Religion and music? Sure – there’s a match there. But religion and sports? Yes, I believe there is. For years Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concerts have been labeled ‘religious experiences.” For me, one of the high points is always when the houselights get brought up during the intro to “Born to Run” and 20,000 people (or 52,000 or so in a stadium show) are suddenly united as one singing and dancing to every single lyric and note. And it’s that ecstasy feeling that I base my statement that “religious experiences” and sports do mix.
In sports it ranges from the two strike chant in baseball to the D-fence chants in basketball and football. In college football and basketball you have specific chants and noise making devices that unite all kinds of fans, no matter what their grade, major, or hometown is.
To put it this way I’ll use this travel example: I’ve long stated that baggage claim is my favorite part of flying because it unites everyone – no matter your socioeconomic status, race, gender, anything – because we’re all there for one purpose: to get our bags, and leave.
That, to me, is religion in sports. It’s the uniting of all of us – no matter who you are and what you are – because we want to see our team win. That’s what it’s all about.
Look at the people in college sports who camp out overnight, sometimes in the worst of weather, to get the best seats. That’s religion in sports. That’s dedication. That is what it’s all about: doing whatever it takes to see and help your team WIN.