Teen sports tumblr

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Ah, global inequality. What the countries do share is a landscape full of fields. In Iceland the fields seemed part of massive public investment in healthy recreational spaces; in Tanzania the fields seemed driven by a massive popular interest in soccer as a necessary part of life for kids mostly — but not exclusively — boysschools, and communities. As per much of sub-Saharan Africa, every reasonably open and flat space not used for agriculture seemed to soon grow goal-posts and at least rough edges. There were plenty of the iconic, if stereotypical, scenes of youngsters improvising fields for impromptu pick-up soccer.

But if the fields of Iceland were characterized by a Nordic pragmatism and planned recreation, the fields of Tanzania were characterized by an impressive East African entrepreneurial spirit, an improvisational creativity, and a love for play. I love these types of fields. Their improvised and Teen sports tumblr nature conveys something about a raw love of the game that feels powerful and connective.

But that feeling is also pandering a bit to a romanticized version of poverty and homogeneity in African soccer. The reality is much more multi-faceted. Not something I expected to find at a youth tournament in East Africa, but a reminder that soccer always ends up mixing the global and the local. Then there were the school fields, part of what I was actually trying to research.

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Nearly every school had a pitch set up somewhere on the grounds, often used by students during breaks, for intramural Teen sports tumblr the most common type of competitionand for occasional interscholastic games — usually friendlies. Some of these fields were pretty nice, such as this one from a secondary school in Moshi:. Some were a bit overgrown from a year of heavy rains, and interspersed with some brutal termite holes, such as this one from rural Kilimanjaro near the Kenya border:. Some came with odd angles, such as this one up the hill and continuing up the hill!

Some had been commandeered for construction projects, such as this one on the way to Marangu gate:. And many had worn paths that made for what seemed to be a difficult playing surface, such as this one on the Mkuu side of Kilimanjaro:. The local second-hand clothing market in Moshi, for example, had a few booths devoted specifically to used football boots — suggesting that neon was going out of style in Europe or North America:. And the inside with a board advertising a match-up between two Tanzanian teams: Yanga vs Coastal:.

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And, of course, the big brewers also got into the game — schlepping beer with generic wishes of good luck when the national team was getting ready to play Sudan in a second tier African confederation tournament:. And, finally, there were youth academies using soccer to schlep something a bit more optimistic that makes for a nice final note: happiness.

Originally posted MAY 3, Why do we care? Why will hundreds of millions of fans watch the World Cup this summer and hinge their lives around game ? Why does it matter whether the millionaire players, coaches, and owners of Inter Milan beat the millionaire players, coaches, and owners of Bayern Munich in the Champions League final?

Why does anybody, no matter how few, bother going to watch FC Dallas play? Presumably at some level most soccer fans Teen sports tumblr ourselves in what, after all, is twenty-two men or women in short pants chasing a ball because we enjoy it. Somehow the game makes us happy. But why? As it happens, studying happiness is hot right now in the social sciences.

Psychologists have realized they spent way too long focused primarily on pathology and dysfunction, failing to learn about the other side of human experience. Economists have realized that people are as motivated by irrational emotions as they are by rational cost-benefit analyses.

And soccer, it seems to me, Teen sports tumblr be a pretty interesting place to apply some of their ideas. The explosion of scholarly interest in happiness does not, unfortunately, make for easy answers. Happiness is tough to define and measure. The problem is that when the question is that blunt and superficial, most people say they are happy. The alternative is to try and measure the things scholars think associate with happiness. We tend to be happiest when we balance engaging social relationships with a sense that what we do matters, be that a job, raising a family, contributing to a community, or maybe even supporting a team.

Optimists with a sunny disposition are happier than pessimists ridden by anxiety almost regardless of the circumstances of their lives. A sanguine Aussie will consistently out-happy a dour Englishman no matter their relative fortunes in South Africa this summer. While this may not be revolutionary stuff, the science of happiness does highlight some ways that our fandom can lead us astray.

But they are wrong. Say hypothetically I want to predict how happy English football fans will be one year from today. Immediately after their respective fateful events, there reported dramatic differences in their emotions—the lottery winners were ecstatic, the paraplegics were devastated. Of course.

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But over time a funny thing happened: they adapted. Those who had been paralyzed came to realize that they could still engage in fulfilling relationships, that it could be rewarding to make little bits of progress in dealing with new challenges, that their physical limitations changed but did not eliminate the meaning of their lives. And great games do offer aesthetic pleasures, along with the types of emotional highs and lows that constitute the immeasurable part of human experience.

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But even in the short term an interesting Teen sports tumblr of variables mediate between events, between the win or the loss, and our emotional response. A famous research example here drew on the Barcelona Olympics to compare the emotional responses of silver and bronze medal winners. As Victoria Husted Medvec and colleagues reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, objective raters consistently found bronze medal winners to be happier than silver medal winners.

In a follow-up study with amateur athletes they confirmed that this inversion of objective was because people were thinking about what could have been: the bronze medal winners were comparing themselves to those who came in fourth, while the silver medal winners were comparing themselves to those who won it all.

Subjective perceptions of what could have been matter more than objective. Both in the short term and in the long term we tend to be happier when we are engaged in healthy relating with others. The best predictor of whether or not the fans seemed happy during the game had nothing to do with goals being scored or favorable ; what mattered was the presence of other people. Although Ruiz-Belda and colleagues use these findings to question the relationship between smiling and emotional experience, from a soccer perspective the suggest that the full glory of the game only happens when shared.

The social essence of happy fandom also shows up in theoretical efforts to explain our irrational attachments to our teams. When the US proceeded to lose I was irrationally miserable because of a vague sense that I myself, sitting dazed in front of a pub TV 10, miles from the actual game, had failed. Ok, the name is not as catchy, but the idea fits with Teen sports tumblr else I know about happiness: Wann has good evidence that fandom facilitates happiness because it offers us the types of real, imagined, temporary, and enduring connections to others that our human nature craves.

Ultimately, as many others have noted, where else other than the sports arena can grown men cry, hug, sing, and dance in a way that enhances both their masculinity and their social networks? Where else can people of all stripes engage in loud, desperate, eccentric yet culturally endorsed expressions of our full emotional range?

We often think soccer makes us happy when our team wins, but the evidence suggests it actually makes us happy by offering rare opportunities—real or perceived—to connect amidst the penetrating anomie of modern life.

They present further data suggesting that the idea of losing in major competitions as a cause of fan suicide is a myth—in fact, they Teen sports tumblr, sports events tend to bring people together in a way that prevents suicide. When I first started this Tumblr I did a few posts linking back to pitchinvasion. So I occasionally insert a few posts here in hopes they are worth saving and with nothing really to lose…].

In November a capacity crowd of nearly 40, fans at the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb, Croatia celebrated one of the great moments for any team competing in international soccer: by defeating Icelandthe Croatian national team was among the last of 32 countries to qualify for the World Cup finals in Brazil. The stadium was pulsating with the raw energy and symbolism that soccer — as the sport with the most genuine claim to being a global game — has a distinctively universal capacity to produce.

Though a growing of scholars use soccer for that type of thinking on a wide range of social science topics, it is obviously not the reason most people watch, play, and love soccer. Mostly we enjoy the game because it is fun. I get that. As someone who has played and coached soccer at all levels from recreational to professional, I love few things more than the simple pleasure of a beautiful game on a sun-drenched summer day.

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But as someone who has spent several decades teaching and researching soccer as a cultural form, I also see events such as the World Cup as an opportunity to better understand people and society. It provides a rare combination of global attention and emotionally engaging spectacle, a combination that offers a unique perspective on critical issues including, but not limited to, nationalism and development.

So, if we watch the World Cup as both a mirror and a lens, what might we see? Where just under million people tune into a typical modern Super Bowl, estimates suggest nearly a billion people watched the World Cup final played in Brazil between Argentina and Germany. This kind of mass appeal, both across and within nations, has made global soccer an increasingly legitimate area of study for academics. The academic study of soccer or futbol, or football — the question of what to call the game has a contentious history that has been the subject of its own academic inquiry is often quite Teen sports tumblr, with a healthy mix of social history, area studies, international studies, anthropology, psychology, and sociology.

For these types of scholars, each World Cup generates social and cultural narratives that are ripe for interpretation. The World Cup in Brazil, particularly after massive street protests surrounding the Confederations Cup warm-up tournament, became about corruption and inequality. While each of these types of cultural narratives garners thoughtful analysis from scholars and opportunities for the application of social theory around each four-year World Cup cycle, during the month-long tournament itself attention most often shifts to narratives about nations and nationalism.

It is also often inaccurate. In addition, World Cup teams often visually present Teen sports tumblr stories about race, class, and ethnicity — stories that vary by nation from the relative homogeneity of the Russian national team to the sometimes surprising diversity of teams such as Belgium.

Yet for many the World Cup offers crude representations of nationalism otherwise only available at the most fevered of political rallies. My own experiences of World Cup watching with American fans are colored by ostentatious displays of red, white, and blue — often in the form of Uncle Sam, Wonder Woman, or Captain America. The soundtrack is full of chanting and singing, sometimes creative, sometimes crude, and almost always infused with the emphatic repetition of U-S-A.

The emotional climate is a conflicted mix of unity and enmity: we share a pride that depends at least partially on derogating the other — other teams, other fans, other places and people. There is, as many scholars and commentators have noted, a fine line between patriotism and jingoism. There may, in fact, be no better example of social identity theory in action than the emotional nationalism of a World Cup.

The mix of externally defined in-groups and out-groups, visual markers of identification, and competitive social comparison primes the human mind to invest deeply in shallow group memberships. A massive American flag unfurled over us as if dropped from the sky, and all I could see was red, white, and blue. That moment, though it said nothing rational about my country, may be the single moment where I felt most intensely and irrationally American.

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It was a World Cup version of collective effervescence; a feeling that immersed me in the moment, and then begged for interpretation. Where did the players come from, and what are the social forces that shape soccer talent? What does the World Cup tell us about how soccer itself assumes meaning in different places and communities?

Take, as just one example, the players involved in that affecting US goal against Algeria during the World Cup. Tim Howard, the New Jersey bred US goalkeeper who started the move towards the Algerian goal with a long throw from his own goalmouth, is the child Teen sports tumblr a Hungarian immigrant mother and an African-American father who spent much of his professional career representing Everton FC in Liverpool England.

Jozy Altidore, the player who crossed the ball into the box and forced the Algerian goalkeeper out of position, is the child of Haitian immigrants who plays professionally in Toronto after representing teams in Spain, Turkey, Holland, England, and New York. The stories of nearly any World Cup team viewed in this way offer a lens, however fractured, on modern societies. This was tied with the teams from Switzerland and Australia for third most dual nationals in the World Cup, behind only teams from Argentina with 24 of 30 and Algeria with 22 of World Cup teams may therefore be less representative of national character and more indicative of global hybridity.

Part of the beauty of soccer as the one truly global game is that the players come from everywhere. The World Cup has players who learned the game on the streets of South America, in the community sports clubs of northern Europe, in professional team academy outposts in west Africa, and in the elite government sports schools of east Asia.

But as player development has become a ificant global business for professional teams, the labor flows of global development and inequality have often reproduced themselves on the soccer field. Our Commission was set up to ask what, if anything, could be done about Teen sports tumblr.

The answer is likely no. Whatever the rules, through a social science lens the exportation of labor as a raw material from poor counties for the manufactured pleasure of soccer fans in rich countries looks uncomfortably neocolonial. These types of programs, along with the broader endeavor of what is often called Sport for Development and Peace SDPhave proliferated in recent decades alongside the general move in international development from large government initiatives to the decentralized work of non-governmental organizations.

The appeal of soccer as a development tool, however, derives at least partially from a version of the same emotional pull that makes the World Cup itself such a powerful spectacle. The international development trope of the barefoot child joyfully kicking a handmade ball in a destitute patch of dirt is affecting because it symbolizes joy and Teen sports tumblr overcoming hardship and poverty. And, as Hartmann and Kwauk suggest, sports may best contribute to those types of goals through consciousness raising more than through rolling out a ball.

The World Cup as a whole is a good test of whether soccer can genuinely serve to raise a critical consciousness, or whether it serves primarily to reproduce dominant structures. When France lost to its former colony Senegal in that same World Cup, with Senegal fielding a team where only the two back-up goalkeepers did not play professionally in France, was that a further example of colonial resource extraction? Or was that a statement of shifting global power dynamics?

The answer to all these questions may be yes: global soccer is open for multiple interpretations. Watching the World Cup like a social scientist offers an opportunity to see the game in a way that raises consciousness about the dynamics of global society, recognizing ways the raw emotion and global appeal of the World Cup make soccer itself a distinct mirror and lens. Viewing the whole story as both a soccer fan and a social scientist ultimately leaves me conflicted and curious for more.

I recently stumbled across a new edition of The Soccer Tribe by Desmond Morris, the peculiar tome originally published in with a mix of text and illustrations making a case for what amounts to an evolutionary socio-biology of soccer. Morris, most famous for The Naked Apeexplains that he was motivated by anthropological curiosity:.

For those who do the kicking and those who watch it so avidly, the whole matter is taken for granted. Football is football, and of course it is fascinating, so what is there to question? For those who ignore it, it is plainly a stupid waste of time, so why bother with it? It is not worth discussing. Both sides overlook the fact that, viewed objectively, it is one of the strangest patterns of human behaviour to be seen in the whole of modern society.

Teen sports tumblr

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