Saturday, June 20, 2009
It is possible that sports appeal is based in part on our identification with the act and the actor. Not everyone could imagine being an astro physicist - but almost everyone can golf to some extent or hit a baseball. We can imagine being up at the plate. Couple that with the hardships we face while doing our ordinary work and maybe we identify with the guy hitting the golf ball on TV while his wife is ill and project onto him what feels like our own everyday heroism. Maybe when we manufacture our sports heroes - we are to some degree manufacturing our own imagined best selves. Maybe when we see excellence in sport - we imagine our own excellence and maybe that is not a bad thing (though it could also suggest a yearning for something that we are missing and to the extent it partially fills that gap our yearning is sublimated rather than acted on). Or maybe people just like to watch high level athletic competition and achievement.