Does our culture overemphasize sports? PRO/con


Illustration by Lauren Baker

Story By: Patrick Forrest, Opinion Editor

To the outside observer, sports are nothing but simple games. Put a round ball in a round hoop. Take an oblong ball and run it over a line marked on the field. Kick a ball into a net. Hit a round ball with a stick and run in circle.  And in the most basic sense, that’s exactly what they are. But as any true fan can tell you, sports are much more than that.

This is because there is nothing else like them. Politics divide us, cause bitter arguments and shift the blame for what will certainly end up being the end of America as we know it.

Religion has everyone on edge, arguing and fighting over right and wrong, morals and the origin of everything. But  sports have a different type of banter, we show our allegiances on the colors of our jerseys, the flags on our cars or the logos in our hats

There are very few things that people of different genders, races, religions, political beliefs, sexual orientations and social classes can agree upon, but sports is one of those unique, uniting factors. Luckily, there is no prerequisite for cheering for your local team.

And when you throw a bunch of people from one city together, you’ll certainly find that they almost all will.  When the home team knocks down a buzzer beater or hits a walk-off homerun to win, you don’t care about the backgrounds of the people around you. All you want to do is  high-five everyone in sight.

Maybe one of you goes back to your studio apartment and the other goes back to his $1.75 million house, but that game gave you the opportunity to share that moment, albeit briefly, with one another.

There is nothing else that provides this type of experience. It’s because of this that we need sports. They are quite possibly the last thing we have left that can bring us together rather than drive us further apart.

But even when they do divide us considering the alternatives, we may need some light hearted debate topics. Disagreement on athletic supremacy are a lot easier to handle than those on the orgin of the universe or the future of our country.

There is also nothing more real than sports. There is no script. There is no acting. At our core, we are drawn to the unpredictable nature that sports have. We love that anything can happen. Sure, we may think that we can predict some things but inevitably we end up being wrong.

That’s why Las Vegas has sport betting. The Patriots were supposed to beat the Giants in the 2008 Super Bowl and complete their perfect season, Buster Douglas was supposed to be destroyed by Mike Tyson, and the top seed is always supposed to win the NCAA tournament.

Fortunately, we know that anytime that a game comes on there is an outside shot that this can be an upset that we will talk about for years. When those do happen, it gives us hope that anything is indeed possible. Sports are the only thing left that truly give our underdog story dreams valid legs to stand on.

And in this day and age the world economy is suffering. There is war going on all over the globe. People are murdered every day. Flip on any news show, and chances are one of these problems is leading the telecast.

We are constantly bombarded with negativity and depressing stories all day. Sports serve as welcome distractions to all the evil in today’s society. Cheering on our teams gives us a chance to feel the legal high that only winning can give.

We live for that moment, that joy, that ecstasy. In the days that follow, everyone will go out and buy as much championship gear and accessories as they possibly can. Why? Because you never know if or when you will ever get that opportunity again.

Nothing else can fill all of these voids the way sports can. So, it’s not only why we love sports but that’s why we need sports.