Sports Revelation

Do Sports Define Self?

I was wasting, no, I was spending time on the internet trying to better myself by reading scholarly articles about the world.

Okay, not completely true. 

I was looking at pictures. No, not those types of pictures (get your mind out of the gutter).  I was looking at the “Photos of the Day” on National Geographic, and Time LightBox. I find pictures tend to have less words, and this is much easier on me and my brain. I stumbled upon an interesting article on Montana Public Radio. I’m not sure how I got to the MPR website, but anyway…

The article talks about the effects still felt from the Brazil 7-1 loss to Germany in this year’s World Cup. The article describes how strangers will offer apologies and condolences, when they find out they have met a Brazilian. The articles also describes how one female, who claims she is not a “futbol fanatic,” could only get the apologetic strangers to be quite by reminding all, “Brazil is still a 5-Time world Champion.”

I’m a little confused. We are talking about futbol, right? We are talking about a sport, right?

Maybe I missed something, so I reread the article. Nope, it was what I thought. When people met a stranger for the first time, and learned they were from Brazil, they felt the need to apologize. Strangers felt the need to express sympathy and sorrow to Brazilians. Why? A loss, even from a incredible, uber-popular sport like futbol, is not a reason to apologize to someone. If you spill your latte, or glass of red wine, on another human then you should apologize.

But, do not apologize for a loss in a sporting event. Sports do not define a person.

Likewise, responding with, “Brazil is still a 5-Time world Champion,” is not relevant. The 5-Time Worlds Champion, although impressive, has no bearing on defining the very person (“not a futbal fanatic”) whom utter these words. Brazil futbol does not define Brazilians. The teams I cheer for do not define who I am.

Why do so many of society get so invested in sports teams? It is good to cheer for a team. It is okay to be happy when “your” team wins, or to be disappointed when they lose. But, the outcome of a game should not steer the mood you will be in for the rest of the day. The fans of a winning team, are not better than fans of a losing team. An outcome of a game, does not define it’s fans, or in the case of the Brazil Men’s Soccer Team, it’s countrymen. If I meet a stranger from Denver, I would not to say, “Hey man, I’m really sorry about the super bowl. I felt bad for you.” That would be a ridiculous.


Cheering for a team might be part of who we are, but it does not define us. People are more than the team they cheer for on gameday. So, you don’t have to feel bad for me that I’m a Raiders fan (After all, we did beat Pittsburgh last season). However, being a huge, obnoxious, jack-ass of a fan is more defining of you than your teams performance.  A loss, or a win, is just that.


Enjoy Sport Responsibly



One Comment

  1. Sam

    August 28, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    She should apologize to each German for the Holocaust. Her role in the World Cup is the same as current German folk’s role in the holocaust: zero.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *