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Americans Obsession With Sports History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

The legendary Karl Marx commented “Religion is the opium of the people.” during 21st Century, however, it can be said that it is actually sports that currently has substituted religion as the opium of the masses. Psychologists are ended up on a conclusion that sports have almost similar impacts on audience as religion carries out.

It might appear strange to associate sport entertainment with religion, however it should be comprehensible that previously religious customs and mass communications were sources of recreation for typical public who barely went on a sporting experience or watch theaters.

Wann along with his associates considers sports as human centered religion, ancient polytheism (believes in multiple God) and natural religion, connecting that viewers idolize other human beings, their triumph, moreover the group to which they be with. By that moment in time, sports arena seems a lot like cathedrals where supporters get together to worship their ideals of game along with plead for their success. [Wann, et al., 2001, p. 200] [1] .

If means might be exciting, then pleasure, like practiced in a sports stadium, could exist ritualistic. People gather and supporters wear their team’s attire and carry its accessories, flags and lucky charms to boost up their team members. Then, during the game, there is persistent intonation of team support, clapping, scornful the opponent team, performing the movements, plus therefore onwards. The playing of a national hymn or screeching jointly a state song on a sporting event has huge emotional possessions the same as the playing of a saintly song in church.

According to Harris [2] (1981), sports has curved into fascination, a craze, a compulsive drug plus eminent than just any essence. It is the latest opium of the people. There is no skeptical that sports play a substantial part within the lives of various Americans furthermore to be sure of many people around the world. It has become an integral part of American history and culture. Sports have been given unique importance by the US people. People worship sports like religion as mentioned before and sit in front of television for hours and hours even after the match is over.

Although the precise beginning of baseball is mysterious, most historians have the same opinion that it is established on English game of rounder’s. A sport that began to turn out to be relatively admired in this country in the premature 19th century and numerous findings account the rising fame of a game named “town ball, base, or baseball”.

Right through the premature element of the 19th century, little towns produced teams, and baseball clubs were created in bigger cities. Alexander Cartwright sought to make official a record of policies by which all teams could play in 1845.

Since 1945 in America, the World War II covers its outcome on sports as every strong and fit man among 18 to 26 was expected to serve up the military. There was scarcity of baseball bats, bowling pins plus yet the balls on hand were damp and unresponsive, but proficient sports were promoted to carry on recuperating the morale of the teams. The President Roosevelt signs the Green Light letter to show his support to baseball. Half the baseball players had joined up by 1943.

Even though it was not a written rule but baseball had always been racially segregated. Jackie Robinson was the first person to end the racial discrimination in 1947. But addition of the African-American was very slow because of less acceptance of other minority. Baseball was fully integrated in early sixties when all the team stopped discriminating over cultural and ethnic difference.

More teams were introduced which meant more jobs for players. Attendance increased and national television and radio broadcast brought loads of money to baseball. But the players were not getting sufficient salary so; they decided to protest against it through their union.

The conflict between the players and owners never resolved. Many polices changed, many re-signed and strikes occurred by the players and owners to fulfill their wishes. Because of these conflicts for all those years, the fan started to lose their hopes and it fell behind other American sports. It would take a lot of efforts for baseball teams to regain its importance and prominence in American culture.

In 1879, American football becomes known through the European sport of Rugby. The premature regulations of the game were planned by Walter Camp, who was a player along with trainer at Yale University. so, he is recognized as The Father of American Football.

The closing stages of the civil war in 1865 are the beginning of the football in colleges. During this year, the game obtained its copyright furthermore a few of the basic rules were also set. In 1869, the Rutgers and the Princeton played the first inter-collegiate football match.

Walter camp, a trainer at Yale decided the regulations of the games and gives the game the shape which today we identify like the American Football. A slight soon the regulation of “Downs” was initiated along with tackled beneath the belt was permitted in the game.

But, the aggressive corporal confront that the game categorize, brought on several brutal indemnity and casualty. As a result, football was not anymore considered as a safe-play in numerous colleges. In 1905, underneath an order from President Theodore Roosevelt in association through Yale, Princeton and Harvard organize a pair of conference in addition shaped a seven affiliate regulations commission acknowledged as National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

These days American Football has curved out in a multi-billion dollar industry. Through the beginning of cable television, the game has gone beyond the boundaries of America and widens its wings at every part of the world. The super Bowl has turn into the mainly watched sporting episode of all times due to events decisive quality of champions. Ample of goods and football products took markets by storm. Hence from the meek history there football merely watched like kicking or throwing a ball towards the opponents, American Football has prepared as a manipulating game that affected the economy and culture of the United States of America.

According to John Rawls, sports is the social union in a society where group of people valued common activities for themselves and take interest in each other’s achievements. It is argued that Sports reflect society in which they function. Society is lived by people whereas, sports are played by people. Sports are society in minuscule, fill with all its variance, benefits and deficiencies. Since sports have become the most open of all professions, they excise more duties. Sports figures are ideals & it varies with the territory.

3On the other hand, sport is the destructive weapons of the mass distraction. It is a major attention attractor. According to Terry Eagleton, if right-wing think tank wants to distract people from the political prejudice and pay compensation for their hard labor, so football would be the solution for both the case.

To resolve the conflict between states and encourage peace building in the nations, Kofi Annan in 2001 selected Adolf Ogi as UN particular consultant on Sport expansion and harmony. During 2003 the UN taken on a declaration assigned 2005 like the International Year of Sport and, Physical Education and called member states to think a function for sport plus physical education while planned improvement policies and programmes. The intention was that sport can facilitate nations to achieve UN ambitions and participate to construct peace, which direct the UN to connect with global and state sports system, which comprised FA, FIFA and IOC [4] .

Sports and international relations have merged since the emergence of different countries on the world map. Even though the beginning of the relation among sports and international relations stay unclear, all cultures have participated on the path of history in diverse physical contests which persuade cultural exchange moreover sustained to their nation political dialogue. Egyptians wrestled, swam, and raced also played ball games. Greeks organized huge physical events, as well as the Olympic Games which captured athletes’ interest from every part of the world. The Romans and The Greeks were the initial two nations who began athletics competitions between each other. The events included chariot races, or javelin throw, with the inclusion of animals, or on the mechanical devices usage. Such tradition can be found currently in sports like horse racing and shooting.

5During late 19th century, an discovering faith in sport like constructive leisure moreover as a channel of relations among people and nations was documented, although in automated societies equipment was prepared similar also were consistent, local and nationwide institution were created to administrate the game-play, and Sports were announced to be a essential work for men in the policy of character-building. The restoration of the Olympic Games in the year 1896 with the emerging U.S. intercollegiate Sports structure, which we talked about earlier, enhanced several types of amateur or voluntary sports on the similar time that skillful sports such as, football, bicycling, baseball and boxing attract billions of viewers towards it. Sports that were mainly played inside a country became national sports by governmental procedures or universal acceptance for instance, cricket in England, bullfighting in Spain, ice hockey in Canada & baseball in the U.S.

20th century brought a new international flavor to sports taking an increasingly individualistic approach away and giving the world championships for individual sports, for example football World Cup, major global rally, for instance the Commonwealth Games, the Pan-Asian Games and the Pan-American Games. Sports have uniformly revolve into radically politicized, as the ban of the 1980 Moscow games by Western nations has observed or the penalizing refuse of Los Angeles games in 1984 by Soviet-bloc states which is an substitute induce by Soviet actions in Afghanistan.

6While authors do not go too far as to discuss whether sport inhabits a central character in international politics or sporting events have the same political significance as international military crises, “sport does provide an access point, for it is an important part of that system, and, as such, is shaped by it while simultaneously influencing it” (Levermore and Budd, 9). It serves as a useful lens through which the view of the existing political situation in the world seems easy and understandable, and can also work as a catalyst for improvement in the international system. Whether in studying the pre-game, the match happenings, or the aftermath and experts comments following the final whistle blow, sport is more than just a game, void of any political phrase: it is the diplomatic objectives behind the setting up of the match, the war-like agony played out on the field, it is all media’s post-game spin that creates the socially-created ideas of gendered, color or nationalist sport on number of matches. For all the possibly harsh or exploitive forms that have come to be identified with contemporary sport, sport still retains many plus points and contains the vibes and potential to bring about positive amendments around the world.

Scholars though are still trying to encircle their understanding of the impacts sport and international politics have on each other; they agree that a strong association is present, but how to control and organize that power to swift a certain outcome remains in question.

Hence, we can come to a conclusion that Sports have created a valuable position in the Western society with great consideration and admiration. It has stoned itself in the heart of every age. Although, it had been and it is, currently, being polluted by political and selfish intentions, but when it comes to patriotism and zeal, from every small institute to a large nation, Sports is the wire which is connecting hearts. We have seen It increasing conflicts and creating differences among people but on the other hand, it is use to bring people closer, resolve conflicts, peace building and also provide health, fun, enjoyment and, pulse-racing excitement. Present world, which is greatly affected by the terrorism and ill-satisfaction, Sports can be used as a medium of pronouncing peace and bring nations together, playing not for only winning the game, but for winning the hearts of billions of spectators around the world. Looking into it from economical side, it can be used as a source of economic stability by offering chances of hosting to developing countries. In short, we need to see the brighter sun and avoid the darkness which will lay down with the passage of time and will result in a brighter world.


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