By: Cassidy Van Vooren
You can invest your money in the stock market, you can invest your ideas into a project, so why do we invest our time and energy into sports?
We’ve all watched a game where athletes push themselves to the limit and past overwhelming odds to overcome and mesmerize nations. The crowds cheering on the screen or around us, and we can’t help but cheer along. Though, taking a step back from the sports scene, one might wonder why we even care about sports. Some care more than others, why is that?
People can be immediately recognized as a fan of a team or sport just by the clothes on their back or the type of mug they drink their coffee from. If you think about it, how many people are there whose person and baseball cap, are inseparable to the memory. People connect through sports, they express through sports, that is why it seems that many people still go to games with friends, or stop to talk to that stranger on the bus who has the same jersey as them.
A claim that is often made regarding sports, especially from those who are indifferent to it, is that all sports do is overpay it’s professional athletes, and make billionaires richer. The average pay of a professional athlete is $44,680, while the highest paid athlete of 2016 took home an earnings of $88 million. The owners of teams and leagues make billions of dollars per season.
“I feel like they get paid too much but I’m not the one controlling that so… that’s just my opinion.” Michael Solomon, a recent college Graduate of Cal State Fullerton, said. His love for the NFL team the Browns knows no bounds, even with their back to back losing seasons.
Perhaps one’s undying love for their team is what keeps them coming back season after season. Either that or it could be family traditions. For some, watching sports is a family affaire. Sometimes a team is only cheered for because it has been cheered for generation after generation. It’s a family connection, an unbreakable bond that has been forged over hundreds of conversations of shared interest and the common goal of cheering their team to victory.
To others, the appeal just isn't there.
"Because they don't interest me." Richard Sapien, a Senior at Samueli Academy, said plainly when asked why he didn’t like sports. He reflected on how he never liked playing sports or watching them. To him, like countless others, the appeal for sports and caring about it just isn't there. Sapien also spoke on those that invest their time in sports, saying that; “they're just wasting money,” even going as far as to say Buffalo Wild Wings can only be identified as a sports filled restaurant. Sapiens proved that while many people care greatly about sports, there are others who couldn't care less.
Even though there are those that always care, and have never cared, there are some who use to care.
"They [sports] use to matter a lot more to me, before. When I was younger I had less responsibilities, more time... " Mr. Jacobo, the Special Education Coordinator at Samueli, reflected on his childhood attachment to sports. Jacobo called his love of sports a childhood phase. It ended just like it began. He said that as some people grow older, their interests change. Even if it was big part of your childhood, family, or community.
To ask the question again, why do we care about sports? The answer to that is different people care for different reasons. Perhaps because it was something they found in their childhood, or it was something that their family brought up in them. It could even be because of a city's identity being forever linked that sport or team. The cheers and the sorrows, the wins and losses, they all amount to something different to each person. But it’s safe to say that people do care about sports, not because of the wins and losses, or the billion dollar paychecks those playing may receive. It’s in the journey, and community, and family brought together when sporting events arise.
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