0 in 2020. Impressive. He was taken down by his temper. Sadly, this is the headline for tennis over the weekend.


I don’t give a fig about tennis. I appreciate the work it takes to be a professional in any sport. I’ve been in the tv control room for many sporting events, and I admire what athletes can do. I admire individual athletes like Lebron James, who are dignified along with being at the top of their game. I think playing a sport is a good thing, but I’m dubious of professional sports. Drugs, cheating, and adults who can’t (or won’t) govern their emotions seem far too prevalent. The fans get cheated when players cheat or misbehave.


It’s just that when people call competitive paper airplanes childish, or are even surprised it exists, I think, “Name a sport that isn’t childish or dumb.” If that offends you, zoom out a little and look at your favorite sport. Break it down to basic elements. What are the athletes required to do? Hit a ball with a stick? Carry a ball across a line? Kick a ball into a net? Throw a ball into a basket? Slap a puck into a net? Run fast? Jump High? Hit each other hard?

It’s true. I throw pieces of paper around for a living. Is that any weirder than whacking a ball into a hole with a stick? The problem with paper airplanes is that they’re too accessible. There’s no fancy gear to buy, so there’s no equipment manufacturer to sponsor events. There are records, but no official time to challenge them. It looks kind of silly to watch, but in my defense, I give you badminton and curling. There is hope, now that everyone has a camera in their pocket. A groundswell of great paper airplane flight videos may eventually create a amateur event, leading to a pro event-- some day.

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