George Hale: Why we love sports

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - AFTER THE WILD AND SOMEWHAT CRAZY FOOTBALL GAMES OF LAST WEEKEND I STARTED ASKING MYSELF THE QUESTION.
WHY DO PEOPLE CARE SO MUCH ABOUT THEIR SPORTS TEAMS IN THE FIRST PLACE?

SPORTS TAKE PLACE YEAR ROUND AND I'M THE FIRST TO ADMIT THAT THERE IS NO OFF SEASON FOR ME.
NAME THE TEAM SPORT AND I'M PRETTY MUCH INTO IT BUT SOME MORE THAN OTHERS.
WHEN MY FAVORITE TEAM LOSES AND I GET FRUSTRATED I OFTEN FACE THE QUESTION, AT LEAST TO MYSELF: WHY DO I CARE?
PSYCHOLOGY SAYS THAT CHEERING FOR SPORTS TEAMS AND ATHLETES PROVIDES A SENSE OF BELONGING FOR FANS…WE CALL IT SPORTS IDENTIFICATION.

THE GAMES PROVIDE US WITH A SORT OF ESCAPE FROM OUR DAILY ROUTINE AND ALSO GIVES THE FAITHFUL A SENSE OF PRIDE.
MAYBE IT'S JUST ONE GAME IN AN OTHERWISE DISMAL SEASON OR IT MIGHT BE FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP.
PEOPLE INHERENTLY RELATE TO THE STRUGGLES OF TEAMS BECAUSE THINGS DON'T ALWAYS GO OUR WAY EITHER.
LAST SUNDAY WAS A CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT.

THE PATRIOT GAME AGAINST THE DOLPHINS ENDED IN WHAT ONLY CAN BE DESCRIBED AS ONE OF THE NUTTIEST AND MOST HEARBREAKING LOSSES IN TEAM HISTORY.

IT WAS PROBABLY THE WORST MOMENT OF MOMENTS FOR PATRIOTS FANS.
SOCIAL MEDIA INSTANTLY BLEW UP AND LITTLE ELSE WAS TALKED ABOUT.
EVERYONE WAS AN INSTANT COACH AND ANALYST OF WHAT WAS IN MANY WAYS A BONEHEAD SERIES OF EVENTS.
HOWEVER WHEN YOU REALLY THINK IT WAS ONLY ONE GAME AND YES IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A WIN.
BUT TO MANY IT WAS VERY PERSONAL AS IF THEY HAD A STAKE IN THE OUTCOME, WHICH THEY DON'T.
FANS CHEER FOR THEIR TEAM BUT IN THE END IT'S THE COACHES AND PLAYERS WHO HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT.
TO BE TRUTHFUL THE HURT SUBSIDES PRETTY FAST AND WE HOPE THE PATRIOTS BOUNCE BACK IN PITTSBURGH WHERE THEY HAVE A HABIT OF GETTING WINS.

REALLY, IT'S LIKE OUR LIVES, WE HAVE GOOD DAYS AND BAD DAYS AND FOR THE PATS IT WAS A BAD DAY-A REALLY BAD DAY.
TOMORROW THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE FOOTBALL TEAM WILL BE ON NATIONAL TELEVISION AGAIN.
AND PEOPLE IN THE STATE WILL BE WATCHING WITH INTEREST AND PRIDE AS THE BLACK BEARS TRY TO ACHIEVE SOME MILESTONES.
ONE MORE WIN OVER EASTERN WASHINGTON WOULD PLACE THE BLACK BEARS IN NATIONAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.
IT WOULD BE THE FIRST FCS SEMI FINAL WIN IN SCHOOL HISTORY, THEIR 11TH WIN OF THE SEASON, SEVENTH WIN IN ROW AND MANY OTHER FIRSTS.
MANY VIEWERS AND LISTENERS WON'T BE FAMILIAR WITH THE NAMES OF THE PLAYERS OR HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS.
WHAT THEY WILL KNOW IS THE UNIVERSITY OF THEIR HOME STATE IS ON A NATIONAL STAGE AND THAT FACT ALONE MAKES THEM PROUD.
I'VE BEEN DOING THIS A LONG TIME AND I'M ALWAYS AMAZED IN THE AMOUNT OF EMOTION INVESTED IN SPORTS TEAMS AT ALL LEVELS.
IT'S A FAIR QUESTION TO ASK: WHY DO PEOPLE SPEND SO MUCH TIME, MONEY AND ENERGY ON SPORTS?
WHERE DO WE GET THE LOVE OF CERTAIN TEAMS OR ATHLETES FROM AND WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT US?
SURE I WAS UPSET THAT THE PATRIOTS BLEW A GAME BUT I'M READY TO MOVE ON TO THE NEXT GAME
I WANT MAINE TO WIN TOMORROW BECAUSE I'M LOYAL TO THE UNIVERSITY AND PROUD OF WHAT THEY HAVE ACHIEVED THIS SEASON.
A LOT OF PEOPLE WILL GET TOGETHER WITH FRIENDS AND WATCH THE GAME.
THERE ARE BIGGER THINGS IN THE WORLD BUT FOR THE MOMENT THE GAME WILL BRING A LEVEL OF CLOSENESS THAT WOULDN'T BE THERE OTHERWISE.

AND IN THIS MESSED UP WORLD WE LIVE IN THAT'S NOT A BAD THING.
NOT A BAD THING AT ALL!
THIS IS GEORGE HALE AND THAT'S MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS