I recently watched an interview with Harvard Philosophy Professor Sean Kelly. He said that when we watch sporting events, like the Super Bowl this past Sunday, we feel a sense of camaraderie that is almost sacred to our culture. He said that by partaking in this social activity, and rising off the couch together, we get a small taste of what the sacred is, or should be in our lives.
Even though this makes sense to a degree, it seems a bit silly to me. I can’t help but laugh at the notion of a Super Bowl being sacred.
But then I see the fans, hysterical for their own team. And I see the players, in tears over the outcome of the game. There is an emotional intensity in sports. It is so hard to get past all the commercialism and media craze surrounding professional sports, that it’s easy to look past the simple truths portrayed in our American traditions. Truths of loyalty, hard work, and determination run throughout the games. Of course there are those players who play the game dishonorably, and conduct their personal lives shamefully. But I think Sean Kelly was correct. We can get a sense of what is sacred in our lives through seemingly silly activities. We can connect to each other and choose the find more of the sacred in the world.
I know that this interview helped me to view the world, and the passion of sports fans in a completely new way. I hope that it does for you too.