Simon Kuper signs off on his sports column at the Financial Times by taking a stab at answering why so many love the games the way they do:
“For many adults, their one escape from worry is being a sports fan. Watching sport, you can become eight years old again. You have returned to the backseat. You cannot control who wins. And at bottom, you know it doesn’t matter. The emotions are largely play. You curse the TV if your team loses, but then life resumes. When England fail in the World Cup people don’t jump off tower blocks. They just go to work.”
I think the answer is deeper and more complex than he describes, but perhaps I don’t have the proper appreciation for the beautiful simplicity of this observation.