My Problem With People Who Are Fans of Sports

I apologize in advance if this comes off as a rant. I don’t usually write Takes from a place of annoyance, but I honestly think it’s something some men and women need to hear.

My Problem With People Who Are Fans of Sports

It’s always an awkward moment when one guy in a group of guys admits that he doesn’t watch sports nor has any interest to do so in the future. Yet, I’d argue that it is the guys and girls who are super fans of sports teams that should be ashamed. Here’s why…

An entire culture…spectating

It’s not just sports that I should be going after, everyone works 9-12 hour work days and then goes home and either surfs the internet or watches television and movies. What are we generally doing in all these leisure activities? We’re watching someone else be great.

People don’t feel like doing things, they’re ok with watching other people do it. The problem I have with super fans is that have so much fun watching someone else make that amazing pass or score that incredible goal and on some level feeling like they are the ones doing it. Men often over identify with sports to such an extent that they lose themselves so that they can become athletes in their own imagination. The process happens subtly over time. One minute you’re watching enough games to remember player names and really get a great understanding of the game despite never playing it. Next you know you’re out of shape throwing on your home team’s jersey and saying “WE really need to focus if WE are going to win so no distractions while I’m watching the game.” This may be a touch extreme but it’s crazy to me what I hear come out of some guy’s mouth as if they are actually in anyway contributing to the success of their favorite team’s winning the game.

But so what? What’s wrong with pretending you’re an athlete? Well, as long as you’re pretending you’re escaping from the things you actually can be doing. You don’t feel the need to go to the gym and get as close to that athletic ability you pretend yourself having when you watch your favorite player race down the field. As wrong as it might be to say, you escape from the mediocrity of your own life—and while that is a huge value judgment, I think there’s a point to saying it because you could be so much more than you are do so much more than you are doing when you have that desire to be as good as your heroes.

When you’re a kid you go out and want to play soccer—you just want to play. You don’t want your assistant coach to make you watch the world cup on tv. That’s how it should be when you’re an adult. Yes, you watch and you learn from the players ability to push their bodies to amazing physical limits and that inspires you to find your own limits whether that be in sports itself, at your firm, in your relationship, whatever it is. But more often than not someone sits through a game and feels like “wow, I had quite a game today. That was a lot.” When really they’re not on the team, the team has nothing to do with them, and they did nothing.


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What Girls Said 2

  • I'm not a professional athlete, but I hope to be one day, I play tennis and love to watch tennis. Hope to play as good as professionals one day.
    Good take, I agree with some of ur points. It's just pathetic to see someone play so well, to just watch instead of to be in the spotlight to be the player.
    While you're just being a loser and not doing anything athletic.

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  • I'm a sports fan, but I'm no fanatic, so I understand your problem :D

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What Guys Said 9

  • Heh... just did a MyTake on how aging Star Wars fans tick me off. That's a little different but I get what you're saying.

    In a lot of ways, we have indeed become a nation of spectators. And the more we have a constant influx of information and media, the more we're sitting and being "connected" and the less we're actually DOING.

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    • exactly. by the way star wars 7 pissed me off.. what'd you think of it?

    • I thought it was okay but nothing special. I was a little disappointed... I actually liked some of the earlier ones better. Not the Phantom Menace, tho. lol

    • haha true

  • Pavlove there are plenty of sports fans who feel the same way about the Super "Yawn" sports fans.

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  • I always laugh when someone says to me "haha your team lost!" They try to make you feel like shit. But then i turn around and say " i didn't play, i just like em, if they lose it doesn't matter, if they win i get kinda happy. It's their jobs not mine, so it really doesn't affect me."

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  • I have never been able to get into sports for the same reason - you're just watching other people have the life you wish you had. It's not just sports though - I had this same feeling the last time I went to a concert. Here I was, watching this band and wishing I could be a cool, interesting, creative guy like them coming up with all these songs, but when the night ends, they'll go back to having a great time, and I'll go back to studying something I didn't even like just so I could do some shitty boring job just to make money. When you think about what it means to be a spectator, it's depressing.

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    • exactly. you should record if you're into music !

    • Show All
    • The problem is, does there ever come a point when it's too late to try to become like your heroes, and all that you can do is pretend? A time when you are too old to get good enough to escape mediocrity, and all you can do is retreat into imagination?

      I don't want to just give up and drink and do nothing with the rest of my life, but sometimes I worry that I'm too old to play guitar, or draw, or write. Going along with the general theme of the take, not the specific idea of sports.

    • never too old to do it... maybe too old to master it.

  • This is really foolish bro. Some of your takes I agree with, but this is clearly a foolish rant.

    You really think people just watch "other people be great"? Yeah some people do, but there are a lot of people who love sports who are athletes themselves. In fact have you ever thought about the sports athlete themselves being fans? They are. I've heard MJ say that when basketball became a job to him he knew it was time to quit. He loves basketball. He's a fan of it.

    I love sports, but I also work out and jog. Years ago before I quit working out to focus on school I was really really strong for my size.

    As far as contribution it's just like this. I should go outside in the middle of the road and yell "This is MY street." Why? Because it is. I pay the taxes for it to be kept up. In a way it's my street and the police are MY police because the taxes I pay is paying for their salary. Same for sports fans. If nobody watched they wouldn't get any revenue and the owners wouldn't buy the teams, because they wouldn't be profiting. If they aren't making profit it's not a smart business move right? Who are the profiting off of? That's riiiiight. The fans. The fans give them that money. They contribute just as much. It's like a offering in church. The pastor may be up there preaching and "leading" but who's paying to keep the lights on? The congregation.

    So yes the fans are a part of the team. Have you ever heard of the 6th man? It exist. Maybe of players have missed shots, have had brain farts, etc. due to the fans.

    All that said even from another perspective I mean we all have imagination in us. That girl you think is hot? You imagine yourself being with her right? Imagination is with us all. It's important. It's how we predict and weigh things. Weigh our odds. Our chances. So what if others like to use their imagination in a different way than you?

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  • I never ever care about or watch sports.
    But I don't play sports either.
    And I don't exercise.

    I'm very unmotivated.

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  • your 1st premise almost made sense. people may actually have vested interest. i mean you do contribute to tv ratings of that team, which is where leagues make their bread and butter. moreover, ticket holders are the most obvious. and sorry to say if you don't know this, but part of your taxes actually go to your local sports team unless you live somewhere like south dakota. and even then, don't forget about college sports where their athletics and university as a whole is subsidized to them. not to mention in the college game, the added benefit of people who actually may go to schools because of their sports team.

    going into your 2nd paragraph, a sport and how you do can and does reflect where you live. i can go on a long explanation about it, but look up the miracle on ice. plus, many people who are sports fans have been brought up as fans of that team. like, i've always been a tennessee volunteers fan, of course i'm a fan of my own town i grew up in, playing them when i was in high school and before and was a dallas cowboys fan since birth.

    also, based on your overall take, like you said, you can basically apply that to anything. what's the point of liking anything if you can't physically do it? someone mentioned star wars. why watch star wars instead of actually going into space, meeting a wookie or fighting stormtroopers? why not actually do the shit jason borne does instead of watching him kick 10 dude's ass in 15 seconds?

    people like it for many things. they like it for the bonding. knowing that you can come together and have something in common. people like it because it gives them something to talk about. it let's people remember when they played sports. i'm not old, but i have a bad back, torn up knees, ankles, etc. i did track for 10 years. competed nationally. i did football for 3 years. i was good, but i was a track star playing football. i would if i was good enough or my body held up, but that isn't the case now. hell, women can't physically play in the nfl or nba so why would they watch it or like it?

    to be fair to you cause i feel like i'm just shitting on your take and i kinda feel bad, i get what you're generally saying and it makes sense, but it's just not valid.

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  • Hmmm this is an interesting take and I think you have some great points although I do caution you when you make generalizations like that. I'm sure somebody out there watches sports to fantasize about them being the athlete but the vast majority of sports fans are there because of the community. Humans are social animals and we all want to belong so sports appeal to us because we get to pick a side and join a group. You talk about people referring to their teams as if they're contributing to them and that's all because of the pack mentality behind it. The most fun I have with sports is not pretending that I'm the athlete who single-handedly wins the game but rather when I'm fighting when fans from other teams over which one is better, or when I'm in the stadium cheering with the thousands of other people who like the teams. For me and the majority of sports fans it's not so much the fantasy of being an athlete but of belong to a group people.

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  • Wow, that girl who is a sport fan, she looks hot, I mean the one in the third picture :)

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