Some of you may know that a group of friends and co-workers started a podcast last year, the Sports Take Lunch Break, sponsored by Office Essentials. In talking with Andrew yesterday and again this morning, we discussed the nature of sports culture in America and its proclivity towards a few main focal points: Winning, often at any cost. Making money, as much as possible, again, often at any expense. And finally, violence. Yes, sports are often centered on physical contact and I’m not here to say “American football should be touch-only, or use flags!” I’m just thinking about how prevalent the violence is and how we as fans have been conditioned to expect and desire it.
Talking about these points got me wondering, where does this come from? What is it about us as humans (probably more specifically here in the United States, as that’s my only perspective) that makes us crave winning so much that we’ll overlook a bit of cheating to see it? Or that makes us accept the ludicrous amounts of money exchanging hands and being made by sports franchises and their owners and, to a lesser degree, their players? OR that makes us see a violent hit and probably a fight in a hockey game and think, Yeah! That’s part of the game! while in any other situation we’d be looking for the police or suing someone for the result?
I’m not looking to make sweeping generalizations about anyone or anything. I simply find it fascinating to know about root causes and motivations, especially when something seems to be so prevalent across an entire society. Where does it come from? What started it?
Of all the posts I’ve made this is one I probably hope the most for some interaction from you readers. What do you think, am I way off base? I have more thoughts but will wait to see if any of them come out on the podcast before sharing more here. What do YOU think the underlying motivators are of our society?