Sports has long been an important part of the culture of the United States. Dating back to the l860’s when the sport of baseball first came to be, Americans have embraced this outlet for exercise and entertainment.
Today, the viewing of and participation in sports is more popular than at any other time in history. This fact is due in large measure to the intense media coverage that is allotted to sporting events. Sports are being played every single day of the year in one form or another and because of modern technology it has become possible to “tune in” to those events.
Sports are no longer just a way to get a good workout or to socialize with friends or to be entertained, it has become BIG business with enormous financial power. In 2005 it was estimated that the amount that the U.S. had spent on sports that year was in excess of 200 billion dollars.
The introduction to sports for an individual starts at a very young age. Often some of the very first gifts that a child receives for birthdays or Christmas are sports related items, such as baseball equipment, a basketball, a soccer ball, etc. Children are exposed to little league teams from the age of five years and the exposure and availability of various sports continues throughout ones’ life.
Millions of people identify with or root for specific teams. It may be their college team that they connect with or their state professional team if they have one. Often people enjoy watching and rooting for a team to which their favorite player (or players) belong. Rivalry’s between teams are common and can add to the excitement and enjoyment one feels for the sporting activity. There is gear available in wide varieties of choice for any sport that one might have an interest in. You do not have to play a particular sport to wear the jersey or hat or jacket that is associated with that sport. Fans wear sport clothing as part of their everyday dress.
Our involvement with sports has become such a huge part of our national persona that it is almost impossible to imagine what our lives would be like without this much loved form of entertainment, exercise, escape and competition.