Sport. It’s a word that carries a wealth of meaning for many of us. To be a sports fan is to be an aficionado, even a connoisseur of sorts, just as people can be art, music or film enthusiasts. The conundrum is that few people associate their passion as an admiration of or engagement with beauty or genius, nor do most really consider their sports interest a mere hobby. While sports certainly generates billions of dollars in revenue and creates innumerable jobs, our species’ love for sports goes way beyond dollar signs. Being a sports fan is a truly unique experience that cannot really be explained with words. So please excuse my unworthy attempt at doing just that by listing the 10 reasons why I love sports.
1. The Sports arena represents the Average Joe’s modern-day battlefield. The times of all men serving their country in battle are long gone, but we can live out our competitive fantasies of conquering through sports. I may never spear another warrior the way Achilles did, but I can certainly root for Joba Chamberlain to dominate Jason Varitek at Yankee Stadium while still feeling like I’m part of the action.
2. Sports give us an excuse to drink anywhere at anytime of the day. When isn’t it appropriate to have a beer while watching the game? My mother might frown at me for popping open a cold one on a Tuesday afternoon, but if a game is on, I’m just doing my duty as a fan.
3. Sports make Sunday a national holiday no matter what religion you might follow. Whether it is the NFL, MLB, or NBA, Sunday is the holy day for sports.
4. Sports bring excitement. In the likely event that you will someday lead a less-than-thrilling life, sports provide a source of daily exhilaration and drama for anyone who bothers to watch.
5. Sports allow us to ally ourselves with a cause, to actually care about something bigger than ourselves and legitimately loathe large groups of people based strictly on their beliefs. Americans especially love this “Us vs. Them” mentality. Political party lines weaken by the day and political correctness has essentially taken away our right to dislike another person, but sports have united people in opposition against their opposing teams’ colors for quite some time. Nobody can tell me that hating the Evil Empire, Red Sox Nation or both isn’t fun for the whole family.
6. In sports, underdogs actually win! In everyday life, the little guy too often gets squashed or swept under the rug. In sports, we see the American Dream realized all the time. Sports are like an inspirational film about beating the odds, except played out in real life. This year’s NCAA tournament doesn’t exactly demonstrate this perfectly, but Davidson’s unforgettable run should count for something.
7. Sports teach us the values of dedication, fair-play and teamwork. It’s all about the kids people.
8. Sports reunite us with nature. In a day and age where most people spend their afternoons in a cramped office, sports allow us to get back out onto the playing field of years’ past (this argument doesn’t apply to indoor sports). That’s why the NHL’s decision to have an outdoor game earlier this year was a huge hit, and also why so many sports purists are vehemently opposed to domed stadiums. Even if we are just watching on TV, we like to feel that connection with nature that marks our very instincts.
9. Sports foster male bonding. When boys grow up to be men, we no longer have superheroes, gross stuff and wrestling to fill our male bonding requirements. This void is often filled admirably by sports, allowing “Bromances” to flourish everywhere.
10. Sports allow us to waste exorbitant amounts of time. This might be the biggest reason why I love sports. Right now I am writing a sports article while following my fantasy team and listening to a sports radio program all at the same time. Did I mention I have a test and a term paper due tomorrow? Sports are the best procrastination tool ever invented and have probably contributed to millions of students worldwide failing to fulfill their true academic potential. I really don’t know what many Colgate students could be capable of without them. What I do know is that none of us would have it any other way.