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Thread started 07/08/17 1:47pm

Lammastide

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Questions for avid sports fans: why and how?

hmmm I've never been much of a sports fan. I played pick-up as a kid (I was pretty good at everything but baseball); I've watched alongside friends who are big fans; and occasionally when a local team moves into a post-season, I rally behind them. Otherwise, I've never understood the investment of large amounts of one's life into, say, repeatedly tossing/kicking/strong-arming a ball into a goal (aside from the benefits of physical exercise) or following millionaire douchebags who do.


All that said, I do envy what appears to be the sheer joy and the community that come with being a big sports fan -- and I can see how that could get the best of a person from time to time. In my native U.S., for example, association football hasn't been much of a thing until recent years and, therefore, wasn't on the radar through most of my life. Shortly before my move out of the country, though, I encountered a coworker whose zeal in support of Italy's team during the 2006 FIFA World Cup was absolutely infectious. I found myself rooting for Italy -- and I was genuinely pumped when they took the tournament! woot! Then... I couldn't have cared less. confused At least not until 2010 and 2014's tournaments, when, again, I was moved by then tons of friends and neighbours so eagerly flying their preferred national teams' flags and riding high on the buzz of the (mostly) friendly competitions. A part of me would love to experience that less vicariously.

So I suppose my questions are:

Why do you care about the sport(s) you support? Did you develop an affinity as a kid? Are you an athlete or know one? What do you get out of sports? And how do you sustain that energy throughout seasons and year after year?

Also, if you follow a particular team or teams, how did you choose? Did you select based on loyalty to a particular place? To a particular player? What happens if that team or player begins to suck -- does your loyalty remain?

Thanks for helping me understand.

[Edited 7/8/17 16:29pm]

Ὅσον ζῇς φαίνου
μηδὲν ὅλως σὺ λυποῦ
πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐστὶ τὸ ζῆν
τὸ τέλος ὁ χρόνος ἀπαιτεῖ.”
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Reply #1 posted 07/08/17 2:11pm

donnyenglish

Sports teach discipline, toughness, confidence, leadership, teamwork, etc. not saying that you cannot get those skills through other means, but sports are an easy way to do it. I played football, but got hurt once I got to college. But, without football, I probably would not be where I am today. 2 of my daughters played collegiate tennis and I have a son that plays division 1 football. Sports helped me raise them and opened doors for them.

I have 3 younger children who I probably won't focus as much on sports because they dont seem to have a natural affinity. You cannot force it.

Loyalty to teams is important. Kinda like when Prince had Tony M all up on his records and videos, you just stick with it if you are a true fan.
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Reply #2 posted 07/08/17 2:39pm

DaveT

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Having played alot of sport in my younger days I can appreciate the skill involved in playing the game. That goes a long way in appreciating what's being done on the pitch, field, etc.

Having said that, the only sports I follow now are American football (even though I'm in the UK) and golf. American footie I got in to as a kid; it seemed so exotic and exciting then, the cheerleaders, the bright uniforms, the cool team names, playing in the snow. And it was hard to get in to as it wasn't really shown on UK television much back then. I still love it now as its hard hitting, the season isn't too long (Sept to Jan) and unlike alot of sports it hasn't been entirely ruined by money.

Golf I took up a few years ago, and I love watching it because its very relaxing. Peter Alliss, the main UK commentator, is one of the best in the business, very funny and quite old so doesn't mind saying it like it is. Give me a beer, a comfy chair and the British Open and I'm in heaven.

I gave up watching soccer a few years ago as its been absolutely ruined by the constant scramble for money. The sport has been ruined in this country (just look at how useless the England football team now is!).

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Reply #3 posted 07/08/17 2:40pm

DaveT

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Oh, and I chose my fave teams (Buffalo Bills, and Liverpool back when I watched soccer) because they were the most exciting teams to watch when I was a kid. I still look out for the soccer results for Gillingham because they are the nearest team to my home town.

www.filmsfilmsfilms.co.uk - The internet's best movie site!
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Reply #4 posted 07/08/17 3:09pm

EmmaMcG

I don't really follow football (soccer to the Americans) but I always support the Irish national team any time they're playing. If I had to pick a club I'd pick Aston Villa because my ex supports them so I developed a bit of a liking for them when we were together. The only sport I can say I'm really interested in is snooker and again, it came from my ex. Plus, I'm actually quite decent at it too.
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Reply #5 posted 07/10/17 11:10am

namepeace

Lammastide said:



Why do you care about the sport(s) you support? Did you develop an affinity as a kid? Are you an athlete or know one? What do you get out of sports? And how do you sustain that energy throughout seasons and year after year?



Also, if you follow a particular team or teams, how did you choose? Did you select based on loyalty to a particular place? To a particular player? What happens if that team or player begins to suck -- does your loyalty remain?

Thanks for helping me understand.

[Edited 7/8/17 16:29pm]


I will always love the sports I "support" -- my family's basketball roots are deep, and I played football growing up. I was better at football.

Even in the 80's, football was a year-round sport. From August to August, we were training or practicing. The motivations were team building, self-improvement, and shared goals. I always wanted to get better, and though I was recruited to play lower-level college ball, I left it behind after high school. It taught me valuable lessons.

For the most part, I followed my father's teams. Following my teams now are more of a seasonal tradition now than it is live-or-die. My teams have collectively won numerous titles in my lifetime, and experienced decades-long droughts. Perspective teaches that success and failure go in cycles. Mismanagement, self-inflicted wounds, and player egos have caused me to step away from each of my teams at different points but I usually come back.

I still love the sports themselves, but for the most part, I spend maybe 10% of the time watching them that I used to. Playing and following sports are valuable if kept in perspective.


Good night, sweet Prince | 7 June 1958 - 21 April 2016

Props will be withheld until the showing and proving has commenced. -- Aaron McGruder
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Reply #6 posted 07/10/17 6:54pm

Lammastide

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Thanks for the responses, folks. I'm enjoying them.

Ὅσον ζῇς φαίνου
μηδὲν ὅλως σὺ λυποῦ
πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐστὶ τὸ ζῆν
τὸ τέλος ὁ χρόνος ἀπαιτεῖ.”
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Reply #7 posted 07/10/17 7:21pm

RodeoSchro

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Yes, I am an athlete but never a pro or collegiate athlete (you didn't ask if I was a good athlete!).

I root for all Houston teams because I have always lived here. But I like other teams, too. For instance, I like the Boston Red Sox because that was the name of the first Little League team I was on, and I liked a player they had in the 60's/70's named Tony Conigliaro.

However, my favorite non-Houston team is the New York Yankees. I absorbed everything there was to absorb about baseball when I was a kid, and Babe Ruth was my idol. If it comes to Astros vs. Yankees, it's Astros all the way. But any other time, it's the Yankees.

I never was a "rabid" fan, though. If my team loses, I get over it pretty fast. I always figured, "Hey - Nolan Ryan never cared if I had a bad day at work. So I'm not going to get too worked up if he gets shelled".

My other favorite team is the Ole Miss Rebels - mainly football and baseball. Both my kids go/went there, and I found that writing checks to a college REALLY brought out my support! And, it doesn't hurt that football and baseball games at Ole Miss are more fun than the law allows. They are truly bucket-list experiences for sports fans.

Last but not least, I have been majorly into soccer the last six years. I spent about 40 years making fun of soccer, thinking it was the dumbest thing ever. But then I started going to games, because my son was interning for the Houston Dynamo and I had to drive him to work/pick him up. What fun! I love soccer now. We have been Houston Dynamo season ticket holders for five years. I love it!

What I get out of sports depends on if I'm playing or watching. If I'm watching, it's entertainment. If I'm playing, it's exercise, competition, and the desire to improve. Also, I'm relatively healthy. I figure, you can't play all your life so play until you can't play any more! I'm 58 and just finished a game of catch with my son, getting prepared for the summer softball league I'm about to play in.

Second Funkiest White Man in America

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Reply #8 posted 07/17/17 8:42am

COMPUTERBLUE19
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I am not an athletic person by any stretch. Played high school football and sucked at it. The one thing I do like about sports, more so amateur, is the competitiveness and goal building they work toward as a team.

As a teacher, I have coached soccer for two years at my school and produced winners. We finished 4th our first year, but the placing gave my kids motivation to work harder, do better. We finished with the championship later that year 🙂

In regards to popular athletics, I am not a die hard fan, but support the team of wherever I live usually. I live in Houston and support the Texans, but not a fan of baseball/basketball teams.

Overall favorite team would be The GS Warriors. They are fun to watch!
"Old man's gotta be the old man. Fish has got to be the fish."
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Reply #9 posted 07/18/17 10:09am

fortuneandsere
ndipity

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You have to understand social intelligence, and you have to understand fun. And only then you might get it.


I could give the more nuanced psychological evolutionary-minded perspective but that would waste my time, quite frankly. Also I am a snob.

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