According to one critic (Harris, 1981), "it has turned into a passion, a mania, a drug far more potent and widespread than any mere chemical substance." It is the new opium of the people. Sure, a given play every now and then may seem downright supernatural (the Hail Mary pass which works, for example), but the super slow-mo always shows no rules of physics were violated.
There are lots of things which satisfy our need to admire greatness and rejoice in beauty, but that doesn't make them religions because they don't come close to dealing with "the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe" (dictionary), even if they appeal to us because of our religious instinct.
Sports and religion may get categorized separately but their intersection is difficult to miss.
As Wann and collaborators note, various scholars discuss sport in terms of "natural religion," "humanistic religion," and "primitive polytheism" pointing out that "spectators worship other human beings, their achievements, and the groups to which they belong." And that sports stadia and arenas resemble "cathedrals where followers gather to worship their heroes and pray for their successes." [Wann, et al., 2001, p.
Fans are not lazy, Nor are they particularly prone to violence. Some scholars believe that fans are highly committed to their favored stars and teams in a way that gives focus and meaning to their daily lives. That being said, there are several studies (with college students) showing that death salience increases support for hometown and national sports teams (e.g., the Dutch soccer team).
Essays In English For College Students - Sports And Religion Essay
In addition, sports spectatorship is a transformative experience through which fans escape their humdrum lives, just as religious experiences help the faithful to transcend their everyday existence. These sort of parellel religion studies that show afterlife belief is also increased (well, for religious people).
Then there is repetitive chanting of team encouragement, hand-clapping, booing the other team, doing the wave, and so forth.
The singing of an anthem at a sporting event likely has similar psychological effects as the singing of a hymn in church.
On thinks of liberation theology in Latin America, for instance. People change their sports and voting alliances much more freely (and are much less likely to follow their parents) than they do their religions, and a large number are "fair weather" fans who only get behind their team when it's winning.
No one ever claimed that sports had such redeeming qualities, however. Why atheism will replace religion: The triumph of earthly pleasures over pie in the sky. So there has to be important differences which are being over-looked.