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Why men have to watch sports

Posted by on November 11, 2011

Yes, people cannot get off the idiot box as I wrote in the last post. Then again I could focus more on this aspect as it seems that people men have a NEED to watch sports. It’s like an addiction but they can’t stop…. although I understand why they have to see it. I’m sure there are plenty of women and probably UN-interested-in-sports-men who want to know the BIG answer to that magical question:

“Why do most men have to watch sports?”

Or here’s a better one for the wives/girlfriends every fall season (which is when American football starts):

“Why am I widowed every September to January?”

Of course, I can speak for the American and Canadian populace with its basketball, football, hockey, and baseball since crowds in Latin America and Europe are heavily more invested in the game of football (or better known as soccer).

Brazilian soccer professionals practicing before the game in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil/Brasil, futbol, jugadores

Every fan's eyeballs were stuck on the players practicing prior to the game. This also occurs in every professional game I've been such as hockey, football (American), basketball, baseball.

Well, I can kind of explain the intricacies of it which is… people need to have an outlet in life and watching sports is the easiest way to get it. By becoming part of something, a club, a team and its fans… that’s that the “accepted way” to pretend that the fans themselves are out there by living vicariously through the players on the field and imagine that they are the ones out there playing and reveling in the glory. That they are the masters of the game, at the peak, playing in front of millions of people and getting rich and famous in the process. But I think most of all is just getting that feeling of being alive, playing in a crowd, playing with other people (teammates) probably for years in the pursuit of getting better and hoping to win the ultimate prize, a championship which with it comes money, recognition, love, etc.

People are not meant to be caged in. What do I mean by this? Living and working indoors most of the time. Our ancestors walked, ran, hunted, fished, gathered, and carried stuff from place to place resulting in a very active lifestyle. When civilization came to, this physical aspect started to disappear and replaced by organized armies of war and games of sport such as the Olympics or fights in the coliseum. The need to become primal can be glorious and also very painful. People nowadays are risk-averse and unwilling to come to terms of bearing an injury, albeit a serious one, through sports competitions or physical work. I suppose letting the players do the hard work of training 8-10 hours a day and possibly risking injury is okay to the average fan despite bashing the player, the team for making so-called “stupid errors” or “dumb plays” that occur.

And for the ultimate fan, getting into fights with the opposing team often makes them feel like they are the “team” much like how people love to say that “our” team OR of course, the royal “WE” won! It’s funny how fans never say “we lost” when the team loses as that gives too much of a personal attack on the fragile human ego.

Brazilian men staring at football-soccer match in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, ojos en el juego del campo de futbol, Brasil

I had never been to a Brazilian soccer/football game but I had to go just for the experience. When I was observing the crowd, all I saw were these guys glued to the field... just like every other pro sports game I've been to.

My friend was remarking how a bunch of his co-workers were puffing their chests and raising their heads high that they beat another department’s team after all this trash talk for weeks; to him it was as if they won the world championship. He thought it was so idiotic like they were back in their glory days of their high school times. Well, it’s an easy explanation why they acted like that – they never had that kind of success before and feeling that euphoric feeling for the first time in their lives gave them something to look forward to. A feeling of achievement and success that could ease and wash away the old waves of pain – just like that. Even though they talk and talk about their big success after it’s been weeks later, it’s still a source of pride that slowly becomes an addiction. Of course, the law of diminishing returns takes place and these people have keep talking more and more about it until that last hit (talk) gave its last ounce of pleasure. It’s like war veterans that like to talk about their past victories over and over in the veteran’s hall. They look at it as a big thing which can be true but everyone else is rolling on the ground stifled dead with boredom.

But how come this law of diminishing returns doesn’t happen to men watching sports after the season’s end? Easy. There are plenty of other sports going on as well as people can expect a brand new season later on when everyone starts back at zero wins and zero losses. The anticipation of a fresh start gives hope to fans that the success of their teams can be repeated or regained. Instead of focusing on the past, the aim is towards the future which keeps things in a very fresh perspective rather than becoming old and stale. Ask any fan who won the championship several years ago and most people couldn’t tell you without looking it up. Same concept – people care more about now. They will all ask, “What’s happening with now?”

Brazilian men waving their teams colors and flags in a wild celebration of victory, aficionados con banderas en juego de Brasil con victoria

Brazilian men waving their teams colors and flags in a wild celebration of victory; this is how people get into the game by participating through the emotional energy that feeds players on the field.

The best thing to do with men having to watch sports is let them. That’s right. Let them watch. At least they can “become” part of something that interests them. Otherwise, men might turn to something like this instead:

world of warcraft scene

Yup, a video game... that can mesmerize people for days/weeks/months... and you never hear from them again since they're holed up playing the game somewhere.