Our Lenten recommendations this year focused on "taking up" certain practices. But in some cases "giving up" something may still be a good spiritual discipline. In our next issue (link to come), our editors recommend giving up election news. And over at The Jesuit Post, Michael Rossman, S.J., has proposed something even more drastic:

This has gone too far.  I have decided to take serious action.

The other day it finally dawned on me that I’ve been going to ESPN.com for the sole reason of checking the most updated player efficiency ratings (PER) to see whether LeBron James’s numbers have slipped (PER is basically just a complicated way of trying to assess an NBA player’s performance – basically a basketball GPA).

And then I realized that, you know, I don’t have to do this.

In fact, my life would be better if I used the time and energy I usually spend thinking about player efficiency ratings for, oh, I don’t know… prayer, doing good… flossing.  Pretty much anything other than checking out who’s the most efficient player in the NBA.

If you are part of the 99% who have no idea what player efficiency ratings are, I can assure you that you are not missing out on anything.  And if you just clicked on that hyperlink, I’m sorry, because you’ll probably want that time back.  (Granted, I completely agree with this guy; perhaps player efficiency ratings could allow us to catch up with the rest of the developed world in math proficiency – after all, it is halftime in America.)

With Lent approaching, I have decided to give up visiting ESPN.com for these forty days – and by writing this publicly, I actually feel the need to stick to this.  I will miss all the articles about March Madness.  I will miss the NBA trade deadline and all of the wonderfully exhausting speculation leading up to it.  I will miss matters of great importance.

And life will go on.  My dental health will probably be better as well.

Read the rest here.

Tim Reidy

Comments

Bill Collier | 2/28/2012 - 5:02pm
I assume there's no need to give up the PER (prayer efficiency ratings) on the other ESPN (Excellent Sermons & Praise Network)?

(Perhaps I should give up attempts at humor for Lent. ;)) 
NORMA NUNAG | 2/28/2012 - 1:18pm
Giving up election news....that's a great suggestion.  They are not real news anyway, but half truths, innuendos, posturing and bubbles.  They just leave you more confused than informed.