Since the competitive sports world came to a standstill over a month ago, we’ve had time to reflect on what we love about sports. In that time, it wasn’t too hard for me to pinpoint the three things I miss most.
No. 1: Sports are a unifier.
The Olympics are a prime example of how sports bring people together. Citizens from different countries that might be at odds politically or militarily drop their grudges in the name of sports.
I miss how I could talk sports with just about anyone, and how we could pick up where we left off the day before. Age and demographics aside, when people share an interest in sports they find solidarity, at least for a little while, regardless of ideological differences.
No. 2: Sports are escapism.
I miss how no matter what happens during the day, what’s going on in life or what worrisome headlines may be in the news, I can count on sports to pull me out of a slump and give me something new to focus on.
For so many of us, sports are an escape from our seemingly bleak realities. Sports help us forget about what ails us and the world. For as long as we are captivated by sports, very little else matters in those moments.
No. 3: Sports create narratives.
In sports there are heroes and villains that create interesting storylines. There are historic rivalries, like Duke and Carolina or Boston and New York, that create meaning and value for fans.
Most sports narratives now are driven by social media and what someone said or did. Many people, like the sports media, love to generate their own plotlines. We entertain endless debates, like who has more to prove or who is the greatest. These debates are what keep us coming back for more.
There are some things I don’t miss about sports, like the distasteful glorification of athletes and some over-the-top broadcasters, but there’s far more that I miss. I most miss how sports bring people together, give us an outlet and provide countless possibilities of what could happen next.