Sports or games are an all time relaxer. Whether one is playing the game or watching they almost equally share the same purpose. Both create a universe in which nothing but the game matters. We will take a look at both views along with works from Bernard Suits and A. Barlett Giamatti.
First off, playing a sport and being engaged in game play is one of the best feelings. Being able to compete while doing something you enjoy is always a plus. Transforming from a student to an athlete is also somewhat of a release. When walking to the field, after classes, I feel somewhat of a transfer of “weight” off of me because I can put all school aside for a while and concentrate on what I love to do. Here I can eliminate any other problems in my life. This helps me because it can keep me sane in a way and teaches me ways of relaxation and stress relief. This can also be found in Giamatti’s reading Take Time For Paradise. People play games for leisure and in doing this take them to a “paradise”. This is referred to as a paradise because the person doing the activity can escape the hardship that he/ she endures during work and can concentrate on the activity. This leads me more into my next point.
Not only do the athletes or game players escape the “real” world but also so do the spectators. The spectators play important roles in attending the events and supporting the players. In doing this, spectators develop special relationships to, usually, a team and, less frequently, a player. Spectators do this to release all of their work problems or whatever is bothering them and enter a new realm. This is the spectator’s way of watching another person compete by preforming acts of physical labor, if you will. People work because it is a necessity in life. Giamatti expresses that “The spectator invests his surrogate out there with all his carefree hopes, his aspirations for freedom, his yearning for transmutation of business into leisure, war into peace, effort into grace.” This is almost saying the same thing I was saying before. While watching the sport, the spectator is leisurely watching other people do physical work while competing. In doing this they become invested into a certain person/ team and wish or hope to be like that person. We have all imagined being someone we aren’t. People watch others and cancel everything out and one wishes to be whom they are watching. For example, me being a baseball player, I would kill to be Derek Jeter. I love watching him play and when watching him, I put away everything and imagine myself in his shoes.
Getting away from work is always a good thing. Most human beings try to find a time where they can relax and do leisure activities. This could be any kind of activity. There are good amounts of people who invest their time in sports or games. If one is playing them, they can be in a total different zone, away from all work and life problems. When one is watching, they can wish and hope to be something they aren’t while watching others do work, which in turn takes them away from normal work/ life.