OPINION | Sports obsessions are a problem

There are many social benefits to sports, and as a whole, it is a great hobby for some. However, what are the negatives to taking sports obsessions too far? | Photo courtesy of Mindful Media via Canvas

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I’ve seen far too many people make sports their entire personality. Die-hard loyalty to certain teams and players can be extreme, and it just proves how overrated and overhyped sports are.

As a Taylor Swift fan, I’ve watched football fans bully people on X about the amount of money Taylor Swift fans will blow on tickets while they go and drop $8,000-$15,000 on a Super Bowl ticket.

Professional athletes are paid millions of dollars to do what children do at recess. Then fans obsess over these players when all they’re doing is watching adults run around on a field for hours.

Sports are also incredibly sexist toward women. In professional sports especially, men get more viewership than women. According to Forbes, sports accounted for 94 of the 100 most-watched telecasts last year, and the NFL alone accounted for a record 82 of the 100 telecasts.

Yet, women only get 15% of that viewership. Men’s sports are advertised way more than women’s sports, which leads to less viewership for them. This viewership causes pay disparities, and I’ve never personally seen a women’s team hyped as much as a men’s team–just saying.

Fantasy Football is gambling and you can’t tell me otherwise. Sports fanatics will pick certain players and will then win points based on how well those players do. Most people place bets on those players, and many people make this their life’s purpose.

I get it. Watching sports is a hobby, yet people will obsess so much over their hobby that they even watch it at weddings.

I know sporting events can be fun like going to college games and cheering for your peers. Watching professional baseball in person is really cool, but spending your entire Sunday screaming at a screen is a little excessive.

I’ve watched my own family fight over football at enough Sunday dinners to know that certain things just can’t be explained. Being dedicated to your team is great, and in the same way we “Swifties” are loyal to Taylor Swift, they are loyal to their teams, and I can’t fault anyone for that.

Now at college games, this loyalty can become extreme. Look at the rivalry between the University of Utah and Brigham Young University. I have actually lost friends because my family loves the Utes.

This die-hard obsession in Utah between these two teams has shocked me for years. Some people take it way too far, making it their entire life purpose to snuff out their rival. It can get extreme watching people fight over these teams.

Utah Tech University has the Birds Aren’t Real club where the club frequently puts down Southern Utah University.

Utah Tech and SUU also have the Battle of the Ax, in which both football teams just fight over an ax.

Rivalries between teams can become extreme–too extreme. I find that people forget that it’s just a game.

For all of these reasons, sports are absolutely overhyped. Sports fans alike decide that a person is an enemy because they support their rival team. The money spent on merchandise and tickets alone is absurd, yet people still do it.

Sports can be fun, but far too many people forget that it’s just a bunch of people running around a field on a TV screen, and they take it a little too seriously. Like all hobbies, it’s just for fun, and some people need that reminder.