Here's something for you to dwell on and debate from Wikipedia.
Football as a religion?
It has been said that in some countries football has become the new religion (although this is a contentious issue). Many people tend to avoid their traditional places of worship, and are now regular attenders at football matches. Religious aspects of large, popular sporting events include:
* the widespread use of ritual: pre-match, match and post-match traditions, ritualised group responses to ques such as on-pitch events, etc.
* group chanting, singing, dancing.
* the widespread use of symbols: team colours and logos take on an almost sacred meaning and insulting these symbols is a grevious insult to the whole side. Wearing them marks the wearer as an adherent of a certain group and divides the world, almost cult-like, into "us" and "them". In this regard, football approaches religion in its influence on dress and, to some degree, behaviour.
* idol-worship of heroes which is associated with relics: balls, shirts, numbers, etc. associated with players and events are highly valued.
* pilgrimages: some fans will fly to another country to see a match live or travel in large groups to far-away places, caravaning, to see events.
* deep emotional involvement, ecstatic participation which can go in various directions: cathartic, fun, violent, etc.
Football and other such sports lack some aspects usually associated with religion, however:
* There is, in football, only a hint of transcendence. The memory of some players might be "immortal" and some teams "legendary," but there is little in the way of an idea or ideology that so thoroughly orders the world and human history as is found find in the major world religions.
* There are no holy texts. There are famous sayings, but no ideological/theological battles and split-offs over their interpretation. They do not carry ideological authority for regulating belief or behaviour.
* Prayers are common, but they are usually directed outside the system. Fans and players do not pray "to" football or "to" football heroes, but to the supernatural entities of other religions "about" football.
* There are god-like figures, but this is usually with a subtle sense of self-irony and fun. Franz Beckenbauer is referred to as "Der Kaiser" (the emperor), for example, because of his legendary role as a player, coach and administrator. But his authority hardly extends beyond the system. He has little political or moral influence in the way that a "real" Kaiser or pope or even priest would.
(Original post by one2three_abc)
Religion: A system of beliefs, including belief in the existence of at least one of the following: a human soul or spirit, a deity or higher being, or self after the death of one’s body.
So i don't really think it can be called a religion. Could be a cult.
the dictionary defination of religion is'nt very helpful.
Football has been compared to religion ever since it became rationilised, namely Karl Marx.
An arguement against football as a religion is its question of loyality, i would say. The way i see it is religion is based on fixed beliefs, where as in football people may worship the star striker one minute, then after missing an important penalty, he could be jeered.
(Original post by trojan10_om)
the dictionary defination of religion is very helpful.
Football has compared to religion every since it has became rationilised, namely Karl Marx.
An arguement against football as a religion is its question of loyality, i would say. The way i see it is religion is based of fixed beliefs, where as in football people may worship the star striker one minute, then after missing an important penalty, he could be jeered.
Keep in mind religion hasn't always been a system of fixed beliefs. People may well change their beliefs. Two main examples are when Christianity split between Rome and Constantinople to form the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Martin Luther formed the Protestant Church as a protest against Catholic doctrine.
But generally on the whole it is the team that are on a greater plain than the players, and it is the followers that are more loyal to the team than the players.