Audience Participation in Sport – Part 2
The second part of our blog looking into the participation different audiences have with their particular sport moves on from International sport to local sport. Believe it or not, fans cheering their local teams can be more passionate than fans cheering their nations. The feeling of belonging to a local community and the bonds that this can accrue are extremely strong. So, a city or town football team for example often has fanatical supporters who are not only representing their favorite team but also their city.
The Premier League
Possibly the greatest football league in the world is the Premier League. The Premier League has thirty teams and most represent a different town or city in England and Wales. The teams play each other twice during a grueling season, both home and away. The fans are madly passionate about their city and try to create a hostile environment to any visiting team that plays in their home stadiums.
Some cities such as London, Liverpool and Manchester have more than one team, and if this is so the city is divided on derby day. The Blue half of the city is pitted against the Red half and even families are split during the game. The bragging rights for the victor last until the rematch later on in the season, and it can be a bitter pill to swallow for the vanquished as local pubs, clubs and even shops can be daunting places to frequent.
Fervently supporting your local team is not just the domain of Europeans, the North Americans also get pretty worked up when their team plays. American Football is slightly different to European soccer as the teams are actually franchises and can actually move from one city to another, but the fans are still passionate.
American Football is sometimes called Gridiron because of the pitch the game is played on, and a most popular pastime for fans before a game is to have a tailgate party. This takes place in the stadium car lot and is a chance for home and away fans to mingle, have food and drink and to talk about the coming match. The domestic games all lead up to the Super Bowl which is one of the greatest sporting events in the world. It is a huge event that draws millions of views across the globe. The whole of America comes to a halt during the event, and top singing stars appear at half time to perform one of the greatest gigs in their careers.
Turning our attention to a single competitor sport for a minute we look at the exciting world of Formula 1 Racing. It is hard to imagine how a racing car audience can affect the drivers as much as they do, as the noise of the car’s engines almost drowns out any cheering from the grandstands.
However, Formula 1 has a fanatical following and the fans are passionate about the driver but also their nominated construction team. The Ferrari fans dress in vivid red, and wave bright flags with the Ferrari logo. The lap of honor and podium presentation is accompanied with a ceremonial spraying of magnums of champagne all over the excited host of fans. The concluding part of this blog looks at baseball and cricket and how two fairly serene sports can get fans excited.