Dedicated to Sports

SOC 318 Sociology of Sport
Dedicated to Sports
Brian Freeland
    December 15, 2010

            A sports fan as defined in the dictionary is "an enthusiastic devotee or follower of sports. A sports fanatic, as I am, is "a person with an extreme enthusiasm for sports. The difference between a fan and fanatic is a matter of degree. A fanatic will follow, watch and comment on any and every sport that is on the forefront for the day.
A sports fanatic will know something about every sport played. They know whether a sport is presided over by a referee, umpire, official, timer or judge. They know which sport requires the players to police and enforce their own rules. When asked in what sport do the game officials run around in shorts, a fanatic will know the answer. They know that some sports officials are "zebras," and they know why.
A sports fan or fanatic will try his or her best to attend every sport in person. Most of the time that is impossible. Therefore, sports fans and fanatics need a minimum set of tools to advance their passions. The first tool is old school, the AM/FM radio. Of course, satellite radios with multiple sports channels are an advancement that is often pursued. The next tool in the set is the various kinds of computers and hand-held electronic devices that can send text messages, pictures, e-mails, news flashes, surf the web, etc.

Sports dedication supports a functionalist model of society in which intense fanatical dedication to sports creates a micro chasm of stability and equilibrium based on common interests and convictions among fans of a team.   Many socio-economic barriers are completely erased when viewed through the lens of passionate support of a sports team according to Shank, The lack of a relationship between sports involvement and level of income is interesting, in the case of involvement with sports in general, people of all income levels may feel involved. (p435)   A brief glance of the stands of many major sports...