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You Will Suffer Humiliation...

 
town drunk
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When The Sports Team From My Area
Defeats The Sports Team From Your Area....
 
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Are you fishing for theories here? - If so here's a radical response:

I'll interpret your post as a question: "Why do we get so involved and emotional about sporting fixtures that are, after all, just meaningless games played by a bunch of people we dont actually know?"

Make no mistake - Humans are evolutionaly tuned tribal war machines. Many years ago those tribes who operated well as a team, felt strongly about winning battles and had the smarts and wherewithal to win battles ended up with the best caves, the best hunting grounds etc etc etc and gave themselves a massive advantage in life. These primal instincts survive - but in a modern 'civilised' society we have no outlet for such tribal competitive spirit. This is dealt with by humanity by a simple "war by proxy" arrangement whereby highly codified wars are played out by tribe representatives with many of us reduced to spectating and willing our representatives to win!

...Now if we accept that theory heres a more dodgy one that may set the cat amongst the pigeons :

A possible explanatory factor for why American society seems keener than most of the world to engage in military pursuits *could* be (and it'd be only 1 factor amongst many others) that Americans have such a bad record in international sports! Name a truly INTERNATIONAL team sport where Americans perform well? Soccer? Rugby? Cricket? Hockey? Netball? Motor Racing? - All compelte duds as far as American teams go! Basketball? - I'm not sure that counts as truly international.. are there any international competitions? no - just domestic leagues(and even then its really only the one league in USA)....

So my theory (and I'm sure I'm about to be bagged out something rotten here) - is that the lack of international team sport opportunities for American society has led to a build up of tensions that can only be resolved by more traditional means - i.e. WARFARE - Americans have no opportunities to openly vent at other nations within a sporting context - so they use war to express their nationalistic tendencies!!!



Let the debate begin!!
 
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Max's question is even harder to understand for those of us who actually have no interest in sports. Every sports team on the face of the earth could be disbanded tomorrow, and I wouldn't bat an eyelash. Don't know what all the ruckus is about.
 
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I think everyone has to band together to stop the Patriots however.

Theyre like the goddamn Stepford Wives of the NFL!

That, and sour grapes over my Packers poor record this season
 
Mark Fletcher
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Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
Max's question is even harder to understand for those of us who actually have no interest in sports. Every sports team on the face of the earth could be disbanded tomorrow, and I wouldn't bat an eyelash. Don't know what all the ruckus is about.



I guess it stems from the enjoyment that can be gained if youre a fan of a sport or a particular team. There are few greater thrills than watching your team overcome all odds to win and there are fewer things more depressing that watching your team lose after coming so far.

In a way, I think its a good outlet for ones emotions, and theres a great sense of camaraderie to be had from watching sports with fellow fans, or even taking part in a team game.
 
Mark Fletcher
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Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:
Are you fishing for theories here? - If so here's a radical response:

Mucho Theory snipped - Mark Fletcher



By your argument, wouldnt Austrailia or Canada be a world power to be reckoned with? What about Monaco? With all due respect to our readers from Monaco, I cant remember them winning a World Cup lately?

Nope, I trump your theory with mine which is simply:

"Its all about the bling".
 
Alan Wanwierd
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Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
By your argument, wouldnt Austrailia or Canada be a world power to be reckoned with? What about Monaco? With all due respect to our readers from Monaco, I cant remember them winning a World Cup lately?



No my theory simply states those with no outlet for nationalistic sporting outbursts *may* be more inclined to other outward displays of nationalism such as miltary action.

Since Australia has a quite impressive record in team sports (current slump in Rugby and Cricket teams and complete lack of soccer notwithstanding). That would suggest that Australias keeness to leap into military action must be driven by some other motivation (and I WONT talk about that here 'cos that conversation would definately be vetoed!)

Monaco?.. hmmm... actually I think Monaco probably "punch way above their weight" in soccer terms - so I'm not sure what your point is.

I wasnt suggesting that sporting prowess is inversly proportional to military might - merely that a lack of opportunities to express legitimate national tendencies may lead to an increased tendency to express national pride in an unsavoury manner.
 
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The human drama of athletic competition!
The thrill of victory!
The agony of defeat!

William Zinsser once described the athlete as a very odd bird, being focussed on the act of winning. I find it hard to disagree with such an abstracted view of the pursuit. Next to free trade, however, athletic competition is a great way to divert energy from more violent forms of conflict.

Almost every sport has at its core the animal struggle for figuring out who's better than who.
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:

Almost every sport has at its core the animal struggle for figuring out who's better than who.



This may explain my apathy, as for me this question was settled long ago.
 
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:

A possible explanatory factor for why American society seems keener than most of the world to engage in military pursuits *could* be (and it'd be only 1 factor amongst many others) that Americans have such a bad record in international sports! Name a truly INTERNATIONAL team sport where Americans perform well? Soccer? Rugby? Cricket? Hockey? Netball? Motor Racing? - All compelte duds as far as American teams go!


The Olympics?

If I were channelling a good Dubya, which I can't today because I need to think and all, I'd say the reason most countries are so hot on international sports is because they have no more forceful way of showing themselves. The Show That Matters is all over in that regard. You can call it 'civilized' if you want -- it probably is, after all -- but I think we'd all be foolish to call it civilized by choice. See what happens to your country when you get The Bomb: things change. They just do.

The current US zeal for picking fights, while heightened past my own comfort zone, doesn't seem to me representative of anything other than what world powers do. Which is to say, remind the world that you got power. I'm ready to hear any arguments on Chinese or Russian cricket or "netball" that would mitigate my point here.
[ October 10, 2005: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
 
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I find it interesting that the *international* sports that Adrian list are that not popular in the US. And only a few sports that is popular in the US are played abroad.

Just because americans are willing to participate in sports that they did not grow up with, and in many cases, do badly, should not be judged as being bad at sports in general. Maybe the lack of international interest in American sports is an indication of something too?

Henry
 
Alan Wanwierd
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
The Olympics?



As far as I'm aware "The Olympics" is not *A* sport. It is a collection of many. My point was that in international TEAM sporting events America tends not to do well.. OK - I picked specific examples to illustrate my point as strongly as I could - but I still challenge anyone to tell me of an American TEAM who are well suppoorted and compete at a level that would be expected (given the size of the population pool serving it and the affluence of the society it represents)..

I do not dispute that the USA has many fine althetes - and in individual pursuits has many worthy of "international champion" status - but in TEAM endeavours Americans seem to focus on disciplines that do not give them opportunities for international competition.

Originally posted by Henry Wong:

I find it interesting that the *international* sports that Adrian list are that not popular in the US. And only a few sports that is popular in the US are played abroad.

Just because americans are willing to participate in sports that they did not grow up with, and in many cases, do badly, should not be judged as being bad at sports in general. Maybe the lack of international interest in American sports is an indication of something too?



The challenge stands - name 1 international team sport where Americans cheer and support their national team???
Did I say Americans were bad at sports? No (at least thats not what I intended to convey) - I meant Americans didnt perform on a world stage and therefore Americans had little opportunity to cheer and support a team at an international level

As for the rest of the world not playing US sports - Are you implying that the R-O-W has an anti-US sporting conspiracy? A sort of participation embargo on GridIron and Baseball?
 
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ME: William Zinsser once described the athlete as a very odd bird, being focussed on the act of winning.

Speaking about birds, Anne Lamott in her "Bird by Bird" book describes a basketball game at Special Olympics. One player was particularly good, "... You could tell that he was because even though no one had made a basket yet, his teammates almost always passed him the ball. Even the people on the other team passed him the ball a lot."



Details here.
 
Henry Wong
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Adrian,

Once I had a friend spend almost an hour trying to explain the intricacies of being off-sides in football. Once I had a briefing on Rugby. And on numberous occasions, I had many people try to explain the rules of Cricket to me. (That last one seems to be a problem, but I am getting better every time... )

Anyway, the lack of certain sports in the states did have an affect on me. It made me curious about learning those sports.... I don't think that I have a desire to start a war, due to it -- or lack thereof.

Henry
 
Alan Wanwierd
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Dont get me wrong - I'm not saying the absence of a US cricket team has turned 300 million US citizens into a crazed war-hungry mob (The reasons for that are much more widespread )

I'm merely suggesting that having a frequent outlet for nationalistic tendencies helps deal with a bit of the tension!!

European soccer is a great example of a forum where people with differing cultures can get together in a group and yell abuse at each other for a while.. and walk away feeling with the gut wrenching feelings of despair or the 10ft tall bullet-proof feeling that comes from winning (alas a rare feeling for an Englishman!). - and nobody gets hurt....

Its probably no coincidence that the greatest football games England have been involved in over the last 20 years have been against Germany and Argentina - countries where a history of military conflict is always in the back of the mind (thanks in no small part to the UK's jingoistic press!)

Do Americans get a chance to vent like this? Imagine a world where the US REALLY cared about the result of their national team in an international competition and the opponnent was VIETNAM - Wouldnt there be - in some small way - a little bit at the back of supporters minds that would say:
"...hmmm.. REVENGE - we can WIN this one!"
 
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:

The challenge stands - name 1 international team sport where Americans cheer and support their national team???


Women's soccer.
 
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:

European soccer is a great example of a forum where people with differing cultures can get together in a group and yell abuse at each other for a while.. and walk away feeling with the gut wrenching feelings of despair or the 10ft tall bullet-proof feeling that comes from winning (alas a rare feeling for an Englishman!). - and nobody gets hurt....


And nobody gets hurt...

Nobody gets hurt at European soccer matches. No one gets hurt, no one gets...hurt...hm...
[ October 10, 2005: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
 
Alan Wanwierd
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
And nobody gets hurt...
Nobody gets hurt at European soccer matches. No one gets hurt, no one gets...hurt...hm...



Excuse me I'm about to get silly -

Yes - compared with the costs of intollerance & war... the injuries sustained by football crowds over the last 20 years are completely insignificant..

e.g. England vs Italy - 39 Deaths, a few hospitalised and less than $10K property damage over 20 yr period..

USA vs Iraq - 100's of US deaths many 1,000's of Iraqi deaths imeasurable BILLIONS of property losses over same period.... Perhaps a fiercly contested footy game with a well attended and emotional crowd might have been cheaper (..and couldnt really be said to have achieved a much less!)
 
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Theyre like the goddamn Stepford Wives of the NFL!



That's how I feel about the Yankees in baseball...
 
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Originally posted by Bert Bates:


That's how I feel about the Yankees in baseball...



Rest easy, Bert. The Yanks lost.
 
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I can concede that the US does not perform highly in the world of professional international sports, with some noted exceptions (women�s soccer, basketball, auto racing, boxing, baseball, etc). And I can concede that the USA has probably had its hand in a few too many conflicts since we dropped our isolationist policies circa WWI and WWII (at that time, most of the world seemed happy to have the US's military help ).

But I highly doubt that Americans use any type of military conflict as a substitute to sports to express their nationalistic tendencies. It is a poor theory based on one correlation that isn't really supported by empirical data or even repeated correlations elsewhere in the world. A nice sounding theory, but simply not very plausible.
[ October 11, 2005: Message edited by: Paul Bourdeaux ]
 
Paul Bourdeaux
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Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
That, and sour grapes over my Packers poor record this season


Oh Mark, you're a cheese head? And here I used to think that you were a pretty smart guy . Of course, I can't complain too much about the Packers. If it weren't for them, my Vikings would be in last place in the NFC North... We'll see you guys on Oct 23rd!
 
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I can sort of understand what Adrian is getting at. Cricket matches between India and Pakistan are almost like a war
And since, victories and failures mostly alternate, the venting kinda balances out.
 
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Originally posted by kayal cox:
I can sort of understand what Adrian is getting at. Cricket matches between India and Pakistan are almost like a war
And since, victories and failures mostly alternate, the venting kinda balances out.



Lately(after 2 series back-to-back) the war scenario in India VS pakistan has subcided to a greater extent. But the betting is very rampant though.

I heard they even bet on the number of runs in the next over, who gets out of the two at crease, who may get the next wicket etc; it just gets crazy in the betting world.

Fantasy sports(like basketball, American football) are adding a new dimension to who some one likes or hates to perform/under-perform.
 
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Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:
Since Australia has a quite impressive record in team sports (current slump in Rugby and Cricket teams and complete lack of soccer notwithstanding). That would suggest that Australias keeness to leap into military action must be driven by some other motivation (and I WONT talk about that here 'cos that conversation would definately be vetoed!)


I had thought (and I may be completely wrong here) that Australia had one of the largest investments in sport ($ per person) in the world, with things like their academy of sport, large number of swimming facilities etc. Could this also be a factor in their sporting success?

Also, when your nearest neighbour lives 3 hours drive away over hostile desert, what else are you going to do apart from switch on the telly and watch some sport? This would require there to be sufficient sportspeople to provide the entertainment, and lead to a large amount of sporting success
 
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by Paul Bourdeaux:
But I highly doubt that Americans use any type of military conflict as a substitute to sports to express their nationalistic tendencies.



I've got a horrible vision of a Rupert Murdoch inspired pay-per-view programme,"Ultimate War Super Bowl!!", complete with commercial breaks, army sponsorship, commentary teams giving the latest statistics, frequent small scale engagements for no particular reason, high-tech camera crews following all the various teams, huge glorification of interesting new moves and strategies, bizarre team names, controversial suspensions, daily updates on injuries and progress, an "international" league which is actually largely made up of teams from one country....

Oh. I forgot, we already have that... its the evening news update on Iraq.
 
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Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:


Monaco?.. hmmm... actually I think Monaco probably "punch way above their weight" in soccer terms - so I'm not sure what your point is.


Every 6 year old knows that Monaco has no national football team. They have a succesfull club which plays in french league (AS Monaco) with probably 100% of the player not born in Monaco.
 
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