When I was younger, I didn’t like sports. However, over time, my opinion changed from outright dislike to grudging acceptance of sports, to genuine enthusiasm for sports of all kind. I don’t usually go out of my way to watch it if it’s on TV, but I do like going to live games. Actually, much of my enjoyment of sports are due to reasons tangential to the sport itself.
Watching games in person is my favorite aspect of sportswatching. I enjoy the community surrounding sports – when fans start chanting or cheering , I like to join in and chant along with them. I feel as if I’m part of the community as well, despite being team-agnostic. I live vicariously through surrounding fans; when they get nervous due a tight play, I’ll pick up on some of that through osmosis. Attending a sports event in this fashion can be an emotional rollercoaster.
Ironically enough, now that I’m getting more into sports, it seems as if they’re declining in popularity in mainstream America. ESPN, the biggest network for sports in America, is losing subscribers hand over fist. Football in particular seems to be having problems with long term viewership – with more general awareness of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, it seems like parents are less willing to let their kids play football, which will lead to a smaller player base for the NFL. The CTE issue also seems to be turning people off of football. It can be pretty hard to stomach the details of the consequences of high impact sports and the long term complications that arise. I don’t know what the future holds for contact sports, but I’m going to continue watching them.