Sports! Everyone likes sports right?! Well, I don't. But I was thinking the other day why I don't, and it hit me that I probably should. Why? Because sports are the easiest way for people to connect with people in every day life. There's a lot of psychology behind this, so straddle in for some deep thinking.
Let's start off with the food. Who doesn't like food? As a kid I was separated between my two parents(Vikings Vs Packers) in football so it was rather difficult for me to choose a side. And then my Mom made taco dip and the Packers seemed a little bit more appealing. It seems silly but the fans that make the most of the game are most appealing to other potential fans. Would you rather go to a super bowl party where a fan of the playing team tells you to bring your own food, or a party where a fan of a team that isn't even in the super bowl makes food to share with you?
I already know your answer because the real reason we watch sports is for the social aspect, not the actual game. There may be a few out there who truly watch it just for the love of the game, but a large part of the reason we seek knowledge and understanding of these games is to better connect with those around us. One of the easiest ways to befriend others is to know which connections you already share with them.
So when you go out to get beers for the game with your jersey on, you're not just going to get beer. You're going to get beer and see who else is watching the game. Who knows, you may run into someone with the same player jersey as you! Then BAM, you have an instant connection with this other person which is an easy ice breaker into a potentially greater relationship.
How about going to games? Are those really just for the social aspect? Not entirely. There's a certain level of celebrity in which we treat our athletes, and seeing them in person seems to be a different experience altogether than just sitting at home and gorging ourselves on pizza rolls. Considering how much we pay for tickets to get into games, and then the expense for beer and stadium food there has to be more to it than just social contact right?
This is one is hard to say, considering it varies from person to person. You rarely see someone going to a sports game by themselves(unless it's tennis. No one watches tennis), unless they have a vested interest in being there in person. Otherwise it's all about making plans with friends to go, and you can sit and banter with the folks sitting next to you about how the forward hasn't scored a basket in over twelve games.
The strange part of realizing all of this, was realizing how I've practically given up this rather easy social connection because the sport didn't interest me. Were cocktail wieners, taco dip, and conversation with just about anyone not worth watching a couple hours of sports every week? Well, honestly, that's a tough one. There's other interesting things to talk about too. Like whether or not my Sci-Fi short story Forming A System is the best story of the year, decade, or century. I still can't decide which.