what i’m learning about sports

by Joanna on May 13, 2014

For as long as I’ve known Mike, he’s been a huge Philadelphia sports fan. Between the Flyers, Eagles, and Phillies we’re always in-season for one of the sports. When we moved in together, one of the most notable things was how much he watches sports. If it’s not an actual game, it’s what we’ve come to call “talking about sports”: Mike and Mike, SportsCenter, Pardon the Interruption, pre- and post-game coverage. In the car we frequently stream Philly sports talk and Mike will also listen to it on his morning and evening bus rides. And though he’s normally a pretty calm, steady guy, that all goes out the window when the Flyers or Eagles are on. The hootin’ and hollerin’ is really something else. It got so bad one time, I was afraid he was going to get so riled up he was going to throw the remote or something and ruin our new TV.

So given all of this, I never really got it. And now, almost 6 years later, I get it.

Sports give you something to be a part of, something bigger than yourself. They bring commaraderie among fans, across generations, and can even bond people through mutual hatred of other teams. One of the most basic human needs is to be a part of a tribe. Being a sports fan is a great example of that.

Sports are an emotional roller coaster and allow you to feel your full range of emotions in a way that isn’t socially acceptable in many other contexts. From an amazing goal to a devastating loss, sports give you permission to openly feel and express it all – joy, anger, and sadness.

It’s home. It’s comfort. It’s the annual hope that this could finally be the year that your team, your city, wins it all.

Are you a sports fan? What about it draws you in?

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