Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Sports is Culture and Culture is Sports
Sports speak volumes about country's culture. The sport that a culture plays and how that culture plays that sport can tell someone everything he or she needs to know about that particular society. For example, when Rome ruled the known world, gladiator sports were the popular sport of that day. What can gladiator sports tell you about a society or culture? A society that participates and enjoys gladiator sports would tell someone that that society had to have been violent, blood thirsty and warlike to be able fill a 50,000 plus colosseum to watch athletes fight wild animals or watch two gladiators fight until the death. Or watch a Christians or "law breakers" being attacked and eaten alive by a wild animal. You could also conclude that Rome was intolerant of others, preoccupied with war and obsessed with war and violence.
Ancient Rome is not too much different than modern day America. Modern American culture is obsessed with violent sports such as football, boxing and mixed martial arts fighting. In fact, mixed martial arts fighting is the fastest growing sport on television. What does that tell you about American culture? It's not too much different than Rome. Americans can be intolerant, obsessed with violence and blood. Millions of dollars are spent on violent videos games and we even love violent movies.
At one time, baseball was America's past time. You could theorize that baseball resembled American culture at one time more than it does now. Perhaps in the 1950s, American culture, like baseball was slow, patient and nostalgic about the past. With the advent of television, football became the most popular sport. In fact, football and television was and is a perfect marriage. Football is fast paced, exciting and violent. That's modern day America. And what makes football even more exciting is that it's perfect for technology. America is in the technological age.
Not EVERYONE in America fits this description but let's be honest, the large majority of us do. Particularly, our youth. America for now and in the foreseeable future loves to play and watch games that are fast paced, exciting, violent and infused with technology. History seems to repeat itself or we humans repeat history. Don't see our culture changing anytime soon.
Would like to hear your comments and feedback on this blog. Do you feel that this blog accurately portrays American society and culture. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.