For the Love of the Game: 10 Reasons Why Sports Make the World Go Round
Have you ever caught yourself thinking about the world around us? Chances are you probably have, so I'm going to make this as simple as possible.
From entertainment, money, fame, fortune, rivalries, scandals, rumors, last-second games, fights, to unbreakable records; these are the reasons we are all so drawn to the sporting world.
It is without question that sports is what makes the world go round. Without it, what would we have to bond to, share memories of, debate over, and (most importantly) spend our hard-earned money on?
From an early childhood age, most of us can confess we wanted to be a football player like Brett Favre, a baseball player like Babe Ruth, score the game-winning goal as Wayne Gretzky did, or be just like Michael Jordan once was.
So many things have been invested in the sporting world we've built up, and most of it comes back as a sense of pride and joy for those who love it.
Unfortunately there is another side to the sporting world. A side that we've all adversely built up to be a downfall to some of our most coveted of athletes.
From Tiger's infidelity, Pete Rose's ban from the baseball Hall of Fame, the Duke men's lacrosse case, to Tim Donaghy's admittance to betting on games he worked, sports surely has its negative side.
That's the reason why so many people have now become sports fans: to hate on athletes who make rather careless choices. Who can blame them? You can't deny the compelling stories you hear day to day.
Sports is such an intriguing thing -- it really is.
You can't really estimate how much sports means to how the entire world functions. Take for example the "I live and die with my team" aspect.
So many people live their own lives based on how well their respective team does. Team success just what drives and motivates fans to cheer on their teams through the good times and the not-so-good times.
With that being said, let's take a look at (in no particular order) the 10 most important reasons why sports fuels the entire globe.
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We can all attest to the fact that when our team wins, we're proud of it.
Arguably the most important reason for the existence of sports as a whole, pride is what gives fans a reason to cheer.
When your team wins, you make sure the opposing team knows it—which may ultimately lead to off-the-field drama, however still contributes to the pride the fan.
Pride is often caught up in the past, and fans of regularly successful teams tend to have more pride in their team's accomplishments.
Teams feed off the pride of their fans.
The annual Red River Rivalry game between Texas and Oklahoma really shows a true spectrum of proud college football fans at its finest. There's nothing quite like being proud of your squad.
Why do you think the New York Yankees have more fans than the Pittsburgh Pirates? It's because of pride, and nothing short of that.
Some of the most prideful fans in the world come from Europe's UEFA soccer league. Their fans live and die with their team and they are a true joy to watch no matter what sports interests you most.
We wear jerseys, hats, tattoos, and even shoes to show our team spirit -- something that is taught to our young children at an early age. It's something that we are obsessed with in America, and can often be "overdone" to an extent.
Nevertheless, the pride of nations, teams and schools has been seen since the very first years of human existence.
Allows Us to Dream
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Sports allow us to dream beyond our wildest imaginations.
As kids, we imagine ourselves as a multitude of different things. It's the American dream, really.
Parents telling us we can become whatever we want is the greatest thing sports has to offer young children.
We hear stories of kids growing up in terrible neighborhoods and being exposed to drugs, alcohol and violence. Yet they somehow defy the odds by making it big—getting to the major leagues and succeeding immensely.
We as a society are obsessed with making it big; dreaming of things no one has ever been able to do is what fuels us as a civilization.
Movie production is yet another classic example of how we as a world love to dream as big as possible.
Kurt Warner was a grocery bagger just a few years before leading a powerful St. Louis Rams to the Super Bowl behind Dick Vermeil.
Josh Hamilton was a crack addict before being traded to the Rangers, who now find themselves on the brink of a World Series ring—led by none other than Hamilton himself.
The actual concept of "rising from the ashes" to "fame and fortune" is what inspires us to get better at what we love doing. I think we all owe sports a "thank you."
Dream big, or don't dream at all.
Teaches Us a Lesson
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Sports gives us a multitude of lessons to be learned; unfortunately those lessons can come in the worst of ways.
The scandals will never stop, the indecency never perish—however, it is how we react and learn from these experiences that will shape our ever-changing world.
In the end, sports gives us a reason to grow, to understand the world around us.
The things we may say and the actions we may take are part of the greater lesson in life.
Sports is just another thing, another lesson waiting to happen. It's about how we learn to adapt to those situations that shape the rest of our lives.
Sure, athletes make mistakes. We also can be a little bit too harsh on those athletes for the honest mistakes they've made.
All in all, sports reflects our own personal lives, and how we wish to live our lives.
Sports truly is the center of our universe.
It's true; money talks.
Money is what drives some athletes to holdouts, suspensions and fines. All of these things contribute to a negatively acting society.
Money is the reason why sports even exist in the first place.
Demand for entertainment leads to ticket prices, player salaries and stadium construction. It's all part of a venomous circle that we've created—especially here in America.
When the demand for entertainment exists, prices go up—everybody knows that.
The demand and expectation that money brings with it is like nothing else in the world. Money is what supreme athletes expect to be paid and is relevant in today's sporting world more than ever before.
When was the last time you heard of an overrated cornerback threatening to hold out for a ridiculous contract that he doesn't deserve? Oh, wait—Darrelle Revis did that.
The media has hyped athletes for centuries now, and we cannot expect that to change.
Money makes the world go round.
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The "underdog" has been around since the very beginning of sports.
There will always be a favored team that the media will hype up to be the greatest team ever, only to lose at the hands of a team no one expected to have a chance.
Upsets are the reason sports intrigue us, involve us and allow us to voice our opinion.
Arguably the greatest upset in the modern sports era, the 10-6 New York Giants defeating the previously undefeated 16-0 New England Patriots. The game has to be considered one of the biggest surprises sports has ever yielded.
"Underdog" teams oftentimes feed off the lack of respect given to them before the game and contribute to the overall performance of the team as a whole.
It seems like every year upsets go unnoticed, although we can all attest to the fact that the upset is one of the best things about sports.
Long live the underdog.
Give Us Our Own Voice
Nobody can take away what it is you believe in—no matter how hard they try.
The great debate that is "sports" is what we live for, what we believe in and what we cheer for.
We as a society are so very obsessed with debating sports that we center our lives around it.
Sports-talk radio is solely built upon the issue of sports debating -- what we take away from our difference in beliefs is what we can really cherish.
Small-market teams pride themselves on what they have to say.
It's true, we writers and sports columnists want to become just like Peter King of SI.com.
Writers like myself dream of making it big, by trying to get our voice out there to the rest of the world.
We all have opinions, and it's how we express ourselves that really matters.
Unfortunately we've all seen our fair share of sports scandals, rumors and accusations.
But have you ever once though that the sporting world feeds off the negative comments, allegations and actions? Well, you should.
Sports scandals have been around as long as we can remember—and we all love to hate those who choose to act without remorse.
Whether it be Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the foot, Ricky Williams admitting to marijuana use, Brett Favre's "sexting", or Michael Vick's dog-fighting ring, we've all had our moments of doubt and uncertainty in today's sports world.
It's a sick, twisted, awful situation for an athlete to find himself in, but the we the media love to hear about it as much as humanly possible.
Who can blame the media for wanting front-page headlines that get everyone talking?
Tiger Woods—arguably the greatest American athlete of this generation—was found guilty of infidelity. The findings were as surprising as they were alarming, as one of the illustrious figures in all of sports seemed to come back down to earth, for the first time in his life.
People receive information and jump to conclusions the very second they hear of failure.
All in all, scandals sell, and contribute to the world of sports.
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Whether it be the epic pie in the face after a walk-off home run, the classic seventh-inning stretch, the almighty Lambeau Leap or the ever-apparent Gatorade Bath, we can all attest to the fact that sports gives us the greatest ways of expressing ourselves.
Traditions have been around as long sports, and we somehow invent new traditions on a day-to-day basis. However, you truly cannot take away from the classics.
Every sport has its traditions, making us apart of who we are as a culture, a civilization and as a world.
Traditions give us an identity, a self-proclaimed "group" of people that we are.
It's true, traditions make the world go round.
Brings Us Together
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Of all the negative, self-agonizing things to come out of sports, there is a light at the end of the tunnel we see after every match, game, or practice: the joy of sportsmanship.
Clearly the most important reasons sports makes the world go round, bringing us together puts everything in perspective.
Rivals become friends, enemies learn to love.
Although we hear of the occasional after-game fights in the stands—eventually leading to arrests—fans always know how to congratulate the other team's efforts.
It's a great thing to know even sports rivals have their own heart-felt moments. Take Brett Favre and his successor Aaron Rodgers for example.
We all know Favre wanted to be a Green Bay Packer for life; however business decisions had to be made for the good of the franchise moving forward.
After finally beating the Vikings as the Packers' starting QB, Rodgers shares a heartfelt moment that has truly touched us all.
Through all the pain, diseases and suffering in the world, sports brings us all together; and rids our minds of all the negativity. The joy of competition in sports is truly unmatched and is a significant part of why sports makes the world go round.
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In the ever-changing world we live in today, sports is the one thing we can always count on.
The government may be corrupt, the national debt may skyrocket, but sports will always be there.
The sporting world is usually taken for granted, and for good reason.
Some of us may not be able to handle a world without sports, as it sometime controls our society as a whole. But have you ever wondered why?
Most of us haven't.
But for now let's keep it that way. Why should we question that which we do not know? It all makes sense in the end.
While we continue to ponder the overall importance of sports, we must first answer one question: why do we love sports?
That is up to you.