Why do some people not enjoy watching sports?

Jul, 29 2023

The Different Strokes of Sports Watching

Let me tell you an intriguing tale. You might find it slightly funny, or perhaps even a little perplexing, but that's just me being my usual extravagant self. One day, in all its playful glory, sports decided to play a prank on humanity. The little devil endowed some of us with an insatiable hunger for its passionate rivalries, nail-biting finishes, and heroic moments. But, to have a good chuckle, it seeded a stern aversion to itself in some others. To this day, this prank has left us all slightly befuddled, pondering why some people have an innate dislike for watching sports.

Before you accuse me of being unfair, let me clarify, I completely understand that everyone is entitled to their interests and dislikes. Life, like a delicious dish at a fancy restaurant (yes, I am a foodie, deal with me), serves a platter of diverse delights that cater to varying palates. The question here is not about condemning those who don't enjoy sports as morally wrong or as misfits. The curiosity arouses around what makes these otherwise fun, interesting, and sometimes, sporty individuals not so keen on watching sports. From my daily hustle bustle and casual conversations with people differing in age, gender, and interests, I've managed to boil down the conundrum to four key facets. Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, (or whatever your choice of poison is), and let's delve into this mystery.

Not A Fan Of The Crowd

Think of sports, and what instantly pops in your mind? Is it the swift motion of the players or the deafening roar of the crowd? For some, the latter is far from appealing. Picture Jim, an individual whom I once met at a bookstore. Jim loved silence, quiet evenings, and fewer people. He relished those moments of peace when he could dive into the universe of words, absorbed in his books. Now, put Jim in a stadium full of crazy, cheering fans. A nightmare, don't you think? As far as he's concerned, he'd rather take a tour of the underworld with Hades himself than bear the ear-shattering noise drummed up by zealous followers.

Funny enough, this aversion extends to watching sports even within the quiet confines of their homes. The sight of a frenzied crowd on their TV screens is just as unappealing, sending their anxiety levels into the stratosphere. Some people, like Jim, are introverted by nature and derive their energy from alone-time. Large gatherings, whether physical or virtual, feel invasive and exhausting. They prefer activities that cue calm and focus, rather than adrenaline and hustle. Consequently, watching sports, brimming with high-energy discord, strikes off their list.

The Absence of Personal Attachment

Emotional connection forms the crux of human existence. Be it our relationship with people, places, or things; the chemistry of attachment dictates our considerations and behaviors. Similar is the case with watching sports. If there is no emotional bond driving your interest, sports could be as appealing as watching a tumbleweed roll across a stark desert.

Unbelievable as it might seem to sports enthusiasts - people like you and me, and Mary from the neighborhood who paints her face in the national colors every time there is a soccer match - not everyone grows up with a love for sports. Perhaps they never had a chance to participate in sports during their developing years or lacked the influence from a sports-loving friend or family member during their impressionable years. Hence, developing an emotional attachment to a specific sport or a team becomes less likely.

The subtleness of emotions is fascinating, isn't it? On casual observation, it might sound like a pedestrian reason for someone not liking sports. But bursting through the layers, it actually triggers various psychological and social aspects that are beyond the aesthetics of a bouncing ball or a pitch perfect goal. Without a significant personal or emotional attachment, the nuances of the game, the ebbs and flows of a match, and the battles between teams may seem utterly bland, thereby repelling interest in watching sports.

Time Is Of The Essence

Tick-tock tick-tock! Amid the dynamic dance of life's chores and responsibilities, not everyone has the luxury of time to sit back and revel in a sporting event. To someone juggling time between family, work, hobbies, and personal commitments, spending several hours glued to a TV screen for sports might seem overwhelming.

Consider Sarah, a single mother of two adorable minions, working a 9-to-5 job while managing her kids, their studies, meals, and house chores. Sarah loves a good sport. She was the star athlete at her university, and an ace basketball player. But now, life has less room for those indulgences of the past. Given the finite amount of time, priorities need to be cherry-picked, and more often than not, watching sports finds its place at the bottom of the list. Time allocation becomes an essential factor influencing her liking for sports or the lack thereof.

Now, this does not necessarily mean that people who are time-crunched hate sports. Far from that. But the mere act of carving out time in their busy schedules to watch a game feels like an unjustifiable luxury. So, they opt for catching highlights or reading the summary rather than indulging in the entire match or event. While this may deprive them of the full live sports experience, it allows them to keep in touch with their sporty side, cherishing the essence of time management at the same time.

The "But Why?" Syndrome

Last but not least, the infamous "But Why?" Syndrome. Some people evade watching sports simply because they find it meaningless. For them, the concept of sports, where athletes shed blood and sweat for a piece of silverware while a crowd of people cheer them on, bears no significance. They ask questions like, "Why should I spend hours watching people run around a field?" or "What purpose does it serve, and how does it benefit me?"

Enter Derek, a friend of mine who thinks sports, in general, are a waste of time (shocking, right?). If he had his way, he would replace all sports arenas with libraries and all sports channels with educational content. His logic, while perplexing for some (let's be honest, very perplexing for me), is valid from his perspective. He would rather invest his time into activities that he feels offer immediate and measurable benefits, like reading, exploring science, or doodling algorithms (yes, you read that right).

Interestingly, what he doesn't understand is that watching sports can be a mind-expanding exercise too. A facet he misses out on is the beauty and excellence in strategy, planning, execution, teamwork, resilience, and mutual respect shown in sports. Through the eyes of a sports lover, these are lessons beyond school education, adding to their life skills. But, alas, not everyone views sports from this lens, and those who don't, may not find the appeal to watch it.

Unraveling the knot of why some people don't enjoy watching sports is in no way straightforward, I've realized. If anything, my introspection has taught me that the act of not watching sports can be as nuanced and intriguing an exploration as the act of watching sports. How appears one man's delight may not be another woman's cup of tea, and that's perfectly fine. After all, as Forrest Gump's mama said, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Immense or minuscule, sports or no sports, at the end of the day, our choices define us, and diversity is the flavor that makes life fascinating.