Taking Pride in Sports Teams is Stupid

Few things make me question my humanity on such a frequent basis as watching my fellow humans take great pride in someone else’s athletic prowess.

The Iraqi soccer win is the latest bizarre example of this, especially odd since there are some pretty basic issues that should prevent Iraqis from having much pride at all. But hey, some stranger kicked a ball into a net so we can forget about all that.

This is not to be confused with taking pride in your own athletic achievements, of course. I just find that hooking your own wagon to somebody else’s achievements is pretty lame. Add to the fact that athletic achievements pale in comparison to say, what surgeons do every day. And on top of that is the complete lack of anyone questioning this insanity.

Mind you, I grew up in Pittsburgh in the '70s, so I was exposed to an extreme intensity of this phenomenon at an early age.

Bah. Can surgeons make those incisions from thirty yards away, bending the scalpel around a wall of defenders?

Taking Pride in Sports Teams is Stupid

Well, duh.

Gosh, is it Monday already? I didn’t realize we were already due for another “people who enjoy spectator sports are the suxxor” thread.

Being a sports fan is a pastime. (Not mine, by the way.)

But I’m proud of Houston’s fine art museums–especially the Menil. Even though none of them show any art created by me!

Of course, I express my “fannishness” by contributing to the museums & showing up for openings. Not by painting my face in team colors. So I’m less likely to offend those who love to get offended by people having fun.

For as much as I love sports, have my favorite teams, and enjoy watching them win, I will agree with you that having “pride” in your team is pretty silly.
Especially nowdays when even college atheletes aren’t even locals of the state. A college team can be made up of kids from all over the U.S. What exactly are you proud of? The recruiters?
And when the teams I like win do I feel like “I” won? No. That’s another pet peeve of mine. Be it Boise State, Univ. of Fla., etc. When the team wins, the team wins. Just because you go to school there doesn’t mean you won. So stop jumping around shouting “we won, we won!” A more appropriate “they won, they won!” would be in order.

So you aren’t proud of Neil Armstrong, I take it? Or Grandma Moses? Or any human being other than yourself in a very limited capacity for anything whatsoever? Got it.

Go Big Blue! :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve got his jersey.

You’ve got this completely backward: Iraqis have a lot of things to feel bad about, so they have that much more reason to enjoy the success of their national team. I doubt that anybody in Iraq things everything is fine just because they won a soccer tournament.

Enjoying sports isn’t rational, but that doesn’t make it “stupid.” Can’t watching something just be fun without any other particular purpose? Is the OP contending that the act of rooting for a team reduces your IQ or causes some kind of harm?

:confused: Maybe, just maybe, they’re proud of their ability to keep functioning in the midst of horrifying civil strife?

No bobble-head doll??

They are quite nice - and that’s coming from someone who grew up with the Smithsonian in his backyard. I haven’t been to the Menil yet, though.

Because of course there is no qualitative difference between “enjoying spectator sports” and what the OP is actually talking about, which is “taking pride in sports teams.” None at all.

Well, let’s call off the Olympics then.

Plus he’s a damn sight better than David Carr was.

You can still enjoy the spectacle.

But there are plenty of ahtletes whose national identity is a matter of commerce, rather than birth.

There’s a kenyan (?) runner who is now a Qatar citziten… not sure how the Qataries are meant to cheers and take pride in someone who turned up with his passport and bank details…

So…if I cheer for, or am excited or moved or inspired by someone’s athletic achievements, that’s crazy…but for you to question your humanity based on my tastes in entertainment, well, that isn’t overreacting at all?


Wait for it.

That’s what the local Iraqis have been saying. Here’s a team that can get it together and work towards the achievement of something, despite all the shit that’s going on and the divisions in their culture. It’s a bright spot in a lot of darkness, and I won’t begrudge them feeling happy, proud, or hopeful.

In a larger sense, cheering for teams (and celebrating their victories) brings people together and gives them something in common. Sure, it’s illogical to co-opt the achievement of an athlete or team of athletes and feel personal satisfaction out of it, but so what? What’s the harm in letting complete strangers high-five each other and hug and cheer, without sneering down our intellectual noses at them.

I felt great ‘team pride’ when Armstrong walked on the moon, and when the US hockey team beat the Russians in the Olympics. In some small way we were on the same team and the accomplishments were huge. In both cases, the victory was emblematic of the American ideals: hard work and a never-say-die attitude. These are enviable traits.

But I’m no longer a sports fan largely because of the money and ‘big business-ness’ of sports, not to mention that most/many modern athletes seem to be spoiled, win-at-any cost whiners who worship bling over sportsmanship.

I rooted for the Raiders in the 70s, (scrappy, tenacious underdogs), but Oakland fans today only embarrass me.

I’ve always thought that those who get carried away with the hoopla of their favorite team need to ‘get a life.’ As mentioned, these fans didn’t contribute to the victories in any real way, so hysteria over their victories seems baseless and lacks any sense of decorum. It seems they are making up for a lack of success in their own lives by hitching their ego to their team’s performance.

It’s a matter of degree. Taking pride in the local team is one thing, acting like a World Series victory is the ‘second coming’ is quite another.

I’ve never painted my face, covered my body/car/house with team logos, participated in a celebratory riot, or fired shots in the air that killed four people as I understand happened when Iraqis celebrated their victory.

I don’t need to.

There is no shortage of things that are far more important. Some people understand this, and some never will.