Whether you want to believe it or not, we like to watch sports for very different reasons than you may think. In fact, the real things that cause us to like sports are in every person, whether we like sports or not. What things can we learn about human nature by simply looking at our fascination with competition? The answers may surprise you. Not only are the answers interesting in themselves, but they may just help you in other ways too.
There are some fairly straightforward and obvious explanations for why we like sports to be sure. Sports teach us about loyalty, perseverance and honor. It gives us a way to bond, it’s cathartic, and we identify with teams and players. We live vicariously through the players we watch. We have our favorite players, and there are teams we’ve grown up rooting for because our brother or dad used to love them, and now we still root for them today. Or we may follow a sport now that we used to play as a child.
But there are some deeper, more powerful and fascinating reasons too.
We’re All Just Big Children 스포츠중계
Whether you want to believe it or not, all adults are just big children. We’re all just big kids. We just hide our true feelings and thoughts with highly developed skills (or at least most of us do). We still want to belong or be accepted by our peers, we all still want to be loved, we still feel emotional pain, and we still find ourselves giving in to immediate gratification when we know better. And yes, some of us still lie and cheat in our normal day to day lives.
We certainly hide things better and often successfully ‘act’ as if we don’t care about belonging, or love, or pain, or whatever. Deep down inside we are a little more mature and wise, but basically still just children. We may not say it out loud anymore, but we still think to ourselves sometimes, “That’s not fair!” We would rather play than work. Some may argue, depending on whether they pee standing up or sitting down, that this is especially true for men. Maybe that’s why there are more men sports fans than women.
You see, watching sports gives us a perfect, safe and secure, black and white, little microcosm of life. Following a player, team or game allows us to experience ups and downs and a whole array of emotions, just like in real life, but we aren’t actually affected.
And unlike life, sports and games are generally fair! There are rules and a crystal clear framework, or paradigm that all the participants and spectators know about. There are never any monkey wrenches thrown into a sports game, like the rules changing mid-game for instance. If rules are broken, the offender is penalized. They don’t frustratingly get away sometimes like in real life.
At the end, there is an unambiguous winner and loser. We get to pretend that the game we’re watching is life, where everything is perfectly fair, everyone plays by the rules and everything makes sense.
Children tend to think of things in much more black and white terms. It is only through living and maturing that we realize that all of life is a series of grays. But we all still long for a simpler and easier life. When things are only seen in black or white, things indeed seem simpler and easier, but life isn’t so clear-cut.
This helps explain why politicians who break their platform down into simple sound bites and into terms devoid of complexity often do better than politicians who talk about life like it really is, a complex, interrelated world of nuances.
Watching sports allows us a temporarily safe and socially acceptable way to be more like our true nature, and our true nature is frighteningly childlike. So the next time you deal with a difficult person, remember that they are just a large child, like you and everyone else, and maybe that knowledge will help you deal with them a little more easily.
What do watching a horror movie and sports have in common?
Ever wonder why so many people, including maybe you, enjoy watching horror movies so much? They provide a safe way for people to experience high levels of suspension without actually being in any real danger. Sports can be the same way. Again, watching sports allows us to enter a perfect world where the suspenseful outcome has no bearing on our real lives (unless you have a nasty sports gambling problem of course).