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Identifying with a Sport and Nationalism are just as irratio

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:00 pm
by bipedalhumanoid
What the question says...

Re: Identifying with a Sport and Natinoalism are just as irratio

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:09 pm
by Tulip1
As irrational as it is I support my club through thick and thin, not so keen on my National team.

I have never been nationalistic but very proud on my home city of Rotterdam..... dream.. my beautifull city of Rotterdam.

Re: Identifying with a Sport and Natinoalism are just as irratio

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:58 am
by DaithiDublin
I can't bring myself to say 'I love my country' because I'm not a fan of patriotic nationalism, so I prefer to simply say that 'I love being Irish'.

And I fcuking hate sport! No ifs, ands or buts. Drives me mental!

Re: Identifying with a Sport and Nationalism are just as irratio

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:42 pm
by Beebub
I'm not sure I understand the point of the question. It seems randomly selective to me. Why pick sporting teams and nationalism? Why stop at nationalism? Why not include borders? or politics?

I'm also struggling with the term 'identify' in relation to a sporting team. Is 'identify' the same as 'follow'? Our very (relatively) recent ancestors were tribal by nature and we haven't shed that tribal attitude. We may have moved forward consdierably technologically, but not in evloutionary terms. So 'following' a sporting team or the notion of 'nationalism' is just an extension of the tribalism from our distant cousins.

There probably was an evolutionary advantage to tribalism and so that's probably why we developed it and continue to show signs of it. It's also probably why men tend to follow sporting teams more than women.

Re: Identifying with a Sport and Nationalism are just as irratio

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:52 pm
by aiseiri47
Bit of a loaded question, in a way. I don't see how feeling national pride or following a sports team is in any way relevant to religion.

Certainly there are cases where nationalistic fervour or devotion to a sports team go to far; but there is, I think, a difference between having national and cultural pride and being xenophobic or racist. There is a difference between following a football team to away matches and sharing their triumphs and defeats, and hanging yourself or inciting violence because they didn't win the league.

You can't judge an issue on it's extremes - there are people who are addicted to gaming, social networking, online forums, dieting, exercise, alcohol, washing their hands, and so on. It does not mean these things are "bad" or "irrational" in essence; just that when people develop an addiction or allow something to absorb their reality, any devotion can have ugly and dangerous effects.

To be honest, I don't see any connection between religion and nationalism/football. (And I agree with Beebub they seem somewhat arbitrary choices. What next - is it irrational to love someone, not because of admirable traits they might possess, but because they share our name or genetic code?)

Religion involves believing in something that (in all probability) does not exist, generally based on an ancient book of unknown authorship, in spite of the fact that billions of others have lived and died not believing it and, in fact, believing in something else completely contrary. It means basing life choices on the idea that you are being judged on them, and sacrificing happiness on the promise you will be happy in the "next life" (which you have no way of knowing really exists.) It also means, apparently, expecting other people to abide by what you believe, or at the very least - in our "tolerant" modern world - expecting them to respect that you believe in an invisible god who wants you to slaughter your animals a certain way, or wear a headscarf in a building where no headgear is allowed for security reasons or asks you to abstain from certain foods on certain days so that it's "offensive" if a work gathering forgets this and orders only pepperoni pizza on what happens to be Ash Wednesday.

Maybe the day I see Man U fans asking that, after his death, Alex Ferguson not be illustrated or depicted in any way, or Arsenal fans insisting that - according the Gospel of Wenger - they are to abstain from meat on matchdays -- maybe then I'll equate football with religion. But, until then, I think I'll be of the mind that it's an entertaining past-time, that people like to feel connected to teams vicariously, and that - yes, some people take it too seriously, but football, certainly, is not alone in this.

As for nationalism - We are social animals who like to belong to something bigger than ourselves. Not just on a national level, but at the provincial level, county level, town level, and so on. To be part of a country is to share a land, history, ancestry and culture with other people. I'm not the biggest fan of certain aspects of Irish culture (drinking, complaining and the old go-to of talking about the weather), but I appreciate Irish history, Irish art, Irish rugby players and Irish music.

Besides, we have an evolutionary instinct to protect kin - and like most evolutionary instincts, that extends beyond what might be merely a "practical" level. It is a natural compulsion to protect "us" against "them". And of course, as I said before, this can go to far. But of course, what is there that doesn't sometimes go too far?

Re: Identifying with a Sport and Nationalism are just as irratio

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:10 pm
by bipedalhumanoid
Beebub wrote:I'm not sure I understand the point of the question. It seems randomly selective to me. Why pick sporting teams and nationalism? Why stop at nationalism? Why not include borders? or politics?
aiseiri47 wrote: To be honest, I don't see any connection between religion and nationalism/football. (And I agree with Beebub they seem somewhat arbitrary choices. What next - is it irrational to love someone, not because of admirable traits they might possess, but because they share our name or genetic code?)
They're all forms of in-group / out-group thinking.

To 'identify' with a sporting team, is to consider the fact that you follow a sporting team to be part of your identity.

Re: Identifying with a Sport and Nationalism are just as irratio

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:58 am
by aZerogodist
I'm not sure but we in Cork know our gaa-teams are better than the Dubs... even though I never watch it.

I lived on the Cork/Kerry border for a while, at the start, I thought there must have been some football match on, as many people wore Kerry football T-shirts in the middle of the day, then realised it was an identity thing. It was at the point that many Kerry-people wouldn't even buy a Cork reg car. But still just friendly rivalry and nothing serious.

I think it depends on the sport, like in snocker you can find yourself supporting the opponent of your favorite player, also in the game the person that gets beaten is given hugh respect, there's no 'in your face man' stuff. This doesn't seem the same in team-sports.

On a national level, I hate saying I was glad England got beaten in the world cup, not because I wouldn't mind them winning, I just find that the winning glorification is bigotory & unkind, it's not any major achievement nothing that would change the world, not like if the Brithish cure cancer, or the French build fission reator, something that a country as a nation could feel proud about.
Edit note: On this last point, there are similarities between team-sport fans and team-religion true-believers.

Re: Identifying with a Sport and Nationalism are just as irratio

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:12 am
by munsterdevil
What do you think Biped, you Aussie Bastard :lol:

Re: Identifying with a Sport and Nationalism are just as irratio

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:00 am
by Beebub
bipedalhumanoid wrote:To 'identify' with a sporting team, is to consider the fact that you follow a sporting team to be part of your identity.
Do you mean someone like this fella...

Because there are extremes in every walk of life. I'm still not sure what you mean by following a sporting team to be part of your idendity, other than the loon pictured below.

Re: Identifying with a Sport and Nationalism are just as irratio

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:45 pm
by aiseiri47
bipedalhumanoid wrote: They're all forms of in-group / out-group thinking.

To 'identify' with a sporting team, is to consider the fact that you follow a sporting team to be part of your identity.
Still don't see why we're jumping on nationalism & sports teams, specifically, as if there aren't a hundred categories that could fit into that description. What about, as Beebub mentioned, politics? People will identify themselves by any possible group they belong to, and in certain circumstances, assign others to the "out-group". (Anyone familiar with an episode of friends where the Museum staff divide the lunch room by PhD's/Tour Guides/Gift Shop staff - tongue in cheek joke at segregation, but absolutely true in the real world.)

People will group together on anything - the college they went to, their area of study, their career, the model of car they drive, the dog breed they own.

No, I don't see how it's an issue of in-group/out-group thinking. The question was whether or not they were "irrational" in the same way as religion - and, in that sense, they have nothing in common with religion. (Except for, of course, in cases of extremism. Which - again - is not a case to judge on, and which can occur in any "group".)

I don't know many football fans that literally believe their team is the best, just that they are capable of being the best; if they do, they are likely Manchester United or Barcelona fans. And, in their defence (though I'm not a fan of either team), they do seem to be going by empirical evidence.