Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Why I Love (Many) Sports

Today at work, I asked a pack of guys which would be more important - watching the 4th quarter of the Bulls game tonight, or watching the 1st period of the Blackhawks game. They are running concurrently tonight.  The response was unanimous:

Blackhawks.

My mother disagrees. If you really want to hear the story behind this discussion, you can stay after class, but it made me think about the different reasons people enjoy watching sports. I had to explain it to one of my nerd friends once:

  1. It is a contest in which I get to root for someone. Picking a side is fun. Good guys and bad guys. 
  2. That rooting for someone is often regional. A form of community spirit.
  3. Sometimes, I just need to scream about something. I believe I have mentioned that I scream so much during football that my cat is afraid of the theme song for Monday Night Football. Sports are a socially acceptable thing to scream about.  (It is also a socially acceptable reason to drink to excess, but I wouldn't know anything about that.)
  4. It is a relatively safe subject when one is required to converse with strangers.
  5. It is a relatively safe subject when one is inclined to pick a fight with friends or family.
Example: Great Aunt Bev is from Michigan. As in Detroit.  As in Pistons.  One Christmas Day, the Bulls were playing..someone..and Aunt Bev made a couple of rather snarky comments about Michael Jordan. My brother, age 12 or 13, shouted (in his best Monty Python voice) "Burn the Witch!!"

And he got away with it.

For me, sports are great fun when my teams are winning, and not too hard to shake off when they aren't. (I believe Joy said it takes half of Monday morning for me to get over a bad Bears loss.) A low risk emotional investment.

And tonight, I have two teams in the playoffs.

2 comments:

Sarah said...

I like that this is something where it is socially acceptable to scream loudly. I think that should be encouraged lots more. We don't have the same devotion to teams here in Australia that you do in the US but my SIL is American and she has explained it all to me in great detail. Go Bulls!

Marlee said...

Great post! My boyfriend is a baseball coach and former college ball player, I myself am a former college softball player, and I couldn't agree more! Plus someone once told me that sports were soap operas for guys...so true!

Go Braves!