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Why Do People Watch Sports

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Sporting events in America are such a huge business, but why? The answer to that question is that there are millions of people willing to spend time and money to watch these events in person and on television. But this raises another question: why are people so interested in other people playing sports? Well, it's a hard question to answer, but there seems to be a psychological need for many to watch these sports every year and to support their favorite teams.

It is pondering to some why there are so many people that watch sports almost religiously. They cannot understand why these sports fanatics continue year after year to watch teams and players that have no influence on their life whatsoever. They find it hard to figure out why they care so much about these people that they have never met. Or why some attend a game in freezing temperatures in the middle of January to watch a bunch of men sweat and beat each other up on the football field. But to sports fans across the country, it is a way of life, which has been part of them since childhood.

Loyalty to a team is one huge component in determining why people watch sports. Many may follow a certain team because that's who their father or someone else in their family enjoyed watching. They may associate that team with their own childhood experiences while growing up and watching that team with their family. This makes watching a favorite team a very enjoyable experience. Having a favorite team also puts you automatically into another family, the enormous family of other fans. Why else would complete strangers hug and celebrate together at sports games? Loyalty to a team "...contributes to an overall sense of belonging and the sharing of a common bond, much like people feel when they join a church or civic group of members sharing some common values, interests, or beliefs"(Fillon).

Sports also have the strange capability of creating national heroes. These heroes such as Michael Jordan and Jerry Rice embody what many want to be. Making a last second shot, scoring a game-winning touchdown, hitting a walk off homerun, this is what sports fans wish they could do. These heroes are larger-than-life figures that are living out the dreams of so many people. Watching these stars perform at the highest level possible is just too intriguing for fans not to tune in.

Watching sports also gives a feeling of stability. Season after season, year after year, the games keep coming on. It becomes ritualistic. For example, professional football fans have the comfort of knowing there will be games on every Sunday during the season. It is something to look forward to and something to talk about every other day of the week. If for some reason there was no more professional football, there would be a huge outrage that would



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