The last run in baseball, the final goal in soccer, a bad call made by the official of any sport or that last game-winning touchdown made with less than a second to spare, and the crowd goes wild — but one stays silent among them, looking around in confusion, not understanding where the emotions even came from.
What brings out such violent emotions about a sport?
It has always been a fascinating observation to me. I wouldn’t consider myself a sports expert by any sense of the word. If anyone asks what team I root for at any time, my response is automatic: “The Boston Red Sox!” I respond without even knowing why I chose that team other than the fact that they are New England’s baseball team.
I respond too with this statement because when I have said ‘I don’t follow sports’ in the past, I’ve almost always been met with a look of disappointment and it seems like any chance of conversation has quickly left. In addition, I don’t want to have to explain why I have no interest in most team sports. I can think of a few reasons that could explain why I differ from so many others.
I am not drawn to conflict. I am competitive, but it never turns into animosity towards anyone else. It’s more of a competition with myself; ‘Okay I did it, now how do I do it better the next time?’ is generally the way I work.
However, there is proof throughout history that people are drawn to conflict. Even in the Civil War, civilians were shocked by what they saw, but they were there to eat a picnic and watch what they thought would be a great show.
It was never a bonding experience between me or anyone else. Every time I’ve ever been approached about a sport, I could hold the conversation to an extent, but if you start mentioning players’ names or what happened in a game a month ago or a year ago, my friend, you have lost me.
I am not against sports; do not misunderstand. I actually enjoy most Winter Olympic sports, mainly because so many of them are simply visually appealing. I just don’t understand the intensity that can lead to people leveling their town because their home team won.
It is this I will be exploring for the next few weeks: The theories and research presented by others, how I understood them and compared them to observations I have made.
Sebastien Mehegan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org