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Why Do Sports Matter Essay

Sports in America have drastically changed in both positive and negative ways throughout the years. People surround sports as a part of their life and sometimes it’s their main priority. Though you may be a dedicated fan there are people who take it to the extreme leading to almost death in some occurrences. There is such as a thing as dedicated and loyal fan but the fact people do take it to outstanding extremities is ridiculous. Sports are seen in two ways: negative and positive. Both do not outweigh another but are deemed balanced in the views of society. In my opinion I think that sports are fundamental and an important part of society and culture and bringing people together because of the impact sports have. Football, for instance the amount of not only people it brings together but the amount of money spent on this industry is incredible. The NFL can create 25 billion dollars per year on just about anything that has a football team on it. Jerseys, men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel, bedding, dishware, household items, almost anything you can think of. Fantasy Football is above the NFL industry with making just about 70 billion per year in value. Not just the industry and the money making but the actual game and the plays and athletes bring people together. Almost a communal event bars and restaurants have incorporated sports, predominantly football, into their environment. Sports mean a lot to individual people and society alike.

Perhaps this is because competition in sports lets us prove that we’re better than someone else. Or perhaps it is because we get to cheer and yell for our team. Sports can bring us comfort in hard times. They can also bring people together who normally wouldn’t associate with one another. Some people believe sports are important to human nature. Sports are important to human nature because you get to compete. No one is born looking for competition. Part of every human’s nature is being competitive and most people believe that it has to be discovered. Playing or even watching sports can help explore one’s competitive side. Sports teach basic, fundamental competitiveness, which is a key part of human nature. It is essential to survival. You need to compete with other people to get into a good college or to get a good job. Sports teach you how to work hard. It is not part of human nature for most people to want to work hard. You have to put in a lot of time and effort to be good at a sport and it teaches you that preparation and effort are the most important aspect in sports and in life.

Sports are an essential and important aspect of American society; they are indispensable when it comes to their impact on a plethora of public arenas, including economics and the mass media. Sport coincides with community values and political agencies, as it attempts to define the morals and ethics attributed not only to athletes, but the totality of society as a whole. Sports provide key dynamics when it comes to the augmentation of communal principles by enhancing the physical and mental well-being of individuals and the integration of social classes. The idea of “winning” in sports serves as a prime exemplar of success: a highly valued commodity which often results in elitism and superiority. The world of sports affords us the opportunity to gain vital insight into the sensitive issues of racism, sexism, and classism. To ignore sport is to ignore a significant aspect of any society and its culture. Sport is the opiate of the masses, due to the fact that we are in the age of the sport consumer, which is dissimilar to the age of the sport spectator. By placing a “value” on a specific athlete, you are not only defining that athlete based on his or her attributes, you are bestowing upon them a specific worth which ultimately translates into the worth of that specific sport en masse, which is why we unjustly deem certain sports more imperative than others.

Fans of spectator sports find a reaffirmation of key societal values through sports, as they give meaning to their own lives Rather than it being baseball, football is Americas past time. During the year 2000, the average crowd at a baseball game was 30,125, while the average crowd at a football game was 66,077. The NFL brings in about 2.2 billion dollars a year in revenues from television. The MLB earns about 340 million. The significant difference pertaining to TV revenue is that football is on a few days per week, and baseball is on nearly every night. However, football still brings in much more money from ad revenues on television, which means that there are more people watching the football games than are watching the baseball games. When it comes to television revenue, football is the number one sport. Baseball is year round while football starts every September and ends in late January and this includes season games, playoffs, the super bowl, and the pro bowl. Football players play in rigorous weather conditions such as pouring rain, inches of snow, mud, and not to mention scorching heat. But it’s not just the players who endure this, it’s also the fans.

There are almost no industries in which fan loyalty carries such a high level of emotional and psychological investments, than sports industries. The public outrage that happens and all the controversial issues that happen. People love that stuff. Many people become fans as children and follow a particular team all their lives. That is how loyalty is started. There are so many traditions and rituals that keep the fan loyal. That is why there are so many fans out there that just keep to one team. One team staying loyal to that one team will keep you a fan and “in the game” for a very long time. That is why you don’t see too often a New York Jet fan, being a Miami Dolphin fan, it’s just not right. You are loyal to one team for however long you need to be loyal. Usually forever. Wilfred Sheed wrote an essay, “Why Sports Matter,” that concentrates on how sports have changed over the past 150 years. Sheed also explains that sports can play an important role in the lives of people by helping them discover who they are and who they want to be. Sports go beyond what goes on in practice or in the game. They help build character and prepare you for many obstacles in life. The evolution of sports to what it has become is a fascination for experts. Preachers had previously had considered sports the devil’s work. It was believed that the time spent in participation could be spent serving the Lord instead.

Although sports seem like they are the greatest thing on earth, there is a slight downfall with actions that sports bring upon people. Opening day in 2011, a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, 45 year old Giants fan Bryan Stow was beaten nearly to death in a parking lot after the game. He suffered brain damage and is permanently disabled, requiring 24-hour-a-day care. The two men who assaulted Stow known as Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez, who both plead guilty to the attack, talked about what had happened in jail on the day of their arrest. The words the two men spoke in a jail lockup, unaware they were being recorded, were played at a preliminary hearing as they were ordered to stand trial on charges of mayhem and assault and battery. In a 12-minute conversation, Sanchez acknowledged he attacked a Giants fan, and Norwood said he had no regrets about backing him up. “I socked him, jumped him and started beating him,” a transcript of the conversation quoted Sanchez as saying. He also apologized to Norwood for dragging him into the fight. “That happens, bro,” said Norwood. “I mean, what kind of man would I have been if I hadn’t jumped in and tried to help you.”

Last spring, Stow returned home after two years in hospitals and rehabilitation centers. His family said he requires constant physical therapy and remains severely disabled. Sports fans are not only victims to assault but women, primarily during super bowl Sunday, are maliciously beaten and assaulted due to a husband, friend, whomever it may be, over the loss of a football team. Statistics show that domestic abuse rises during football season. Some people say it’s just a game and people shouldn’t get so worked up about but the massive production and emotional toll sports put upon young and old men and women is quite devastating. Sports have become such a priority and life taking concept that it results in the beating of women and children all because of the loss of a football team. Women shouldn’t have live in fear that they might get beaten that night upon the results of their significant others sports game. Also, the amount of gambling spent on sports is outrageous. According to the Nevada Gaming Commission, $3.2 billion was wagered in sports bets in the state’s casinos in 2011. Of that amount, $1.34 billion or 41 percent was handled just for football. Sports fans bet a record $98.9 million at Nevada casinos on Super Bowl XLVII, according to the American Gaming Association.

After paying out to bettors, Nevada sports books earned $7.2 million on 2013’s game. Extrapolating from Nevada data, the financial planning website Mint estimates that more than $8 billion is wagered every year on the Super Bowl alone. An estimated 200 million people making wagers on the outcome of the game worldwide. Between $60-70 billion is illegally wagered on college football each year according to CNBC. Thirty-three million Americans participate in fantasy football, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. The FSTA found that $1.18 billion changes hands between players through pools each year. Between $30-40 billion is illegally wagered on Major League Baseball each year, according to CNBC. Baseball is not as big of a betting sport because of the lack of point spreads.

The FBI estimates that more than $2.5 billion is illegally wagered annually on the three-week March Madness postseason tournament each year, according to the AGA. As much as 25 percent of illegal wagers placed on college basketball games each year comes during March Madness, according to CNBC. Sports book operators estimate $80 million to $90 million — less than 4 percent of the illegal take — is wagered on the NCAA tournament legally through Nevada’s 216sports books, says the AGA. In conclusion, sports have taken over this country in both positive and negative ways. Both in which sports bring people together but sadly also cause the deaths of innocent people, but sports are something that people can never escape and an industry producing billions and billions of dollars per year.

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