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The Visceral Experience of the World Cup (and more)

Posted by Maureen Wednesday, June 23, 2010 Labels: , , , , ,


Today's USA World Cup victory wouldn't have been nearly as exciting (to me) had I not chosen to view it with friends and fans at The Gaf. At a few points I thought the walls might come down due to the cheering and jumping and high-fiving in that place! I even double-high fived some 60-year old dude after our boys scored the first and only goal for the win in the 91st minute of play (whew!).

In that setting, I had a thought--there's something about this environment, this energy, that ANYONE can connect to--someone who couldn't care less about sports, who's never watched a game of soccer in their life, would quickly be sucked into the adrenaline rush of watching a game like this with 100 other people who care. There is something visceral about sporting events when watched with others. The main character in the book I'm reading commented on this very idea: "..it would seem it's a question of "mirror neurons": when you watch someone doing something, the same neurons that they activate in order to do something become active in your brain, without you doing a thing (p. 103)."

Precisely! I think this is one of the reasons that people across the globe love sports so much. We are connected through it because we all experience this same innate reaction. Fascinating.

That said, I'll be watching in the remaining weeks of the World Cup. Now it's down to rooting for USA and the only remaining African team that has a chance to advance-Ghana. Good luck to all!

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