5

votes

Musings on being a spectator...

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 05, 2012 at 8:15 PM

This superbowl thang got me thinkin' about the whole idea of being a spectator. Americans(I'm sure others as well) are really into WATCHING other people play hard...for some, this is a favorite form of entertainment. We get extremely attached to our teams, organize social gatherings around our sporting event of choice, spend lots of money for tickets, travel and parties, etc. I know about the Romans and the colesseum, of course...but I'm so curious as to the drive to watch these kinds of events, where they originated, do they represent war? What do you know about all of that, and why do you watch sporting events? Do you play the sports that you enjoy watching?

Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on February 06, 2012
at 05:07 AM

I highly agree with this. Appease the masses and those in control can do just about whatever they like. Worked for the Romans for a good amount of time. Today, it's the i-whatevers, video games, and spectacles such as the SB, NASCAR, and American Idol, along with cheap Chinese goods that make people think they are thriving and successful. First, you tell the people what they think they need and what's important, then you supply it to them (Wal-Mart, reality TV). Keep the populace complacent and they are more easy to control. Yikes, that's pretty grim.....

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on February 06, 2012
at 02:52 AM

Is that a word-athletisism?

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on February 06, 2012
at 02:50 AM

I asked the people I'm with why they liked watching football...athletisism, community and commercials were the main answers...

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 05, 2012
at 10:28 PM

"If your team loses, it's a bummer, but nothing really bad will happen"- Unless you live in Vancouver where a hockey team played like the best team in the league, and lost miserably in an embarrassing match-up. Then, you have to duck from the riot police! But seriously, I agree on sports being a community event with "low investment". Makes a lot of sense!

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4 Answers

3
7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:29 PM

Look up the Situationists International and the Society of the Spectacle by Guy DuBord. He was an Anarchist who thought that the "Spectacle" phenomenon Hides the degradation of human life caused by Capitalism.

Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on February 06, 2012
at 05:07 AM

I highly agree with this. Appease the masses and those in control can do just about whatever they like. Worked for the Romans for a good amount of time. Today, it's the i-whatevers, video games, and spectacles such as the SB, NASCAR, and American Idol, along with cheap Chinese goods that make people think they are thriving and successful. First, you tell the people what they think they need and what's important, then you supply it to them (Wal-Mart, reality TV). Keep the populace complacent and they are more easy to control. Yikes, that's pretty grim.....

1
Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:51 PM

I have a theory that it's a way for people to get emotionally invested in something without having to run any real personal risk in the process. If your team loses, it's a bummer, but nothing really bad will happen. If your team wins, you get a rush of pleasure and a feeling of belonging to something bigger than you are. It's heavily weighted towards the positive on average.

I personally have no interest in watching anything other than tennis, which I play, and I only watch a few players because I like their style of play (Federer being my favorite, and not just because he's Swiss). My husband, on the other hand, is an avid sports fan and keeps daily tabs on wins/losses in a large number of sports. I never really understood it, and I think caring so deeply about something that doesn't actually touch you at all is kind of weird. But it must serve some purpose, or so many people (dare I say men?) wouldn't be doing the same thing.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 05, 2012
at 10:28 PM

"If your team loses, it's a bummer, but nothing really bad will happen"- Unless you live in Vancouver where a hockey team played like the best team in the league, and lost miserably in an embarrassing match-up. Then, you have to duck from the riot police! But seriously, I agree on sports being a community event with "low investment". Makes a lot of sense!

1
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 05, 2012
at 08:24 PM

I play and watch solo sports, one athlete against X... with the exception of fighting/MMA/boxing... just not a fan (oddly enough I do enjoy HS/Collegiate wrestling, and competed in High School).

However, armwrestling, strongman, olympic lifting, powerlifting (to a lesser extent), the highland games, and track and field throwing, are all sports that I keep a special place in my heart and DVR for. I flew to Anaheim, CA as a spectator for the World's Strongest Man in 2007, I flew all over the US to compete in strongman competitions. I drive all over Florida and Georgia to attend Strongman competitions and Highland Games.

Having competed as an adult in 5/6 of the above sports over the past decade, I can say that yes, I do play the sports I enjoy watching.

And I'm currently training to return to the highland games, my last competition was in 2008.

0
Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on February 06, 2012
at 05:17 AM

I used to participate in all kinds of organized sports (Ami Football, Basketball, Soccer, Track and Field, Rugby, and others) but don't watch or follow them much any more. I do keep tabs on my college football team, but that's mainly to stay in touch with friends back home. As I've become older, I just don't care about watching others play as much. I immensely respect great athletic accomplishments, but just would rather spend my time and energy doing things other than watching a game. Some of the biggest sports fans I know never played during school. I think much of it does have to do with being part of something bigger, and many find solace in that. I'm headed in the opposite direction - I want to be part of something smaller, something that I have a little more control over, where my emotional investment isn't based on what others do.

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