sports as religion tagged posts

“Let’s Go Giiiiiants!” Sports As Modern Religion?

The whole lot of us, marching down the switchbacks leading from the stadium to street level below, are packed body to body, moving slowly but feeling giddy for all we had just witnessed and felt an intimate part of.

Just minutes before, the San Francisco Giants had beaten the St. Louis Cardinals in their first home game of the National League Championship Series, a heart-stopping 10-inning affair that came to an abrupt end when one of our homeboys laid down a bunt that was followed by the pitcher making a wild throw to first base, allowing the runner who was advancing from second base to race home and end the game. Just like that!

Giants win, 5-4,  setting off a near-deafening, delirious roar among the 42,500 fans. And now, we are making our way back to the world outside, and there are chants erupting as we traverse the cavernous walkways: “Let’s go Giiiiiants, let’s go Giiiiiiiiiiiiants.”

Sing-so...

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The Glories and Narcissism of Sports

In 1966, following a humiliating 51-0 thrashing by longtime intersectional rival University of Notre Dame, University of Southern California head football coach John McKay consoled his dejected team in the locker room by telling them, “There are 750 million people in China who don’t even know this game was played.” (McKay, one of the wittiest football minds ever to pace a sideline, reportedly later said, “The next day, a guy called me from China and asked, ‘What happened, Coach?'”)

McKay’s comments are what’s called “putting things in perspective,” and let us at least hope and imagine the insight helped to ease his players’ minds for the briefest moment, before enduring the rigors of the post-mortem on the practice field the following week...

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