Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How "We" Act When "We" Win

Once again there are riots in cities where sports teams have won championships. I have to admit that even though I am a guy and even though there have been times in my life when I have watched sports, this behavior seems alien to me.

There is a weird psychology to it all. In recent years, for example, it has become normal for announcers to say when the teams are taking the field "Here is YOUR team." Really? I am the team owner? Are these players all from this town? How is this "my" team?

If they win this ball game does it make me richer? Does their winning or losing have any influence on whether I have to get up and go to work tomorrow? Well, let's see. Maybe if I had huge bets on these games and I won a tremendous amount of money. But no. I do not care enough about who is playing a game tonight to bet on it.

Is there a joy or a pleasure in watching a very well played game? Yes, if you care about the game and understand the rules. If you do not understand the game, you can be completely baffled by watching these people running back and forth and you will wonder what the cheering is about.

So why do people riot when their team wins? Possibly they are just troublemakers who look for any excuse to act up.

I have never accepted the rationale that cities or counties should pay for stadiums for privately owned teams. I am aware that the theory is that they will generate jobs and taxes. But when you think about it, there is no sense to locating a team away from a population base, so the teams will locate in or near major cities anyway.

Why is it that people get so worked up over sports teams? Do those cities who have a first class symphony orchestra organize parades for them when they return from playing an out of town engagement? Why not? What is the difference?

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