There is no denying that sports are widely celebrated across the globe, and for good reason. They are exciting and active and promote a healthy and fair expression of competition. Sporting competitions are universally the largest crowd draws in the world. The positive side of this is that sports keep people busy and happy. The negative side is, just like with anything that humans enjoy, we turn it into an obsession and overindulge in it. Sports is one of the world’s most common addictions. However, unlike with alcohol or gambling, sports addiction is culturally acceptable and socially embraced. However, it is undeniable that we are universally obsessed with it. Just look at society’s treatment of sports and sports figures:
- Professional athletes are some of the highest paid professionals there are. With salaries in the tens of millions or higher, professional athletes can afford to live like royalty, which is how they are treated. Meanwhile, working professionals like teachers face budget cuts annually and salaries that are reduced down to the low tens of thousands. It is obvious what our culture values and puts its money towards.
- We honor sporting events by coming together in gatherings of up to 100,000. This is the equivalent of the entire population of a midsize city taking an interest in one event. Sporting events have the ability to draw a crowd unlike any other event we come together for, proving our collective cultural value on sports.
- Sports are so prevalent in our culture that they can be found in the mainstream media even in venues that are not devoted to sports, such as any number of news websites and bars. Sports are such a popular conversation topic in our culture that current sports information can be found in completely unlikely places.
- We arguably even go as far as to build shrines, temples and statues to honor our fondness of sports. The stadiums we build resemble ancient coliseums that are meant to support crowds the size of cities. We have hall of fame exhibits and museums devoted to our most memorable sporting events and figures. And statue likenesses of our great sports figures can be found outside these facilities, as well as in other historic landmark locations.