In the workplace, at a social gathering, in the cafeteria, at the gym, on the couch at boyfriend’s house, or on T.V. sets flashing at restaurants, sports hold a crucial part of our entertainment routine. But what is with this phenomenon? Why are we gaga over this ritual of physical activity?
Since the Greco-Roman times, physical heroism has been exemplified in the many types of athletic activities like the Olympic and gladiator games where all males regardless of rank would compete for the reward. Winning something would render recognition and dominance in terms of power, potency, and even god-like attribution. But that has changed since – or has it? We are appalled at how the ancients held spectacular circuses wherein death was certain. It was okay for some to die for the amusements of others. We don’t necessarily do that anymore, but are we not overly enthused by our favorite teams and players when they score? Do we still not idolize the best players in the team? Do we not ill-talk the opponents when they smear failure over our beloved sportsfolk?
We have just become civilized barbarians. Oxymoron, right?
My point is not to criticize our society as cultured sport fanatics or that our predecessors were better or worse. My aim is to question the zealotry surrounding sports. The fundamental question, then, is not why should we enjoy sport; rather, it is why do we enjoy sport? Where sports are entertaining to watch and stimulating to participate in, I do not know what explains our deep, long-standing attachment to it.
Do you know what drives you to watch? What drives you to play? Or are you joining the crowd who knows not what they are actually cheering for? (The person? or team? or nation? or sport? or innate embodiments of heroism? Or historical celebration of ritual?)
We all have our favorites and people dedicate entire lives to it and for it. They simply state they ‘love’ their sport, but never dig deep to find out why. So if you are an athlete or simply a sports fan, ask yourself the big WHY. Sometimes, knowing answers to trite questions can be like soul-discovery. Maybe then, you will gear direction and more passion towards something you truly know about.