While I am not qualified to discuss psychology, I can still wonder about it. For example, I don’t understand the sadness and exasperation at the loss of sports this season, due to Covid. One pundit estimated college football alone contributed $4 billion to our annual GDP, a paltry contribution in a $22 trillion economy. Of course, the whole ESPN-world surely contributes much more.
Sports is categorized as part of the entertainment industry, i.e., a way to kill time instead of doing something productive. (That may be somewhat harsh to young parents who find teaching opportunities for children, which I do understand.) I had a close relative who believed sports was just an excuse to avoid reading the Bible and going to church.
But, there is something positive about being in a stadium with thousands of people screaming about something unimportant. Friends know me as a long-suffering fan of the Dallas Cowboys football team. Yet, I don’t follow team statistics or player changes or scheduled opponents or any of that. It just offers the rare opportunity to be enthusiastic about something – anything – in an otherwise cynical world.
Existentialists tend to see absurdity in most things, and sports is no exception. Yet, maybe some absurdity has some value . . . psychological value. Sports prove that!