Is sport just entertainment? With Covid shutting down so many sporting fixtures and isolation causing a craving for normality, sport has become the opium of the masses: A way to entertain people from the harsh reality of daily life.
So, do we watch sport for the same reason we watch the latest Marvel movie or reality T.V. series? Is sport just showtime to entertain us? There seems to be two distinctive groups of watchers.
Hardcore vs Entertainment
Firstly, the hardcore sports fan who loves their sport. They watch because they follow the sport and love the technical aspects of the game. Consider the our Sports Writers.
They know the player’s names, their statistics and the strategies of the sport. They follow the sport like they are following details in their profession or family. It is of critical interest to them!
Secondly, there are the spectators who are after the experience and a souvenir T-shirt. They watch the unusual events on the field, love the spectacle and love the distraction from their daily grind. They love the game like they love their favorite T.V. series.
Entertain Or Escape?
Both are entitled to watch and both enjoy the event. Both are needed for the sport. However, I believe there is a transition with Covid lockdowns. Many are craving some vicarious entertainment and the elite sports, in their lockdown areas around Australia, hit that spot.
This is great for the Games and the sport. It shows the hardcore fan how entertaining their sport can be to “outsiders.” It also brings an awareness of the athlete’s skills and injects funds into the sport.
However, it also reflects a shift in our culture that is more entertainment-based. People need an escapism, such as sport, to take them away from masks, daily numbers and hopes of vaccines. Sport has shown its integral part of our society and important part of our response to the current Covid crisis.
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and Pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover1.html