World Champ Giants & The Emotions of Men and Women
I am a Padres fan.
But I’ve grown to respect the Giants, because they’re definitely a team of gentlemen. None of them think too highly of themselves (ahem, you reading this Barry Bonds??) and truly support each other. (Not to mention I was happy for Bruce Bochy, who was the Padres manager while I was growing up and took the Padres to the World Series in ’98.)
Today I was watching the Giants Parade and World Series celebration and listening to it on the radio while I drove around town. Mostly because being in a city that wins a championship is rare for me but more importantly, the emotion around it is so strong it’s hard not to get caught up in it. Which brings me to the point of this post.
I was listening to the radio and the announcers who regularly announce the games were at the parade and were so emotional it was a bit uncomfortable. I’m used to my announcers being happy and excited, but the announcers were tearing up and talking about the feeling of love that was permeating the crowd. They repeatedly talked about being overwhelmed and having no words to express how they felt. I also saw a guy at the parade holding a sign that says “My life is complete.” And I thought, is this group pride/love emotion felt more by men than by women?
Now don’t get me wrong. If this were the Padres I would be at the rally come hell or high water, and I would also probably be crying. I would see it as a highlight of my life but not a life completing moment. And I’m a big fan of my home teams and actually enjoy watching baseball a lot.
And let’s not kid ourselves, sports in general are more often watched by men than women. And sports is a multi-billion dollar industry with its own 24 hour news channels. And I’ve known men to watch it all day. What is this about? I know that sports is a way to enlarge the self, in other words it is a way to think of ourselves as something bigger – much like religion. It gives us a feeling of community and a source of pride, at least when the team wins, and we convince ourselves that we had something to do with the win. And I for one think the fans do play a part in the wins. But does it do it more for men than for women? I also only mean this in terms of being a fan, because I don’t think that being a participant in a team sport is all that different.
Perhaps this is because women get their sense of self with a much smaller community. Women are often proud of the achievements of their close friends and family. Men may simply get those same emotions when its on a much grander scale.
As you may know, I don’t promote the idea of basic genetic differences in men and women that would lead to this, this could definitely be a learned phenomenon. But that the difference still may exist shouldn’t necessarily be denied.
Anyway, what do you think?
(Oh, and the Padres are taking it next year!!)