There’s an interesting phenomenon with sports, when people say things like “we won” or “my team dominated yours.” The players who actually score the points, goals, or what have you have no idea who these fans are.

They may have grown up in entirely different cities, states, or even nations; and they probably have never laid eyes on one another in the flesh.  But whether you’re a fair-weather fan, hard-core true fanatic, or would prefer to undergo a root canal than sit through any sporting event, there’s a place for you . . . somewhere on the Internet.

Fantasy sports leagues have always been popular, but online sites have made it easier than ever to get involved. There are also the sports-centric social media sites — that is, websites dedicated to sports discussions — and a slew of other digital avenues for doing just about anything sports-related besides actually playing.

This raises the question of whether the digital age has turned us all into benchwarmers.

The costs of being a fan

Just like the rest of life, everything in moderation is a good rule of thumb. It’s easy to get enthralled in a fantasy league or sports-centered website, but when it’s perpetually at your fingertips, that can spell trouble.

Keeping close tabs on statistics, athlete gossip, and games can cut into work time, family time, and just plain real life. However, it’s no more dangerous than spending too much time on a dating site or news feeds.

That being said, any of these options can become dangerous if addictive behavior starts to develop. Anything that cuts into other aspects of your life in a negative manner can be cause for alarm and should be addressed.

Even the real benchwarmers go home when the game is over, but that’s not necessarily the case for fans on line. For some of them, the game never ends, and a single basketball game can turn into something that lasts as long as a cricket tournament.

A balancing act

This isn’t to say that fans need to be wary of getting too involved, because the camaraderie can be healthy outlet. It provides a sense of community, a healthy forum for sharing opinions, and possibly even the motivation to pursue your exercise regimen. However, it does require routine check-ins.

Everyone needs a hobby and a passion, and many people find it in their game of choice. They can connect with like-minded people online and form brand-new social circles devoted to a shared passion.

As long as your spouse and children aren’t complaining about you steadily checking your smartphone at dinner, and other aspects of your life are balanced, a little sports indulgence might be good for the soul.


Leave a Reply