Contemplating extreme responses at sports games


Have you ever attended a sports game and watched the crowd go from such extreme responses?  Have you ever gone to a bar that has a game playing and you watch the team do well and how much everyone is celebrating?   How about that same bar when the team isn’t doing well?  Not into sports?  Ok – have you ever been at a concert and find yourself there but many around you are on their phones?  It is quite interesting to watch crowds of people, here in the US especially, go from such extreme responses.   In a moment you can go from incredible highs and then lows.

I will find myself doing it – watching myself stomp my foot make comments “oh no” and then feel such disappointment.  High levels of anxiety and stress.   In a flash I can go to such joy and such sorrow.  I can remember times where I would go to work the next day either so happy or sad depending on who won the game.  So much drama.

These days though I am much more aware to my reactions.  I’ll see myself and observe my heart rate – my reaction as I yell.  Notice as a shy and feel such distress.  But then pause and become  much more an objective witness.  Wait does it really matter if we win or loose? No – I mean really matter to me?  Does it really matter in the world?  Fact is that it doesn’t.  I’m not saying that it isn’t fun to win but at the same time it isn’t healthy to let your nervous system jump around and be so stressed for long amounts of time.

Some take their reactions so far that they get into fights and actually have hatred for opposing teams.   But again is the prejudice real?  Or did I buy into it from marketing and ego?  We take such great pride in logo’s and teams that we believe we are the image.   As if it makes a statement of who we are.  For some it makes a social statement who you support.

I’ve been meaning to write about this topic because I find it a perfect place to stop and pause to reflect.   To become aware of my reactions and let me respond much more appropriately.  A couple of years ago I was at a LA Dodger game where I was the visitor.   I was cheering the Washington Nats on and had many heads turning when I did yell in favor for the Nats.   Silence and glances at me from surrounding LA fans.  Mid-way through the game I noticed the person in-front of me dropped their keys and they fell on the ground under their seat.  Totally unaware of it.  I let them know and they so appreciated it – as they may have left without noticing that the keys had dropped.  They wanted to get us some beers but I simply asked them if they would take a picture of us there.  So they did this and we shared a moment of where we were from and how wonderful it was to be there in this beautiful stadium.  Suddenly all of the energy changed.  People all around us started supporting us and we were a community sitting together even though we each had a preference for a different team.  We shared with them that we had traveled from DC to be there just for this game.  We even shared with them about some Nats players facts.   It was a moment I will always remember. The Nats lost that night but it didn’t  matter because we had such a wonderful night being there either way.

So I hope this message reaches you and that while you are out you may stop and notice places and people; see if you can take a step back to take in the moment.  Little ways that you can be more present.  You may find yourself much more aware and be able to use that to help others as well.