Why do we give so much attention to sports figures?

Months of rumors and speculation came to an end Tuesday with the news that Brett Favre will remain in retirement. The news disappointed Minnesota fans who had become increasingly excited about the possibility that the legendary Green Bay quarterback would join the Vikings. Why do we give so much attention to sports figures?

  • Lauren

    I think it stems from every young kid’s dream of being a superhero. Sports figures are close to being superheroes; they are physically fit, very focused, some even tend to have a “double life”, and they wear tight costumes.

    We pay so much attention to sports figures because they are a socially acceptable way for us to still idolize the superhero.

  • We pay attention to sports figures the same we would most any other celebrity. Professional sports are the most prevelant and longest lasting form of “reality TV” that has ever exsisted. What seperates it from Reality TV is that sports are a “reality event” that continues daily. Even if TV dies out people will still play games of some form and spectators will attempt to quantify each individual’s value.

  • Chad

    Because we think they mean something about us.

  • Aaron Victorin-Vangerud

    All sports center around controlling an object by using well defined motions of body; throwing, catching, and kicking all demand finesse and power, much like dancing. Perhaps the same elemental call to dance and move about is harnessed in sports, and the men and women who magnify and perfect those athletic dance figures thus have a basic power over us.

  • Thanks for reading my comment on-air Cathy! First time I have experienced that… fellow UWRF grad here 🙂

  • kennedy

    Sport is interesting because it includes winning and losing. The contests themselves are unpredictable struggles between evenly matched opponents. Power and strategy are combined in a quest for victory.

    The popularity of sports figures, on the other hand, seems most similar to Hollywood fame. Followers vicariously experience another’s life by learning every trivial thing they do. It’s not for me. Put Lance Armstrong on a bike and I enjoy watching the race. I could care less about who he is married to or dating.

  • Sally

    I wish we didn’t. Most of them are overpaid drama queens who get too much attention as it is.

  • Alison

    I examined this question quite a while ago and couldn’t come up with a good answer. That’s why I don’t give attention to sports figures.

  • John

    I don’t give them any attention. Or I should say, any voluntary attention. I can’t escape the Favre story if I tried; it’s all over the media I use. TV, radio, my newspaper, my on-line news and even Twitter heave the Favre story at me. It’s like Michael Jackson, but with meaty-looking people.

  • Larry Fraser

    I think it’s appalling that we allow these sports figures to to get away with their bad behavior, I remember when individuals like Harmon Kilabrew were gentleman of honor, worthy of being a roll model, I feel that the media is responsible for the fixation on the bad boy image, our children see this, and they feel that they can also be these bad boy thugs too, and that there should be no consequences for their bad behavior either. why can’t we send a better message to our children, maybe focus on the good athletes and their contributions to their communities? Personally, I would like to see more roll models that are worthy of being roll models, I’m tired of hearing about these athletes that brake the law, that we are all required to obey, they don’t go to jail, they just get a slap on the wrist. of that. and then go to play the game. if that had been you or I, we would have been put in jail with out any news report. I think that they need to be held responsible for what they do, just like every one else, and no special favors for who they are, or what they do!

  • David Krause

    First I heard the story about the importence of flu vacinations for pregnant women and how few women get them. Then you ask if WE give too much atention to sports hero’s. If YOU gave less attention to sports hero’s and more attention to important things, like public health, the public would be better served.

  • Noble F

    I think it’s a travesty that our society gives so much attention to sports figures. We forget that they are just as human as we are and are capable of making mistakes. These folks are not necessarily intellectually good as good as they are at their sport. I have educated my kids not to get caught up in the celebrity culture in this country nor look up to them as role models or heroes. They, like me, don’t lose my mind when I see a celebrity. Remember it’s a job (sports, acting, singing, etc). The better they are at it, the better it is for them, not for me.

  • Carolyn

    Sports are a celebration of the human body and spirit. Any sporting event is a celebration of people coming together and sharing a moment together.

    We share the experience of excitement, nervousness, angst, ecstasy. And if we pay attention, we realize that underneath our different cultures and backgrounds, we’re really all the same. The human body is same the world over, as is the human spirit, strands of which are extracted by participating in and watching sports.

    If every child in the world had access to participating in a sport at a fulfilling level of competition, would we fight each other so much?

  • Brendan

    The answer is easy…we like to watch people who can do things better than we can. A better actor, singer, dancer…athlete.