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How do people enjoy watching sports?

How do people enjoy watching sports?
October 27, 2011, 05:41:57 AM
This is a really big mystery to me.  I can understand entertainment value but how do people get to the point of buying merchandise and going ballistic over a local team winning, spending all their time ranking players? It isn't a really good use of prediction skills, you're not improving your own sports skills by much, and your city winning doesn't really benefit you in any way.

Re: How do people enjoy watching sports?
October 27, 2011, 06:01:54 AM
Vicarious pride for their team's success, and a lack of anything else they have/choose to care about. People also do a lot of stupid things just to pass the time between when they have to show up sober at work AGAIN.

Re: How do people enjoy watching sports?
October 27, 2011, 09:00:25 AM
I can understand entertainment value but how do people get to the point of buying merchandise and going ballistic over their favorite band playing, spending all their time learning about the band members? It isn't a really good use of prediction skills, you're not improving your own musical skills by much, and your favorite band succeeding doesn't really benefit you in any way.
Look, sports is one of the MANY things I couldn't give less of a shit about myself, but I still see the value in it. At its best, it fosters communal bonds and serves as an example of a career path that directly rewards ability, strength, and determination, with very little of the rewarding for luck, greed, and underhanded passive-aggressive manipulation of one's colleagues that is prevalent in pretty much every other profession. Even when an athlete does fail to act in a virtuous manner, the lashback is severe. Even gloating over a victory is considered bad form.

Players hone their skills on a physical as well as a mental level, fulfilling a modern trope of the legendary heroes that were prevalent in ancient times. Don't get me wrong, I'm very much a huge cynical asshole and sports don't appeal to me because they just seem like another symptom of a society that glorifies the artificial, but I'd be a lot more interested if teams were battling for something tangible like avoiding being sacrificed to a sun god or something.

Incidentally, every one of the few boxing matches I've seen has been able to keep me glued to what's going on, probably because it's so much more visceral and tactile than soccer or hockey or football. I have too many other interests taking up my time for me to develop an actual following of the sport, but it is enthralling. And it's not nearly as gay as a bunch of dudes wrapping their legs around each other in MMA, not to mention the participants are (by and large) much less knuckle-headed.

Re: How do people enjoy watching sports?
October 27, 2011, 01:16:30 PM
I've never really taken much interest in American sports but soccer matches in the UK (and the rest of Europe for that matter) used to be great community events. You still do get a decent atmosphere and sense of tribalism at some games but mostly the experience has been diluted by regulations, over policing, over commercialization and political correctness. I slightly regret that I never got to experience the Terraces of the 70s and 80s when there were running battles between supporters.

The top clubs in Europe are now basically just brands who any idiot can support: "Look at me, I'm from Tokyo and I support Manchester United, how awesome am I!?!" Most of the players are moronic cretins (well, in England anyway) who I could never really bring myself to cheer on.

Re: How do people enjoy watching sports?
October 27, 2011, 03:24:25 PM
We are born different. Some enjoy watching sports, some not. No big deal.

Re: How do people enjoy watching sports?
October 27, 2011, 03:26:07 PM
Boxing is great fun to watch. When I went to the Olympic games in 2004, I dragged my family to 2 of the matches. I sat there loving it while my siblings complained it was boring. If ever there was a sport which I would follow, one would be boxing.

The other would be hockey. Partially because it's the one sport where disagreements are resolved swiftly with fisticuffs. In fact, fighting is as much a part of hockey as the actual game is. Observe one of my favorite players/brawlers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytC3JxQcDWA - He's only 5' 9", but he never backed down from any confrontation.

Not to mention the dexterity involved in hockey in keeping ones balance on the ice while chasing a puck and trying to avoid being body slammed by members of the opposite team. I don't follow it actively, but if for some reason I'm watching TV and it comes on, I'll stay glued to the screen.

All that aside, I really cannot stand how sports (especially baseball) have been elevated to this near religious fervor in the USA. It gives dweebs and girly men a chance to live vicariously through the actions of their favorite athletes (who, despite istaros' claims, can be grossly overpaid), all the while spreading a meathead attitude that is deplorable. I don't know much about European sports culture, but I do remember another experience during my Olympics visit in which a football/soccer match between France and Argentina almost erupted into a riot.

Bottom line - sports should not be put on the pedestal they're on now. They're just an activity, not a faith.

Re: How do people enjoy watching sports?
October 27, 2011, 03:58:05 PM
I'd rather see an increase in local "small town" teams who practice and play against each other, it would get people in better shape and has the potential to strengthen communal bonds.

Re: How do people enjoy watching sports?
October 27, 2011, 04:26:50 PM
All that aside, I really cannot stand how sports (especially baseball) have been elevated to this near religious fervor in the USA. It gives dweebs and girly men a chance to live vicariously through the actions of their favorite athletes (who, despite istaros' claims, can be grossly overpaid), all the while spreading a meathead attitude that is deplorable. I don't know much about European sports culture, but I do remember another experience during my Olympics visit in which a football/soccer match between France and Argentina almost erupted into a riot.

I lived in Massachusetts for 19 years and it was sickening. The cult of beta males and girls who "worship" the Red Sox was beyond pathetic. I found myself emphasizing with the "real sports fans" (fat blue collar men who couldn't throw a ball 5 feet) who had to deal with this cult invading one of their few sources of entertainment, even thought I couldn't care less about the game.

I'd rather see an increase in local "small town" teams who practice and play against each other, it would get people in better shape and has the potential to strengthen communal bonds.

I agree 100%. I work out on a regular basis and could probably beat the average sports fan in their favorite game, but I find few options for team sports and end up only taking part in individual competition (mainly road races). My father always played on neighborhood softball/baseball teams when I was a child and there was definitely something great going on there.

Re: How do people enjoy watching sports?
October 27, 2011, 07:00:22 PM
Look at this problem simply...

Sports figures are symbols of success, so people are attentive to them. People play the very same sports as children, and then they become unathletic in their later years. The familiarity of the sports combined with the vicarious experience of watching such sports creates an addictive activity. Sooner or later, people start playing sports on their video games consoles, because they can emulate their idols and feel successful at the same. And hey, they don't even need to practice or eat well!

Re: How do people enjoy watching sports?
October 27, 2011, 07:26:03 PM
Its just a replacement for war now that war is bad, 'mkay.

War is actually cool these days.

Re: How do people enjoy watching sports?
October 27, 2011, 10:27:17 PM
Sports are great to play, but boring to watch.

Most people choose to watch sports instead, because playing sports requires actual physical work beyond pressing buttons on a remote or cooking popcorn.

Re: How do people enjoy watching sports?
October 27, 2011, 11:46:29 PM
All that aside, I really cannot stand how sports (especially baseball) have been elevated to this near religious fervor in the USA. It gives dweebs and girly men a chance to live vicariously through the actions of their favorite athletes (who, despite istaros' claims, can be grossly overpaid), all the while spreading a meathead attitude that is deplorable.
Athletes being overpaid does not at all run contrary to my claims. In fact I agree that they are overpaid, vastly. It just so happens that they're being paid for the right reasons(at least until product placements show up), even if it is a ridiculous amount. As for the meathead attitude, one rarely sees this among the athletes themselves - in fact, from what I've heard, they're specifically trained to eliminate such aspects of their personas when addressing the public. The fans are another story, but once again the same goes for metal...

Its just a replacement for war now that war is bad, 'mkay.
Yep. I was kind of implying this as well. It's the closest thing modern society has to tribal warfare since acting with actual intent to kill is, evidently, inexcusable and immoral and neanderthal, bla bla bla. But I guarantee the blinds society puts over its own eyes would be thrown aside in an instant if, for example, gladiatorial combat were revived. It's popularity would be incredible because people, despite whatever weakling liberal self-assurances they fawn over in an effort to consciously distance themselves from their "brutish" past, LOVE seeing blood. It's innate.

Re: How do people enjoy watching sports?
October 28, 2011, 02:56:18 AM
Sports: the last remaining form of socially acceptable competition.

Re: How do people enjoy watching sports?
October 28, 2011, 06:41:20 AM
Sports: the last remaining form of socially acceptable competition.

For now.