Saturday, September 25, 2010

Team Sports, Scourge?

It's AFL Grand Final day here in Australia, and everyone seems to be watching. From those five douches from school with rats tails and faux hawks, to Uncle Barry sporting his blue wife-beater and can of VB, to Nanna in her Collingwood guernsey, scarf, and beanie. People from all walks of life seem to come together in the name of the game. Or do they? Is sport really as much of community strengthener as we are lead to believe?

People often fight over sports results, umpire's decisions etc. One only has to look at the United Kingdom to see how team sports can have an adverse affect a society. It seems to be a modern adaption to our ancient, tribal urges to support and fight for your tribe. People sit on the sidelines in the stadium, drinking, screaming obscenities etc. We have all seen how people act while watching football on the television as well. Somehow these people have the misconception that "the little people inside the television can hear what I yell at them."

If anything team sports strengthens segregation between states and areas within a state. Supporters of one team often befriend those who support the same team. When someone who passionately supports team A meets someone who passionately supports team B, there is an instant negative connection between the two. Especially if they just so happen to meet at a game between their respective teams.

So why do you ask, do people support any teams if they are such a bane to society? Well I went ahead and asked some fervid football followers exactly why they support their respective teams.

M1ND Why do you support Collingwood?

    • R- i was born into a ridiculously one-eyed collingwood supporting family. i didn't have a choice lol. + they're an amazing team and awesome sportsmen ^-^
      33 minutes ago 
    • M1ND- So you were indoctrinated by your parents to support them?
      32 minutes ago 
    • R- 
      sort of. i barracked for geelong when i was a little tacker. because i liked cats lol
      but as i grew up i just started going for collingwood, once i really understood the game i guess. as a team, they're so superior in every way haha i, somewhat, had my parents influence. but then again, i didn't..
      29 minutes ago 
    • M1ND- If they were superior, wouldn't they win EVERY game, and EVERY premiership?
      28 minutes ago 
    • R- what's the fun in that? haha
      why you picking on the Victorians man, you got a grudge or what? >.<
      28 minutes ago 
    • M1ND- I'm not picking on anyone. All I'm doing is trying to get you to rationally justify your support for a sports team.
      25 minutes ago
    • R- 
      maybe it's just the excitement? everyone is passionate about something right, it just so happens that a vast majority of this country are passionate about AFL. collingwood were a huge influence on my childhood and i, naturally, just followed in my parents footsteps and chose to barrack for them as well.
      AFL players are super fit machines, and a good game is definitely worth watching. that feeling of sitting on the edge of your seat watching the points go up and down. hoping and, dare i say, praying that your team will kick a sufficient amount of points to win you that so desperately sought after game in order to get you to the grand final.

      it's really just a matter of interest i think.
      although i know many people that don't watch a game of AFL all year but will watch the grand final..
      20 minutes ago 
    • M1ND- If your team wins, how do you benefit?
      18 minutes ago 
    • R- it's more just a feeling of pride for your team dude. if they're a team you barrack for, when they win, you feel happy. for the fact that they've won.
      16 minutes ago 
    • M1ND Aren't there more important things to support, follow, and have pride in?
      Things that, kind of, matter.
      11 minutes ago 
    • R- sure. but don't you think that's really a matter of opinion. i'm passionate about many things.
      football is just one of those things.
      10 minutes ago 
    • M1ND- I'd say it's quite objective to say that football doesn't matter. How does it affect anyone other than the players, coach, and the team's board of director?
      5 minutes ago 


2 hours ago · 
  • C likes this.

    • M1ND- Just out of curiosity. Honestly, why do you care about who wins?
      2 hours ago · 
    • C- cos im a collingwood supporter!!!
      2 hours ago · 
    • M1ND- Okay, fair, and out of curiosity. Why do you support Collingwood?
      about an hour ago · 
    • C- Becos were the best! :)
      about an hour ago · 
    • M1ND- Why?
      about an hour ago · 
    • C- been supporting them since i was 8
      about an hour ago · 
    • M1ND- Okay. So. Why did you decide to support them when you were 8?
      about an hour ago ·
    • C- dunno fell in love with them an loved them ever since!!!
      about an hour ago · 
    • M1ND- So you'd say you just chose a team for no reason other than that you decided to chose them?
      about an hour ago 
    • C- no man i just fell inlove with them, its hard to explain. i love football and i love collingwood, not much else to it
      about an hour ago ·

M1ND Why do you support Geelong?

about an hour ago · 

    • J- because when i was a kid gary ablett senior was like a god... just never stopped following them...
      about an hour ago 
    • M1ND So he played football for them? So you're more of a Gary Ablett Senior supporter, than a Geelong supporter?
      about an hour ago · 
    • J- i was. then i grew into a geelong supporter... why do you ask?
      about an hour ago ·
    • M1ND- I'm trying to get people to rationally justify their support for a sports team.
      about an hour ago ·

As you can see, no one seems to have a truly objective reason to be showing support for what team they do. I'm sure it relates back to my previous statement regarding tribal tendencies. So don't waste your time on team sports. Support and follow things that matter like government legislation and government policies, things that actually have an affect on you, your family, and your friends.


  1. Lol, Im not from Australia, but I think I got the drill xD

  2. Reminds me of a study I once heard about awhile back with the concept of 'brand loyalty.' Where consumers were shown to consistently buy only one brand of cigarettes exclusively etc.
    Very interesting stuff.

  3. I supported Arsenal F.C because my dad supported it. I didn't need a reason despite being happy to show my loyalty. Now I spend most of my times in north london near the arsenal which gives me a real reason to support them, but thank you for reaching into my past :) .

  4. Peer pressure also sounds like a good reason to me.