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Sports viewing habits/motivations
Old 12-09-2015, 04:05 PM   #1
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Sports viewing habits/motivations

On the current thread discussing cable cost cutting issues, Mulligan and I exchanged a couple of posts that reminded me of something that I've been curious about for some time. In short, why are some people avid sports fans, others sports bettors, while others lost interest somewhere along the way.

So here's my background - up through high school I was as much of a sports fanatic as anyone else I knew. I had animated arguments with friends about what trades my team should make, we Monday morning quarterbacked every baseball and football game that we watched. Also, I was a starter on both the baseball and football team in high school, I played pick up basketball with college kids until I was 40, I always came home from tennis matches against fellow teachers with scrapes and cuts from diving for returns and I still love playing competitive golf. In short, I was (and probably still am) your typical ultra-competitive athlete.

However, when I went away to college, the interest in watching OTHERS play sports essentially disappeared. I went to two college BB games and never made it to a football game. DW has dragged me to one Nats game each of the last several years, but I think that she has finally agreed that it is more trouble than it is worth to get me there. I'll watch a few innings of a Cubs game on TV with DW and maybe sit in on 20 minutes of a football game before I get up and go elsewhere. I do get a small amount of enjoyment in seeing things great athletes do things well, but it's not enough to keep me in front of the tube.

Anyway, I've probably already descended too far into the psychological self- analysis worm-hole. How often and why do you watch sports? Are you one of those people screaming for your team while I calmly turn to my wife and say, "Did you see how the umpires rotated to cover the play in the outfield while still making sure that any potential play at 3rd base would still be covered?" Or, as Mulligan suggested elsewhere, do you have a big chunk of change riding on the game and that's what gets your juices flowing?
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Old 12-09-2015, 04:46 PM   #2
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I was HS (football/track/baseball) and college (football/rugby) athlete (far from Division I though!). Now, I usually watch a half of the Sunday night NFL game, if I am not busy, and quickly read through results on Monday. For Cardinal baseball (and the Angels, as long as Pujols is active), I read the box scores and, sometimes, the recaps. When we lived in St. Louis, we'd go to baseball and hockey games maybe once a year when we were given tickets; haven't been to any professional or college sports event in over a decade....

For me, at least, life has become too busy to spend much time watching other people doing sports. Maybe after we retire we'll become more normal! Drawing the line on SEC football though--those fans are way too into it.
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Old 12-09-2015, 04:48 PM   #3
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It's baffled me why some folks are avid fans of a sport or a particular team. In my 20's I followed baseball and football, probably because the new-found adult world around me attached significant importance to this ritual. But as I aged, I realized that none of this effected my life, it's impact was even negative.....so much to do.....you only live once.....so little time, that putting much importance to being a fan was a time waster.
I occasionally will watch a quarter of college football, and get a kick out of watching any youth sports just to see the joy and effort the young exhibit. But watch adults play that cost me time or treasure? Got better things to do. In my 30s and 40s, I was into long distance running, but for the intrinsic pleasure and camadrie and didn't care a rat's ass about what other thought. The pros can play for the fun of it, but I'm not buying into the concept that I should care at all.
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Old 12-09-2015, 04:54 PM   #4
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I never played competitive sports myself and was most interested in sports in college, but only because of the social aspect of it (it's just what everyone did). After college, I got a satellite dish (back when that was a tinkerer's hobby, you could get raw network feeds, and everything was free), and hosted a few parties. Since then, it's fallen off to the point of my not even attempting to watch the alma mater play. As the kids went to college in NC, the basketball games became interesting to DW, less so to me. So interesting they are to her that I try not to be around since she swears a lot if they're loosing, lol!
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Old 12-09-2015, 05:02 PM   #5
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I played baseball and basketball through high school. Now I rarely watch baseball on tv, but do go to some White Sox spring training games. I watch Bulls games on occasion, and very rarely miss a Bears or Blackhawks game. I don't watch college sports except late March madness


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Old 12-09-2015, 05:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RE2Boys View Post
It's baffled me why some folks are avid fans of a sport or a particular team. In my 20's I followed baseball and football, probably because the new-found adult world around me attached significant importance to this ritual. But as I aged, I realized that none of this effected my life, it's impact was even negative.....so much to do.....you only live once.....so little time, that putting much importance to being a fan was a time waster.
I occasionally will watch a quarter of college football, and get a kick out of watching any youth sports just to see the joy and effort the young exhibit. But watch adults play that cost me time or treasure? Got better things to do. In my 30s and 40s, I was into long distance running, but for the intrinsic pleasure and camadrie and didn't care a rat's ass about what other thought. The pros can play for the fun of it, but I'm not buying into the concept that I should care at all.
Agreed, I think that is where I got to - I failed to see the relevance to my life. And if you skim the sports headlines in the paper in the interwebs you can fake the water cooler conversation well enough. When I was a kid I was an Cardinals fan and I remember that it really did seem to matter to me then, but not anymore. Wife is a Cubs fan, but her allegiance is more to the memories of going to the game when she was young (I think), so there is an emotional attachment there that I sorta get.
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Old 12-09-2015, 05:25 PM   #7
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Just thought of another thing that turned me off baseball (besides the whole steroids thing, I mean). The pace is SO GLACIALLY slow. I ran across a Youtube video of the first game of the 1968 World Series. There's a pitch every 10 seconds and the commercial breaks are 1:00 minute long. And that was the World Series!

Yeah, I'm just a grumpy old fart, today.
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Old 12-09-2015, 06:04 PM   #8
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I grew up playing competitive sports and watching football with my dad. Today I love watching hockey and football, and I cheer for my teams. I also watch tennis, although not every tournament, and other things like volleyball etc. I like the excitement and appreciate the athletes' talents (and it's much better than watching 90% of what else is on TV.
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Old 12-09-2015, 06:34 PM   #9
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I grew up playing competitive sports and watching football with my dad. Today I love watching hockey and football, and I cheer for my teams. I also watch tennis, although not every tournament, and other things like volleyball etc. I like the excitement and appreciate the athletes' talents (and it's much better than watching 90% of what else is on TV.
Appreciating the athlete's talents is something that I can relate to.

Appreciating the posturing and preening that seems to be an essential part of American team sports, not so much. Tennis seems to have less of that - I've never watched volleyball so I wouldn't know.
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Old 12-09-2015, 06:50 PM   #10
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Although I did participate in sports in HS (made the track and weight lifting teams my Junior and Senior years) I never watched too much of any sports on TV. Some football and NASCAR but not too much. Fast forward to my mid 50's and things changed. Started watching a lot of football (only Pro ball) and would seldom miss a NASCAR race. Betting started to get to be more and more a part of the game or race for me. These days I probably bet on half of the football games I watch and all of the NASCAR races.
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Old 12-09-2015, 06:53 PM   #11
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Immediate family never watched sports, although cousins/aunts/uncles always did. Had friends who watched, but didn't care that much. Neither DH nor I watched sports on TV as adults. Occasional tennis, but paid no attention to the schedule, so only in the old broadcast days maybe if it was "on". Or some Olympics. That was about it.

On Superbowl Sunday we would go out to sail or enjoy other deserted places while everyone was at home/bar engrossed in the game.
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Old 12-09-2015, 06:53 PM   #12
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Used to be that whenever I traveled to a big city I'd check the schedules to try to catch a game. Now I still check, but to avoid traffic and higher hotel prices.

Salaries just got out of control. If the athletes can get it, good for them, but I'm not going to contribute. Obviously others are willing to pay for it, because many games sell out, but my money isn't going toward it.

Some of the sports have just lost my interest too. Baseball, due to the steroids and the pace, as pointed out before. Basketball is just unwatchable at the end between the fouls and the timeouts to stop the clock and extend the game. Is there another sport where you get rewarded for breaking the rules continually and getting caught?

The third factor is the mayhem. It's just not safe to be a fan of the visiting team in many places anymore. I'd rather sit and watch on TV in the comfort and safety of my own home.

I still watch a lot of college football, the college basketball tourney, and hockey playoffs. I did get back into the baseball playoffs when the Cubs were in. Olympics and World Cup soccer too, something about the international competition appeals to me. I'll probably watch the NFL playoffs and if I'm around on Sundays I'll watch NFL Redzone on Dish. No commercials and they jump around to different games so you see a lot more action.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:16 PM   #13
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I must admit as JJ said I have become more interested in the betting side of sports. My interests have changed....Growing up I would watch some football, every heavyweight boxing title match, big into the Conners, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl tennis, and listened nightly to Cardinals radio broadcasts, and NCAA basketball... Now its mainly NHL Hockey and NFL football. Baseball was my favorite sport and I even played at collegiate level. Now its my least favorite...too boring for some reason...I hated hockey and then suddenly about 15 years ago I learned to like it. It may be my favorite sport now.


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Old 12-09-2015, 08:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjquantz View Post
...How often and why do you watch sports?...
I have not watched more than perhaps 10 minutes of any sports game in my life, on the tube or a live game.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:07 PM   #15
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I enjoy college football and watch a lot of it. I lost interest in the NFL and other pro sports years ago. I play a lot of golf and enjoy following the PGA tour on the tube.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:18 PM   #16
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I went to college on a track scholarship. Went to about three or four football games per year, couple of basketball games, and a few baseball games while in college. Since college I really don't watch that much. Prior to retiring I would watch a sports contest if it was a playoff or championship game, but rarely do I care how they come out. I do follow the Texans loosely. i had a nephew that was a MLB pitcher. We would go to a game when he was in town, but never got into baseball. Still go to a game or two every three or four year.

Pro sports really don't interest me as it is just a bunch of millionaires playing kids games. I watch some college football.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:28 PM   #17
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I enjoy watching football and attending baseball games. I buy one season long football board, haven't one yet this year and I'll usually get on a board for New Years games and the Super Bowl. All told $100 bucks for the year.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:38 PM   #18
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The idea of winning or losing is appealing; i.e., competition. The skills needed at high levels are amazing. Like watching ballet without the same moves repeated exactly the same over & over. I'm still emotionally attached to the college I attended because it helped me so much. Supporting their teams fits with the above. If none of this is relevant to you, I can see why you don't watch & can easily cut the cable.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:41 PM   #19
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People like to watch their team play and cheer them on because they become vicariously successful when their team wins. Who doesn't love sporting the colors of a World Series champ or a Superbowl winner?

For me, I'd rather watch a good thriller on TV than a sporting event. And heck no would I want to attend one in person! The view from my TV at home is far superior, and I get the play by play from the announcer plus the instant replays. DW will occasionally want to put on a football game (from our over the air antenna) because she likes the background noise, and I'll half way follow along. Yeah, it's exciting if there's a turnover or a big play but those are few and far between.

To me, watching baseball is up there with getting a filling. I must be ADD because I can't pay attention to the game since it's 5 seconds of action then what seems like 2-3 minutes before the next bit of action. And sometimes there's so little action before the teams switch places, I'm not even sure I'm watching a sport.

I love video games though. That's where it's at man. Anyone a fan of Twitch?
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Old 12-09-2015, 10:23 PM   #20
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I used to be a huge sports fan. My disillusionment started when the Colts snuck out of town in the middle of the night, but I still followed the Rams, Dodgers and the Lakers pretty faithfully. Then when the baseball strike of 1994 happened, I got so incredibly sick of the attitude (players and owners) that I've never watched another major league game. I couldn't even tell you the name of an active player unless they've been called to testify at a grand jury. That time coincided with the end of the Magic Johnson/Larry Bird NBA, and I lost interest in basketball too.

I've missed the camaraderie of hanging out with buddies and talking sports, but just have never found the time/incentive to get back into it. I enjoy fantasy football, and usually have friends around with the Super Bowl on TV, but it's more a party than actually paying attention to the game.

I still enjoy the occasional Single A baseball game. Go Shorebirds!
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