The essence of sport is that it is a form of entertainment (except in some cases in Europe and Latin America), just like watching a play or listening to music. However, when you went to a game, you expected to see two teams play and little more: now, we are bombarded by intro music, constant songs during play and a general level of unnecessary (and usually artificial) noise. Professional basketball is the worst culprit of this, as live games are unwatchable thanks to constant music playing when the home team is on offense and pre-recorded 'DEE-FENSE' chants the other side of the court. College basketball, to its credit, still lets the fans make the noise. However, baseball, America's signature game, is also being cluttered with noise, and Mike Vaccaro sums up my sentiment with this tidbit from his column on Sunday: Yep. Somehow, the Mets must have thought nobody had paid attention to the way the goofballs at Fenway Park had turned "Sweet Caroline" into an eighth-inning Fenway Park tradition the past few years. And here's the thing: people are lemmings. Whether it's at a wedding, a bar mitzvah or a ballgame, if you play "Sweet Caroline," the masses - many of whom wouldn't go to a Neil Diamond concert if he was playing in their basements - invariably do the sing-a-long parts (somewhere, while our enemies are learning how to subsist on dirt and flies for months at a time, they are laughing at a culture that can't help itself from shouting "So good! So good! So good! So good!") And here's the worst part: We're getting a couple of new baseball stadiums in New York City within the next few years. There's a good chance that the Post Office on Eighth Avenue is going to disappear and return as a new Madison Square Garden not long after. There are new arenas going up in Brooklyn and in Jersey. Sometime in the present millennium, there may even be a new building on Long Island. All of this blessed construction, all of this wonderful progress. All of it will be tricked-out with every conceivable eardrum-splattering noise machine and sound-effect toy and music-amplifying system. You think going to ballgame now plays pinball with your nervous system? Just wait. The children of Jane Jarvis are about to have their ears led to slaughter. The fact that so many people go along with the crap played at venues (both me and my friends always boo the Shea crowd when they sing along to Sweet Caroline) perpetuates the problem, and it's making tough on real sports fans.