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For the Joy of It
By Michael Shanks
Over the centuries, we keep coming back to the same basic grass fields and indoor gyms to do our bidding. Why do we love this game, which to an outsider would appear so pointless and probably stupid (see just a game). Why do we pay horrendous amounts of money to see the best players in the world play the game?
First and foremost, the game is fun. There is no doubting that, as it has been the resounding opinion of the masses for centuries.
Second, there exist theories that sports fulfill somewhat of a genetic void that we have in our modern lives. We genetically have built-in the desire for strong natural connections. Frank Deford of Sports Illustrated poses an intriguing question as to why we love sports:
“It's easy to stereotype sports fans as troglodytes -- Get a life, bozo! -- but I have, contrariwise, often wondered if fans take more interest in government than people who are not fans, if sports fans care more and vote more -- because they do feel a greater sense of belonging to the place whose team they root for”.
A case study that would produce results as he says would be fascinating.
There are not many mysteries left in the world. Maybe sports provide us with a sense of anticipation for something we can never fully predict: what will happen, and who will win.