For the Love of Sports

Topics: Sociology, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Steelers Pages: 4 (1151 words) Published: March 27, 2011
For the Love of Sports
Frederick L. Webster
Ashford University
Sociology in Sports
Eric Dybvig
December 13, 2009

For the Love of Sports
In this paper, I will apply the functionalist theory to answer the question: “Why are people fanatically interested in playing and watching sports?” Culture, social structure, and social interaction play major roles in contributing to the reasons why people are fanatically interested in sports. Sport fans have a personal connection to their sport and/or team because it represents something that is important to them: city, state, favorite player, their past or future, hobby, and entertainment. Culture consists of the shared ways of life and the shared understandings that people develop as they live together (Coakley, 2009, p. 5). I grew up in a house with my two Uncles who were very influential to my fascination with playing and watching sports. They boxed and also played baseball. Their athletic abilities were exceptional and were represented by the numerous trophies that filled the trophy case in our home. It was no surprise that I took a liking to sports because I was surrounded by it everyday of my life. I would go to the baseball field and watch them play baseball and I went to the gym and watched them train for boxing. My Uncles would also set up pick up leagues for my friends and me. These actions by my Uncles contributed to me becoming a fan of sports. Today I have the same influence on my sons that my Uncles had on me. My sons grew up watching me watch, play and coach sports so it has become a part of their life. They are both athletes that watch and play all the sports that were part of their culture. Many athletes today grew up with sports in their home. Michael Jordon’s sons play basketball, Ken Griffey Jr. played baseball for the Cincinnati Reds where his father, Ken Griffey Sr., once played and Bob and Brian Griese both won Super Bowls while playing in the NFL. Social interaction...
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