What is this mannish ecstasy about team sports?

I have always wondered why governments spend fortunes on international sport events and why sport-funs can experience such euphoria about their favorite teams. The answer goes beyond my expectations as sport serve as an effective tool for promoting peace. Furthermore, it shares the positive psychological and social effects of warfare without any devastation.


Sport games incorporate universal core values, such as justice and fair play, which helps the moral development of humanity. On the level of communities, it provides a platform for social interaction and it can fight juvenile delinquency. In Latin-America, for example, the encouragement of football in areas of high crime has led to a remarkable decline in gang activity.

We should come to terms with the fact that warfare has some positive psychological effects on humans. Discipline, courage, and self-sacrifice can manifest themselves, while an intense feeling of community can be formed. These psychological needs are actually satisfied by sport competitions.

The excitement, provided by warfare in the past, can be gained from sport competitions by supporting one’s country or teams. Fans form a loyal attachment to their clubs, which becomes the part of their identity itself. It is said that „the sense of belonging and alliance to your army comrades or the sense of togetherness of being a nation at war can now be gained through supporting your baseball club.”  It brings about a simulated „life and death” situation. It is a feeling of complete and intense commitment, which prompts strong affectionate reactions. At the end of the competitions, the spectator often reaches a mood of euphoria or misery.

This strong alliance among supporters build bridges over political and geographic barriers, which reduces excessive nationalism. It brings together citizens of different nationalities regardless of religion, ethnical clashes or economic balance of power.


Information source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness/201403/sport-and-the-decline-war



  1. I was thinking upon the same topic earlier this year.

    A very large ‘important’ hockey event was featured in my hometown this year, and being a very very very small ‘city’ we are a pretty tight knit community and the whole community comes out for just about everything that goes on here… but I don’t much care for hockey, or any other sport for that matter. Yet every moment of that three day long event I was present for, and I had an absolute blast!! One of the few people I know that is so totally against sports and accuses everyone of being a herd follower had stayed home and refused to participate in or attend any of the events, and asked me what it was about all of the ‘sheeple’ going out for this. I responded quite proudly that I had got a jersey and bought the memorabilia and sweatshirts and was there (in the VIP sections no less… whoot whoot!) for everything I could possibly find time for, and getting photographs with hockey legends and the Stanley Cup. He seemed surprised. The thing is, it is a big deal. There is a lot of history behind what was going on. My own grandfather played for a team that at one point in time was the smallest team to ever win the Stanley Cup. Friends were playing hockey on mash-up teams alongside NHL superstars. My nieces (avid hockey players) got to meet their idols and attend workshops, and it gave them and all of the other local kids (hockey FIENDS!) hope. The ‘city’ centre was decorated as I’ve never seen it before. There were activities to be found on every corner at all hours of the day. The whole community was out and having a fun, happy and healthy time together. The energy in the air was palpable; the air had a pulse. It brought people from all ethnicities and social classes and backgrounds together, if even for just those few days.

    And somewhere in the background there were some hockey games going on 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    • Last summer my country’s football team managed to advance in an international cup competition, which was not expected from them based on earlier achievments. The whole city was full of people at every each and they hoped for further favourable results. It was amazing, pretty rare moments. Only demonstrations can bring together people on the streets with such an enthusiasm. Standing among them gave me the chills. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • It sounds incredible!! It was such a big occasion for us because we don’t have any major league sports teams where I live (the closest being a 2-3 hour drive away, over the border). I couldn’t imagine being present for and getting to stand up for your own local ones – what a great feeling that must have been 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • No doubt! That’s the part I never understood. I like the energy and the sense of togetherness sports (and other events) can bring out, but anything over and above that is excessive and very off putting. I thought it was just me getting older, but the riots that I’ve seen widely televised the past couple of years when the ‘wrong’ team loses really reiterates that for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think it was about 6/7 years ago now that Vancouver was in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and after the game (I was forced to watch haha) instead of the usual after game celebrations and whatnot going on, the media was flooded with footage of the riots that took over the city. It was so graphic and terrifying, I knew many people who were in the middle of it at the time, and we were extremely worried for them as they kept their social media updated with the disturbances going on around them and how absolutely terrified they were. If only the adversarial aspect of it was contained to the stadium and not outside of it, otherwise it can be no better than civil war itself.

        Liked by 2 people

      • An aquiantance of mine once told me that going to a football match was fun for him because there he could cry, behave rather agressively, and all this could be done legally. Rarely there are fights on the streets after matches but only among sportfans, and police is always on guard.


      • Wow! When I’be found myself with energy and aggression (and emotion) to burn I’ve joined martial arts, taken up weight lifting or gone for a long cross country run. But to each his own!
        I’m glad things are better controlled where you are. It says a lot about the population right there.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for writing this post. It’s ust the sort of thing I love to read and had been involved in a group which wrote about compassion but it seems to have folded down and I miss those monthly exchanges of great ideas and encouragement, We had a really strang community thing going and it also encouraged me offline as well.
    I’m not very sports orriented. However, I’m from Sydney and lived through the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. It really spread a sort of magic through the entire city. I remember people shouting out “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!” out in the streets when Australia won a gold medal. People were talking to people they’d been catching the same lift or bus with for years but had never spoken before. My husband and I were dating at the time and saw two events together and each got to hold the Olympic torch as it went passed. I also remember such a thrill waalking over the Sydney Harbour Bridge with the Olympic rings across the arch in neon. Then, there was the excitement and disappointment watching the fireworks over Sydney during the closing ceremony…the end.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Standing in these hurrahing crowds gives a very specific experience. Sometimes I feel something similar when hearing and singing the national anthem in national celebrations. Unfortunately those celebrations are generally linked to bloody revolutions, which can not bring about the same joy felt at sport events.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What an interesting post… it altered my perspective a little bit, thank you. Well-written. I played some sports as a kid, and had a few teams I followed, but by 18, I left the sports world both in my own activities and being a fan. Except I worked for two major NHL and NBA teams for about 15 years. I never understood the passion nor the impact on people, mostly because I didn’t enjoy the sports. If our team got in the playoffs, I got a tad excited to check the scores throughout the night, but not to watch it. Seeing the words in your article that it “keeps the peace,” makes a lot of sense. If it helps things be less aggressive and risky in society, then it is a good thing. As long as people control their behaviors, attitudes and aggression over the sport. Great post pushing me to think a little differently.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You really are a deep thinker. I often leave your posts pondering so much.. To me, sports teams create a feeling of belonging for many people and there’s the teamwork skill set that’s being strengthened by the activities too. Of course, it can go very wrong when there’s bullying within teams.. Off to think some more now 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Excellent analysis, I’ve always found the identification with sports teams interesting. Communities think in terms of we won and therefore feel good in the individual collective. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is an interesting way to think about sports. As much as I have tried, I have never been able to really care about sports. I enjoy sports for the social aspects, but have never really understood how people can be so attached to a sports team. I really enjoyed reading your post and can appreciate sports a little more now 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I found your little space in the community pool, so glad I did!! amazing write up!!!keep writing and inspire us…. surely will be waiting for more!!
    Please do visit my blog when time permits, thanks in advance and see you there! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Interesting. We don’t “do” sports in our house. Don’t watch them. Don’t play them.

    We are definitely the minority.

    Makes me think it has something to do with Social Identity Theory.

    Something is definitely in play as so many people love their sports team!

    Liked by 2 people

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