Vicarious Success


With the champions league reaching it's crescendo, and 2010 being a world cup year, it's hard to get away from sports mania.



I can understand national pride and I can even understand the joy of a good match. (I was sport crazy through high school/university and sometimes played up to 3 organized football marches per week (for different teams in different leagues)).


What I don't get is the insanely fanatical talk of "my team did X" or the even stranger "we won!".
I used to think that this was just a harmless figure of speech, but listening to conversations during the champions league really leave me dumbfounded. It's not the screaming at the television (which I can understand), but the vicarious sense of achievement people seem to eek out while watching "their" team playing.

In a world where we outsource everything we can, it seems as if many people follow sporting teams in an attempt to outsource achievement too. All of the high of winning, none of the cost of the training..

It seems dangerous to me, because it seems crazy to have my spirits (and it seems, my self image) tied so closely to something so far beyond my control.
"We were robbed", "we beat united!", "we really deserved last nights win!".
No you didn't! At least the players on the losing team got some exercise. All you got was a little bit of distraction..

Claiming victory (or bemoaning defeat) vicariously just reinforces the belief that life happens to you, and events are beyond your control. Earn your own victories.. They will taste so much sweeter..

2 comments :

  1. "We" is the consumer who pays the footballers salary by purchasing scarfs. ;-)

    "We" are the owners. For our R100 investment we have the right to be emotionally involved.

    "We" deserve to have an emotional attachment to something "grand" to distract us our pitiful existence.

    If I cared for organised sport I suspect that's the argument I would make. ;-)

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  2. The reason why so many people support winning teams or rather you only hear supporters of winning teams is, this is the only way to feel success. Most people that watch these games most likely have not kicked a football in years. It is a way to re-connect with the past, ie high school/Uni.
    My theory is as follows, these people are often losers, in life, hence the only way to feel success or self worth is by celebrating when a champion team wins.

    2c :>

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