I was watching a clip about two wrestling fanatics who injured a two year old girl while practicing wrestling moves on her. And the question came to mind, to wit: are fanatical sports fans, and religious fundamentalists suffering from different manifestations of the same aberrant mental state? My curiosity was especially aroused since I seem to lack the "sports gene", I find gods and sports equally boring. So, I'm asking the TA community, are there as many sports fanatics among us as in the general population. Just curious.

Views: 3

Tags: Sports, fanaticism., fundamentalism

Comment by James on June 12, 2010 at 10:01pm
I'm a fan of some sports and teams, but not a rabid fan. I know people that have their entire weekend or even week ruined if their team looses. I myself was disappointed when the Colts lost the last Super Bowl, but I got over it and went on with my life. My biggest sport is F1 auto racing. But the fact that I don't have the channel it's on is only a slight inconvenience. I'm satisfied with just looking up the results later.

I do think that the sports analogy is a good one though. The reasons for following a particular team are pretty much the same for each team. Also, where and when you happen to live seems to make a big difference of the teams you follow as well. These statements are also very true of religion.
Comment by Radu Andreiu on June 13, 2010 at 7:03am
I used to be a supporter of my local and national soccer team, but never a fanatic. I have to admit that I lived some pretty intense moments in front of the TV whenever one of my favorite teams played. What I find interesting, though, is how these feelings faded away pretty much in the same period and manner as the religious ones. I really think that the underlying factors for religious fanatics and sports fanatics are very similar.

Anyway, I still watch an occasional match now and then, but from a fairly neutral stance and, unlike in the old times, I'm interested in many other sports too. I guess that most of all I enjoy practicing, because I don't really see the point of watching all sorts of boring matches, no matter what sport are we talking about. Whenever the best of the best play, I watch with some interest in their astounding abilities, but I am otherwise indifferent of who wins and who loses.
Comment by Christopher McGuire on June 13, 2010 at 10:39am
I do believe that in a lot of ways, sports and religion are alike. But there are also a few ways they are different. For one thing, there's no 'set-in-stone' specifics for following sports. But then again, there are the fans out there who worship their team religiously. I'm a HUGE fan of the Detroit Red Wings (Yep, I'm a Wingnut! lol), but at the same time, I know they're human, I don't place my team on a pedestal, and yes, if I were born somewhere else, I'd probably follow another team (another likeness to religion). I look at sports more as a reason for local pride, and reason to party. Shit, the more I think about it, the more I realize sports are A LOT like religion. Well, either way, I enjoy rooting for my team, and I'm not gonna stop being a fan, but now I don't think I'll ever look at it the same way. What has been seen cannot be unseen!!! Well done sir, you brought about an epiphany on my part with this post. Thank you for that, Doug, and have a nice day knowing you expanded someone's perception just a lil bit...
Comment by Filippo on June 16, 2010 at 6:11pm
Yeah, I know a decent number of my [fraternity] bros are super sports fanatics (they look at all the stats, lineups, injuries, watch espn all the time etc) even though most of them are not religious at all. I don't think it's really connected, but it may be part of some human need to feel part of something "larger" than yourself.
I admit I'm a bit of a soccer and football fanatic but I don't go overboard with it.

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