What is it that draws us to sports?
Is it a lifelong dedication to perfecting an artform? I’ve played tennis ever since Dad bought me a tennis racket from Fred Meyer. A tennis player himself, he taught me how to hit a forehand, backhand, serve and a volley. I’ve worked on the rest myself, and find the thrill of battling myself (perfect form, when to hit certain shots, ect) coupled with competing against another tennis player is always thrilling. I get a sense of that thrill when watching two professionals go at each other.
Is it the drama? One of the greatest basketball players of our time has been in the league seven years, yet has no ring. Another great is in the midst of his third renaissance; he is ringless as well. Players fresh out of high school enter the NBA, usually in the midst of controversy, and their stories keep us watching for years.
Is it the gladiatorial aspect? Combatants enter the ring, each with the hope of victory. In today’s world, each combatant leaves the arena. But for the duration of the match, there is no tomorrow; only the moment exists.
We do not hoist the Stanley cup when our team wins the finals, nobody puts a Super Bowl ring on our finger when our team wins the season’s final Sunday contest and we do not wear the green jacket after our favorite golfer wins the Master’s tournament. Yet we feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when our favorite teams are victorious, even though, in reality, we have not achieved anything ourselves.
Why do we watch sports?
Ask me again in a week or so. The NBA finals are going on right now, so I can’t be bothered to answer.