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Why are we so obsessed with sports?

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I just read Cynique's lamenting

I also watched the last few minutes of the Knicks win over his royal majesty Lebron James' Miami heat. Spike Lee was in the audience giving birth over the games -- sitting in a seat worth a mortgage payment. The Knick's game was close and kept the injury prone team from breaking their own record 13 straight playoff losses and a 0-7 season spanking by the Heat.

But other than those observations the game really meant nothing for me. Sure there were some great shots and moves made, but the game could have been played by two completely different teams and I would have been just as unmoved. I did not care who won or lost -- the only time I do is when I have money on the game.

Sometimes I think I would care more if all the Knicks actually came from and lived in New York. But maybe not. The coaches and the players come and go, switching teams so frequently it is hard to become invested an any given team's outcome.

I just accept the fact I can never get very worked up over a game that I'm not actually playing in.

It also makes me think about all the recent coverage over the idea of getting rid of college athletics.

As a former D1 athlete I agree with the idea. I have kids at Syracuse University and Williiam & Mary. SU has a huge arena were ticket prices can exceed $100. W&M has a field that a High School might brag about. Student attend for free and Tickets cost $20.

I think, net-net, W&M's system benefits the students/athletes/alumni/university more as it pertains to academic achievement. SU might send more students to the professional ranks. But the numbers are too small to really matter and SU should not be in the business of training professional athletes.

The University of Chicago got rid of there football program. Was there any ill effect?

What is with our nation's obsession with sports?

The obsession is not explained by our concern for fitness or participation because we are a nation of overweight couch potatoes.

Is it that our lives are so empty that we live vicariously through the lives of the competitors?

Men seem to be effected more than women. I go to pro football games from time to time and it is mostly dudes there. Dudes who talk about the game as if they were actually in it. "We" should have done this or "we" should have done that. Or this was a great win for "us".

Some people dedicate entire rooms in their homes to the activity of watching sports. Entire weekends are dedicated to watching games.

I know guys who barely graduated from a low performing inner city high school but can speak with great alacrity, depth and insight on why one team is better than another.

I don't get it would anyone care to explain?

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Well, Troy, you pretty much did answer your own questions. Sporting events are a form of entertainiment, and escapism, and a source of excitement so, yes, folks do get their vicarious thrills from watching superior athetes perform, whether as a team or an individual. The word "fan" is, after all, derived from "fanatic" so fans are slavishly devoted to their favorites.

Sports have always been around dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans and even beyond. Cavemen probably challenged each other to rock throwing contests, so the drive to compete and vie is seemingly in the DNA of homo sapiens, and loyalty to a team is an extension of the "us" against "them" mentality that bonds human beings. Adhering to the noble acclamation about "it not being whether you win or lose, but how you play the game" has proably never been very popular. "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing" is a motto more compatible with the competitive.

Anyway, your indifference to sports is not that unusual. People are passionate about different things and athletics aren't the only activity that incite an intense following.There are movie buffs, and dog and cat and horse fanciers, and coin and stamp and art and antique collectors, and fashionistas, and oh yes, comic book enthusiasts, many of whom may not be sports fans.

Once it became apparent that there was money to be made in sports, then it became an industry, and the rest is history. B)

Now, having said all of that, I will proceed to fall on the floor and kick and scream and bawl like a baby, between claiming that somebody put a hex on the Chicago Bulls who are in all probabilily done for the season, being down 3 games to one, because the winningest team in the NBA is about to tank in the first round of playoffs. With 2 star players felled by injuries and the rest of the team unable to take up the slack, all the regular season hype will go for naught. :angry:

BTW, DRose of the Chicago Bulls is a homegrown boy from the Chicago, so it did make it easier to root for him. Ironcially, Evan Turner, one of the players on the 76ers team is also a homegrown Chicagoan who has always existed in the shadow of Rose, and is now enjoying his day in the sun participating in the defeats Phildelphia is handing to the Bullies.

Incidentally I rarely watch a Bulls game all the way through unless they are blowing out their opponents. I can't take the stress and tension of close, nail-biting games that are decided in the last few seconds. I close myself off and when I don't hear any clapping and cheers coming from elsewhere in the house, I know they lost. Then I suffer through the low lights on the 10 o'clock news. When they do lose an important game, I'm bummed out for a couple of days. :blink:

Once the Bulls are eliminated, I won't be paying much attention to the rest of playoffs. I couldn't care less who takes it all. And that includes keeping up with the Celtics who are coached by my homie, Doc Rivers, or whatever team Shannon Brown who is also from my hometown, is playng on if it's in the playoffs. :(

So, Troy, that's my feed back. One thing I forgot to mention is that sports fans are often masochists. <_<

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LOL! :D You are right about sports fans are often masochists -- they are heavily invested in something they can't control. That is a perfect recipe for stress.

Of course money does pervert the sports on every level. The profit driven impact on college campuses is almost criminal.

Unlike you, I enjoy watching the ends of games that are very close -- which is why I took a break from working and sat down with the family and watched the end of the game. It was fun watching Carmelo Anthony King James putting up clutch 3's or just making magic on the court.

Of course if Dwayne Wade would have made the buzzer beating, hail Mary 3 point shot he put up and swept the Knicks on their home court -- that would have been on highlight reels for weeks.

The blowouts are a waste of time (to me). I watched USF blowout FAMU recently in football. USF 2nd and 3rd stringers made a touch down every time the got the ball. FAMU, almost in retribution to the shellacking they were being served, killed during the halftime show -- completely covering the field with musicians and dancers. Shortly thereafter one of the members of FAMU's Drum Line was killed as a result of hazing...

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