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  1. #1

    What is it with peoples obsession with sports?

    One thing I've never quite understood is how so many people are obsessed with sports, spectating I mean, not playing which I can totally understand the appeal in that case. I've had times where I really tried to get into watching sports, to try to see what was so interesting about it but it just bored me to tears and couldn't watch for more than 30 minutes.

    Lots of people love their spectator sports but why? What's so entertaining about watching a bunch of guys throw or kick a ball around? Who are these people to you? What is gained on your end by watching this? There is no story, no meaning, just a winner and a loser which doesn't matter in the end anyway.

    Another thing I've never understood is just how massive spectator sports truly are. To the point where entire governments the world over erect massive stadiums and arenas in all their cities to accommodate these events and dedicate entire channels to it. No other interest or hobby gets this kind of backing and foundation. Not to mention the mindless riots that occur from time to time over it.

    I can understand in the past when a lot of other hobbies and interests weren't as accessible or known so people were left with just sports but in today's world with so many other more interesting things to care about you'd think sports would be on the decline but it's not. So what do you think? What is the big deal about spectator sports? and why are so many obsessed with it?

  2. #2
    Pit Lord Doktor Faustus's Avatar
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    Go watch some live, but not every sport is as exciting to everyone.

    It appeals to our tribal nature I guess.

    Just like creating nations.

  3. #3
    Hmm used to agree, moved to Cardiff in Wales (UK) where theres a national love for rugby. The spirit that takes over the city is festival-like. Good times ;D

    As to the sport itself. Sport is hard. Especially when its done well. However like most things, to really appreciate it you have to have a level of familiarity with it too.

    I'm not very good at SC2 so when I watch the best SC2 players battling most of it goes over my head (still enjoy it though). Same goes for most sports, I don't know enough about them to tell when someone has done something amazing or not...
    >SIX A-BONG SIX A-BONG OLLY JOLLY IT'S SIX-A-BONG

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor Faustus View Post
    Go watch some live, but not every sport is as exciting to everyone.

    It appeals to our tribal nature I guess.

    Just like creating nations.
    I don't really see much difference between live and just watching at home. In the end you're just doing the same thing, sitting there watching guys throw or kick a ball around just in a different setting.

    And I couldn't actually PAY to see this lol, I don't even watch for free much less have to PAY and drive to some arena to watch it.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Killington View Post
    I don't really see much difference between live and just watching at home. In the end you're just doing the same thing, sitting there watching guys throw or kick a ball around just in a different setting.
    There is a huge difference in feel watching something at the stadium compared to watching it at home.

    PS Hockey > All other sports for spectating.

  6. #6
    It's called entertainment.
    Just like watching TV, listening to music or doing anything else you enjoy.

    Sports have a history, and people become attached to their favorite teams / players.
    You could also say that some athletes have perfected their respective sports into an art form, which is another form of entertainment people enjoy watching (or rather, looking at).

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by AeneasBK View Post
    Hmm used to agree, moved to Cardiff in Wales (UK) where theres a national love for rugby. The spirit that takes over the city is festival-like. Good times ;D

    As to the sport itself. Sport is hard. Especially when its done well. However like most things, to really appreciate it you have to have a level of familiarity with it too.

    I'm not very good at SC2 so when I watch the best SC2 players battling most of it goes over my head (still enjoy it though). Same goes for most sports, I don't know enough about them to tell when someone has done something amazing or not...
    It seems like people just have a cultural obligation to watch these things. Like on a sub conscience level people think 'society is telling me this is important so I must take part'.

    I can understand why people would be into major league gaming like SC2 maybe they want to pick up new strategies and tactics that the pro's use to improve their own game so they tune in to watch some matches. But with real life sports? this wouldn't really apply since most people who go to sporting events don't even play the sports they watch.

  8. #8
    Creates community feeling, which feels good. Gives us a place where hating the others is ok (and hating feels good too).

    It gives us the illusion of conflict, of war, of epic...

  9. #9
    I don't like spectating every sport or at every level. I only watch soccer for world or EU championships for example. Because it's just beautifull sometimes how athletes can pull things off. I especially get pulled in when I play or have played the sport (played soccer for many years so I can see when something/someone is good).
    I also like to watch most extreme sports a lot. Freestyle snowboarding and skieing, BMX, skateboarding and sometimes FMX. It's just awesome to see how some people are so passionate and can pull off amazing things.

    What I don't get is people going crazy over some mediocre performance. Hooligans for some shit club (hooligans in general tbh, I mean those hardcore fans), girls screaming at Justin Bieber and seriously losing their minds, etc.

    I am also not someone who roots for one team only. When I saw Spain play on the EU/world championships it pleased me a lot to see how awesome they can play eventhough it is not my national team. Same with Germany.
    Last edited by Gilian; 2012-12-05 at 10:27 AM.

  10. #10
    Over 9000! Hyve's Avatar
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    I've never really understood spectating sports either. I'll use Football (Handegg, for our US Friends) as an example.

    I don't mind playing a little bit of football now and then, it is good exercice and it is a good game to build friends and teamwork. But watching the sport is just boring and dull. You have a bunch of overpaid fools who care more about their cars, hair and looks then the game they're playing. Then, when they trip over on a tuft of grass, they need a magical water spray to prevent it from hurting.

    They're meant to be some of the most elite in their field, fit and ready to go. Yet for most of the match they mooch around not doing much and then get out of breathe after doing something for 20 seconds. It really is just so lame to watch.

    I don't tend to watch other sports, but Archery (Which I participate in) and Hockey (which I did a lot of at school) were the only sports I was personally interested in at the Olympics. Cycling & Rowing I watched because those are our strong sports.

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-05 at 10:16 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by jotabe View Post
    Creates community feeling, which feels good. Gives us a place where hating the others is ok (and hating feels good too).

    It gives us the illusion of conflict, of war, of epic...
    But sometimes, that spills over in to real conflict. I know it is a small minority, but that really doesn't make for a good community.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Liara View Post
    It's called entertainment.
    Just like watching TV, listening to music or doing anything else you enjoy.

    Sports have a history, and people become attached to their favorite teams / players.
    You could also say that some athletes have perfected their respective sports into an art form, which is another form of entertainment people enjoy watching (or rather, looking at).
    That's different, music, TV ect has a story most of the time, a message or meaning, something you get out of it when it's over. Spectator Sports only has a winner and a loser which in the end doesn't really matter. I don't really see the entertainment value, not enough to merit HUGE stadiums the world over and entire channels on TV for it.

  12. #12
    Warchief Letmesleep's Avatar
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    Everyone has different activities they enjoy. My old roommate was a huge sports nut and could watch them all day. For him the thrill was just seeing people perform amazing feats of strength, skill, and coordination. One of his favorite things was ESPN's top 10 plays of the day. Sports bore me as well, but I can understand why people enjoy them. The only thing I don't get are people whose day/week is ruined when "their team" doesn't win. Or rioting. I don't understand rioting because of something that did or didn't happen in a stadium.

  13. #13
    It's all about e-sports! Id rather gouge my eyes out than sit down and watch a televised sports game, but i can watch professional starcraft streams or tournaments for hours on end.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Letmesleep View Post
    Everyone has different activities they enjoy. My old roommate was a huge sports nut and could watch them all day. For him the thrill was just seeing people perform amazing feats of strength, skill, and coordination. One of his favorite things was ESPN's top 10 plays of the day. Sports bore me as well, but I can understand why people enjoy them. The only thing I don't get are people whose day/week is ruined when "their team" doesn't win. Or rioting. I don't understand rioting because of something that did or didn't happen in a stadium.
    Argh, tell me about it. I have a friend who looks like he is getting a heartattack when watching our national team play in the soccer world/EU championship. When they lost the final a few years ago he left while we were watching with like 12 friends without saying a word. Completely depressed.
    I was at his home just before one of the matches started and he was so tense I just had to get the hell out of there so I went to a bar to watch it with other friends. It's not fun anymore...

    I was ofcourse also disappointed when they lost the final but I just went to work the next day like nothing happened. He on the other hand is still flipping out a week later.

  15. #15
    It all boils down to the 'theory of playing/gaming' (not the mathematical one) and the theorical construct of the 'homo ludens'. There are multiple scientific books available and it's really interesting!
    Last edited by Noctim; 2012-12-05 at 10:30 AM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyve View Post
    I've never really understood spectating sports either. I'll use Football (Handegg, for our US Friends) as an example.

    I don't mind playing a little bit of football now and then, it is good exercice and it is a good game to build friends and teamwork. But watching the sport is just boring and dull. You have a bunch of overpaid fools who care more about their cars, hair and looks then the game they're playing. Then, when they trip over on a tuft of grass, they need a magical water spray to prevent it from hurting.

    They're meant to be some of the most elite in their field, fit and ready to go. Yet for most of the match they mooch around not doing much and then get out of breathe after doing something for 20 seconds. It really is just so lame to watch.

    I don't tend to watch other sports, but Archery (Which I participate in) and Hockey (which I did a lot of at school) were the only sports I was personally interested in at the Olympics. Cycling & Rowing I watched because those are our strong sports.

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-05 at 10:16 AM ----------



    But sometimes, that spills over in to real conflict. I know it is a small minority, but that really doesn't make for a good community.
    Agreed, I used to play football all the time as a kid because it was fun and got to interact with other humans on a competitive level but I hardly ever watched the pro's on TV do it. Simply because there is no point, I am amazed at how there is so much dedicated to it all as well. Like I said huge stadiums and multiple TV channels all over the globe for it, nothing else comes close to having that kind of infrastructure.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killington View Post
    I don't really see much difference between live and just watching at home. In the end you're just doing the same thing, sitting there watching guys throw or kick a ball around just in a different setting.

    And I couldn't actually PAY to see this lol, I don't even watch for free much less have to PAY and drive to some arena to watch it.
    There is so much difference watching it at home and live. I have played football my whole life, i live for football basiclly. Easiest the best sport in my opinion. When i watch my favourite team at home there is no feeling, you just sit there and watching those 90 minutes. Once i saw them live in Manchester (England). They were playing against Roma from Italiy and my team won with 7-1. I was just 11 years old (something like that) back then. The feeling in yuor body when you are in a stadium that that takes almost 80k people when its full, the feeling is undescribeable.
    Man united is my team.

  18. #18
    Fluffy Kitten Baiyn's Avatar
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    I've been to live games, doesn't really do it for me. Live music concerts, on the other hand, give me a massive buzz. I imagine sports enthusiasts feel the same way I do, when watching my favourite bands play their favourite songs, when they see their favourite teams score points.

    It's atmosphere, fraternal unity, synergy and synchronisation, group striving for the same objective (even if you're not on the team) and other things that make us feel good and get the blood pumping.
    Last edited by Baiyn; 2012-12-05 at 10:34 AM.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by rio94 View Post
    There is so much difference watching it at home and live. I have played football my whole life, i live for football basiclly. Easiest the best sport in my opinion. When i watch my favourite team at home there is no feeling, you just sit there and watching those 90 minutes. Once i saw them live in Manchester (England). They were playing against Roma from Italiy and my team won with 7-1. I was just 11 years old (something like that) back then. The feeling in yuor body when you are in a stadium that that takes almost 80k people when its full, the feeling is undescribeable.
    Man united is my team.
    West Ham..

  20. #20
    Warchief Letmesleep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilian View Post
    Argh, tell me about it. I have a friend who looks like he is getting a heartattack when watching our national team play in the soccer world/EU championship. When they lost the final a few years ago he left while we were watching with like 12 friends without saying a word. Completely depressed.
    I was at his home just before one of the matches started and he was so tense I just had to get the hell out of there so I went to a bar to watch it with other friends. It's not fun anymore...

    I was ofcourse also disappointed when they lost the final but I just went to work the next day like nothing happened. He on the other hand is still flipping out a week later.
    I hear ya. It'd make sense if he was actually playing in the game and lost, but it seems unnecessary to get depressed over things you don't have any control over, especially when there's only money/glory at stake. It's not like anyone died. A little disappointment is reasonable when something you care about doesn't work out, but prolonged depression is an indicator a person might be a bit too invested :P

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