The Phenomenon of Sports

Ariana  

             I think because I love sports every idea that pops into my head about relevance to popular culture I think of sports. Even in Rome they had sports. There was always competition and I think it would be really interesting to look at how many individuals watch sports on television, go to sporting events, as well as how many individuals play sports. All sports are around us and I think that the trend of sports changes with the season of sports, at least at the high school and college level. When it gets to the professional levels there is no off season and one of the most watched televised sporting events is the super bowl, the Olympics, the World Series and the world cup. I want to know what our fascination with sports is all about. Why do we always want to watch them. Is it just a form of entertainment, are we just fallowing a fashion trend, or is it for the love of the game. There are so many different ideas that we can look at with this subject.

            I think one of the reasons why sports are becoming more popular is because of the advertisement business. This is where cultural industry comes into play because we cant really see the difference between trying to sell the game as a cultural experience or trying to make money off of a sporting event. For the most part I think the people who are advertising the game are in it for the money. For example football commercials always have a man with beer and women all over them in small, revealing, football uniforms. When people get together for a football game for the most part the men are watching the game with their beers in hand while the women are off doing something else. If the only reason why people are getting together to drink beer and watch football the advertisers win the battle because they sold their beer and the football games are being watched. I personally grew up with sports and watching football on the weekends was something that we did but it wasn’t for the beer it was to simply watch football.

            One thing that I also think is interesting is that sports teams are kind of like fashion trends. You wear them until the fashion goes out of style but in this case you watch the game until they start to loose. For some reason many individuals in our country like to jump on the band wagon and just go with the flow because it is considered cool. The example that I can think of for this is the Portland Timbers. When they were a semi-pro team not winning many games there were not many loyal fans but now that they are MLS and about to host the tournament people go to games even if they don’t like soccer. Growing up soccer has never been a popular sport but all of a sudden Portland gets a good team and people I know who have told me they don’t like soccer are posting pictures on instagram about the awesome game they saw at JELD-WEN stadium. Personally it bothers me that people jump on the bandwagon but at the same time I am glad that individuals are starting to watch soccer and its becoming something big in America.

I think this is very important and relevant to our class because just like any other subject this is a trend. Even in class when I brought this same issue up in one of our first discussions one of  my classmates told me she went to her first Portland Timbers soccer match the other day and she has never watched a game in her life. She had no idea what was going on she just went because she heard the games were fun to go to. On the one hand, I am glad that she go to experience the fun and excitement of soccer but on the other hand I would hope that she found the love of soccer because of the game not because of new trend that has appeared in Portland pop culture.

While looking at the idea that individuals are fed trends and we don’t actually pick them I think is partially true in the United States when it comes to sports. If you look at Europe soccer is the dominant sport that is watched and played and everywhere you go you will see it on TV. On the other hand, America is dominated by football and wherever you go whether it is in a restaurant or a bar football is on television. I think it would be interesting to compare sports cultures between countries and see the trends and popularity of each sport. Popular culture is all around us and I think sports are a huge part of our culture.

                       

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