By Ariana Lopez ’18
What is Sports Culture? Google defines Sports Culture as: “one aspect of the general culture of society; it is a sphere of social activity intended to strengthen personal health, develop one’s physical capabilities, and apply the population’s physical skills to the service of society.” In other words, sports culture can range from one’s ability to desire physical advancement, as well as the way people engage with sports in an environment.
What about sports make them so popular? A piece written by Psychology Today states, “Sports draw us in for many reasons, the elegance, the competition, the history, our identification with great athleticism.” In other words, the aspects of sports that make it a sport are driving to the human eye and mind. Additionally, an article written about people’s obsession with sports said, “Studies have shown that for fans, being identified with a favorite team is more important than being identified with their work and social groups.”
Diamond Josephs, a senior who plays multiple sports, stated, “I feel as if sports offer some type of distraction for many individuals. People like to test out their luck, probability, and chances, as well as enjoy seeing it play out.” Josephs also described the process of watching or experiencing a sport as “something like fiction books” because of the thrill and adrenaline they provide.
Specifically in Pritzker, however, student’s sport culture is primarily seen during homecoming season or senior nights. Every year at the beginning of the year, students prepare for homecoming games by wearing school colors, painting their faces, and enduring the sometimes cold weather in return for the rush and excitement they feel throughout the game. During senior nights, the gym gets full and people are in the crowd with posters and t-shirts about their favorite senior. But where does this excitement come from?
Jeremy Hernandez, referee and manager of multiple sports, stated, “The thing with Pritzker students is that they have a lot on their load starting from day one. When it comes to games, and sport related events, they get to relax, and enjoy something that isn’t literally related to school.” Hernandez believes that the strict and educationally encouraging environment surrounding Pritzker, as well as many other Charter schools and schools in general, is what makes these events feel like a de-stresser; they are related to the school, but students are found in completely different environments than the one they are in throughout the school day.
Aside from the fact that some students are genuinely really passionate about sports, sports for those who aren’t that deeply involved, serve as a healthy distraction for many, which is why sports culture is a big thing in not only Pritzker, but a big thing in American culture as a whole.