Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Super Bowl and Sports-All About Mine is Bigger/Better Than Yours?


The Super Bowl and Sports-is it all about mine is Bigger/Better than yours?
The ratings are in-Super Bowl XLVI was the most watched television program in history with an estimated viewing audience of 111 million. Two-thirds of the country watched at least six minutes of the game. 
The NFL is clearly the #1, the Biggest, spectator sport in the United States.
New York is celebrating the Giants [as only New York can] for their 2nd Super Bowl victory in five years over Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. New England is mourning, again, another Championship game loss to it's rival city New York.
Is New York City a Better city than Boston or New England?
Eli Manning now has two Super Bowl rings to his brother Peyton's one. Is Eli better than Peyton?
Why such thoughts and questions?
The Super Bowl and Sports-is it all about mine is bigger/better than yours?
What makes the NFL, especially all things Super Bowl, and sports in general so riveting?
This has obviously grasped my thought process; I've been asking-WHY? After a bit of reflection, here goes:
Truth is most every guy and gal i know, (yes i’m in the group as well) has grown up being aware that size and numbers are difference makers in life. For instance:
- One of the first conscious thoughts i can remember is wondering if my Dad is bigger or stronger or makes more money than your Dad.
- The next important number one learns is the difference  height makes. Ever take a class picture? Have ya heard of the Napoleon Complex or short man syndrome? 
- In the teenage years, for guys and gals the size of one's chest, and for guys especially,  biceps [gun show] become important. Gym class or P.E. was either looked forward to or despised. Sure one could be a National Honor Society academic, but if ya can't throw, catch, outrun, out lift -well the term nerd says it all. Who's the most popular in high school and received the rewards for such popularity?  The football, basketball, baseball players, the athletes. 
-Women.  The expression, " Women love the long ball..."  Nuff said!
One experience in my teenage years, indelibly etched this in my mind. i learned shall we say,  the importance of one's SHOE SIZE at least for males. .  i was working out at the gym with the football players after school one afternoon- 16' inch biceps- the goal. The locker room after the work-out, opened my eyes,  once again - indelibly.  I better understood why athletes just seemed so much more confident. SHOE SIZE matters in this world to many people.  SHOE SIZE  are numbers every guy (and most gals) are aware of-sometimes painfully so. The 16' inch biceps took a while , size 11 shoes came first. By the way,  what size shoe do most professional athletes wear? hmm... what size shoes do you think Eli Manning or Osi Umenyiora wear? Probably 13 or 14 and above...oh well.

Let’stake it a step further.  Instinctively  a guy knows that “fisticuffs” whether it be on the giving or receiving end, are part of being a guy. The better one is at fisticuffs the better one feels about self in many cases. More than just fisticuffs, sports was a way to prove one is Better/Bigger to be known as the best! Think about it, any guy that has at least one brother, can you even remember how many fights you've had with each other? It doesn't stop there, in fact that’s just the beginning… When  guys congregate or meet or have interaction, with the boys,  everyone (again instinctively) knows who the butt-kicker’s are and aren't and who is probably top butt-kicker. This somehow filters down to the dynamic of each member of the group. Guess who else knows-or at least think they do-women. A woman wants to feel safe-can you blame her? Supermodels and athletes-nuff said.....
How about guys that don’t know each other?  For that answer, the gym once again provides provides great answers. 90% of the guys in the gym know how much the other guy is bench-pressing, curling, squatting, pull-upping, etc. We are also identified or 'sized' up by what team baseball cap or t-shirt, we wear in the gym. Our choice of team is sometimes used as a benchmark qualifier. Why? Is our self-esteem based on the size or speed of our biceps, chest,  bank account, car,  smartphone, or choice of sport and/or team. Think about it, Yankee/ Mets fans or Lakers/ Clippers or Duke/Carolina or Giants/ Patriots, how many lively 'conversations'  have fan alliances ignited? 
Is it really all about mine is Bigger/Better than yours?
Is it possible, that’s how our culture or society or fathers teach us to be?  ( By the way, the Oscar nominated Terence Malik film -”The Tree of Life” starring Brad Pitt seems to delve into that subject)
Sports -MLB, NBA, NHL, the NCAA  and especially the NFL in this country captivate men, women and children alike. Visit any sports bar on any given night what will one see? How was the Super Bowl party you attended? Guys and girls riveted- audibly so- by every play, referee call or no call, etc. 
The captivating nature of sports and it's celebration of size and numbers has spawned a multi-billion dollar,  24 hour a day business.  Fans are fed visually  all things sports, with the World Wide Leader at the hub. Sports talk radio also feeds the public 24 hours a day with many of the hosts of such shows,  becoming  celebrities and millionaires themselves. 
What does all of this mean or what is being said?
Is it possible, sports- the NFL in particular- is the most exciting and socially acceptable way to deal with our fascination with and celebration of size and strength in this country?  
Or,  has the lack of 'size' and 'numbers' in our personal lives and the resultant frustration, morphed into us becoming the Biggest/Best Fans of our sports teams/players?
The Super Bowl and sports-all about mine is Bigger/Better than yours?
Hey, what do i know- i'm just a guy that wears size 11 shoes.....


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