Nine Out Of Ten Men Say They Fake An Interest In Sports

soccerSo does anyone actually like professional sports? Fascinating ritual sociology from the UK’s Daily Mail:

Nine out of ten men lie about liking sports to impress friends or to get ahead at work, it was revealed today. Football was the game that men most faked a love of, with two out of three admitting they gushed to mates about the national sport to avoid being unpopular, a survey of 500 Britons found.

Football was the most fibbed about, with 61 per cent hiding their dislike. The national game was followed by F1, cricket, gold and rugby. One in three admitted to lying because they thought it would aid their career.

72 Comments on "Nine Out Of Ten Men Say They Fake An Interest In Sports"

  1. Simon Selvfed | Sep 25, 2013 at 11:12 am |

    I like any kind of martial art, the rest bores me tbh…

  2. Anarchy Pony | Sep 25, 2013 at 11:28 am |

    I always suspected…

    • Jin The Ninja | Sep 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm |

      same. i also have difficulty believing that some of the sports fanatics i meet/know, who spend countless hours forming ‘fantasy’ hockey (insert nationalistic sport-propaganda here)leagues- many of whom cannot read above a 9th grade level, can possibly understand the variations, rules,interpretations of the actual sport.

  3. I wonder what a poll of American men would reveal.

    So most people are lying about themselves so they won’t be ostracized by all the other people who are lying about themselves so they won’t be ostracized by all the other people who are lying about themselves so they won’t be ostracized by all the other people who are lying about themselves so they won’t be ostracized by all the other people who…

    And none of them realise the others are lying too.

    Universal alienation.

    • I think we do know the others are lying, but realize the others won’t stop lying either and since the lie is all that they have in common, keep up the empty facade to keep the conversation, the link, between them. Since its all lies anyway, why not keep up the lie they share?

    • Matt Staggs | Sep 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm |

      It’s pretty hard to not care about football down south. It’s practically a religion, and not liking it can make you a reject pretty quick. I don’t care for it, and have never made an effort to feign interest, myself, and have gotten the “What’re you, some kind of queer?” treatment a few times in my life.

      • I always find it strange that NOT wanting to watch a bunch of muscly dudes in tight outfits or tiny shorts get all physical and touchy with each other is considered “queer”.

        • Jin The Ninja | Sep 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm |

          some cultural studies or anthro scholar wrote a paper about 10 years ago, on male bonding in western society, and how football and sports culture were actively engaged in homoerotic behaviour in order to replace that aspect of male bonding that was missing from our non tribal, non traditional culture. i don’t know if i totally agree, but they definitely made an interesting argument.

          • Rhoid Rager | Sep 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm |

            I like that thesis more than the thesis that violent sports serve to ritualize the violent tendencies of men, and therefore create an an outlet for ‘inevitable’ male violence more desirable than war. There’s something delectable about the idea of the most ‘manly’ men secretly wanting to touch, caress or even make love to their fellow males that they trick themselves into acting out aggressive roles to go about doing so; in essence, there is a sweet irony in the fact that they’re too weak to show their vulnerabilities.

            But, in the end, all these theories of human behaviour start and finish as just-so stories. We can wish all we want, but we can never really know another’s motivations. That’s the big delusion of the social sciences–conjecture is made out to be fact.

          • kowalityjesus | Sep 26, 2013 at 12:22 am |

            Yeah, and often the ‘enormously subjective’ in these surveys (wording, context/environment, type of people who chose to respond) is touted as ‘objective.’ If that’s what you’re getting at…
            Why does one think they ever invented the double-blind study?

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 26, 2013 at 7:43 am |

            I am skeptical of that.

          • Rhoid Rager | Sep 26, 2013 at 8:44 am |

            of what? never really knowing another’s motivations? I can barely pin down my own motivations most of the time, let alone figure out someone else’s to turn it into a full-fledged predictive social sciences theory. Silly statistics… the map is not the territory.

          • Jin The Ninja | Sep 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm |

            agree and many of the intersecting fields of study also suffer from the same black and white interpretation of history and human motivation.

          • Rhoid Rager | Sep 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm |

            I’m fascinated by how people are so trusting of what’s in history books to begin with. Since literacy–and it should follow that record-keeping–has been restricted to the upper ruling classes for well over 90% of history.

          • Jin The Ninja | Sep 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm |

            even in the limited context of our own ‘shared’ history of british colonialism and genocide/reservations/rez schools- this is obviously 100% true. of course it is also true in the wider context of history, but what i find interesting about applying this thesis to cdn history, specifically, is that so many cdns are so entirely ignorant of this history (how could they be anything but?- we revere mckenzie and ryerson has a university in his name) and virulently racist against natives (and to a much more limited degree francos). we literally are the perfect example of the coloniser’s historical narrative dominating (and colonising) our consciousness.

          • I think it’s a mixture of most of the usual conjectures, to one degree or another, in all or most of the participants.

      • Charlie Primero | Sep 25, 2013 at 6:31 pm |

        You’re just saying that because Ol Miss sucks, queer. 🙂

        (I think that’s what “your” team is called.)

      • I went out of my way to put down jock strap douche bags, to decry the repetitive boredom of watching the same thing over and over again, put down the advertising of it’s not lying it’s acting sponsoring sports stars and cheered the internet and the ability to escape all mention of sports with something far more participative like video gaming.
        I also am of sufficient physical stature and aggressive appearance to avoid any negative response for doing so.

      • Calypso_1 | Sep 26, 2013 at 10:46 am |

        I tell them what my father told him & his father before in the tradition of the cavaliers of the Old Dominion: Playing with balls is fine for the training of young boys. A man’s sport is to shoot for the sake of his mind, to maintain the nourishment of his kin and protection of country.

        • kowalityjesus | Sep 27, 2013 at 3:09 am |

          among the many things I have copy/pasted of yours. thanks for the wisdom of your posterity, or your posterior as you would choose to mete it out, lol.

  4. swabby429 | Sep 25, 2013 at 11:43 am |

    Most of us don’t live in cities that have professional sports franchises. Most of us know that professional (and even college) teams don’t actually represent people who grew up and are representative of the cities in which they play. Most of us don’t relate to multi-millionaire jocks. But most of us work in office or manufacturing environments or belong to a gym where the banter is almost always sports jargon. It’s good to know I have plenty of company.

  5. howiebledsoe | Sep 25, 2013 at 11:53 am |

    The Emperor’s new tracksuit.

  6. What about the people who like the sports video games, is this another level of macho posturing?

    I’d rather watch cartoons than sports.

    • Jin The Ninja | Sep 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm |

      agree. i never understood sports games, but i never had brothers so i could afford to be discerning. i love most other vidya though; but i never turn my nose up at anime- currently loving ‘attack on titan’

  7. I have never been interested, nor have even bothered to fake an interest in that stuff. Though, I will admit that this lack of interst in pro sports has left me, on more than one occasion, at a loss for some kind of neutral conversation in certain social situations. Whatever, I can live with that.

    • Ted Heistman | Sep 26, 2013 at 7:41 am |

      Yeah, I’m the same way. I had the same thought to in work situations with people from all different backgrounds. A lot of time sports gives the rednecks and the black people something to talk about.

      I usually am forced to talk to the hipsters.

  8. kowalityjesus | Sep 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm |

    I can watch and enjoy pretty much any sport, but I will consciously ignore it if possible. A win for sports is a loss for art in many cases and vice versa, though it doesn’t have to be that way. It takes a much rarer disposition to banter about art, but it can be done.

    Many sportfans use competition as an opportunity to be proud/derisive between groups (regionalism, nationalism, racism) but more often than not on the field of competition the best players will totally disregard any such notion, and would probably be surprised if anyone would mention such a concept.

    As I have stated before I am a big fan of sc2 and appreciate the outlet for excellence in brainpower, strategy and dexterity that it embodies.

  9. I must say that curling is rather intense, and have on occasion (like once) watched it on tv.

  10. DeepCough | Sep 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm |

    There’s nothing more American than Football. And anyone who hates Football is Un-American!

  11. Apathesis | Sep 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm |

    Sports are the least interesting of the Bread & Circuses.

  12. I never faked my interest in underwater basket weaving.

  13. emperorreagan | Sep 25, 2013 at 7:29 pm |

    I used to like to see how many beers I could drink on the company dime before getting shut down at the yearly MLB baseball game. Is that a sport?

    • More than the actual MLB baseball game, I’d say. What you did took endurance and dedication AND had an actual benefit for winning (ie. Having drunk more beer).

    • DrDavidKelly | Sep 26, 2013 at 5:06 pm |

      In the words of Homer: It’s not whether you win or loose but how drunk you get.

  14. mauriziojuvefc | Sep 25, 2013 at 7:40 pm |

    Survey conducted in a library?

    • Jin The Ninja | Sep 25, 2013 at 7:52 pm |

      so the general public who visit libraries for the range of social and academic services they offer (as well as being a public space, computer lab, meeting place etc etc etc) are entirely bookish shut-ins with no outside interests? cannot one disengage from the propaganda and distraction of the utterly commercial and jingoistic industry of “sport”, and still live an active, productive life? is an interest in books antithetical to sport? in your comment there is an assumed weakness in the learned; however this is itself opposed to traditional martial arts (particularly chinese) wherein cultivation of the body was AN aspect of spiritual cultivation and only one aspect of martial skills . when did sports culture come to mean stupid, dumb, jocks? ask yourself- is that a useful, meaningful, legitimate stereotype?

  15. DrDavidKelly | Sep 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm |

    I’ve never understood the attraction … and neither do Moss and Roy

  16. Rhoid Rager | Sep 26, 2013 at 12:07 am |

    I’m waiting for a poll about how many men fake sexual interest in women around their buddies.

    • emperorreagan | Sep 26, 2013 at 10:15 am |

      When I wouldn’t turn my head to check out a woman at a bar or something, people would call me gay.

      After I got married to a woman, I had a few acquaintances tell me that they always assumed I was gay because I never talked about or checked out women.

  17. Ted Heistman | Sep 26, 2013 at 7:53 am |

    I always found sports boring but then while in highschool I watched a video called “Crunch course” about all the great hits in football, my Mom was dating a former NFL football player and he was talking it up a lot so I gave it a try.

    I rode the bench mostly. I had the mindset of a lineman but weighed only 160 lbs. One day I decided to beat out one of the starting lineman. I hit him with everything I had everyday in practice.Every play I drove him back about three yards. He seemed to go through a crisis of faith for a time and then got way better. At the end of the season after I rode the bench all year, the coach made me a special certificate for helping this guy so much in practice. He was one of the Captains of the team.

    I was kind of bitter about it because I never got to start, which was my goal.

    Since I graduated highschool I have not followed the sport at all. Playing is way more fun than watching. My main sport was wrestling although I wasn’t great at that either.

    I would say though that the physical training is good for a kid while growing up.

    • Calypso_1 | Sep 26, 2013 at 10:56 am |

      You may not have been on the field but that kind of spirit is potent. Sounds like you became an awesome training partner. It was cool that the coach recognized that.

  18. BrianApocalypse | Sep 26, 2013 at 8:36 am |

    I was in a London taxi once on a day when England won a huge victory over Germany in a football match. People were celebrating in the streets. I engaged in clumsy football-banter with the driver along the lines of, “Ooh, that’s a lot of goals isn’t it!” And he responded in kind.
    After a few minutes of this we began to see through the facades each other were projecting, and by the end of the journey we had settled upon the opinion that football and everything associated with it was shit.

  19. Men in the UK, not men. They do have different sports. Soccer (they call it football), cricket, tennis, etc. So with a line-up like that I’m sure I would feel the same. BUT we Americans have real football and basketball and NASCAR and hockey and baseball so in light of this information I would guarantee different results. My problem is more with this misleading article. At least the source was quoted here but to identify only men in this study and not English men makes a huge difference. We aren’t living in England that’s a whole another country. Please stop thinking anything they do is close to the same. Even their English is completely different.

    • Lookinfor Buford | Sep 26, 2013 at 1:08 pm |

      Yeah ditto that. I played sports and I’m capable on the field, but no jock, more of a geek. Nevertheless I still enjoy watching best athletes knock the crap out of the other on the gridiron. It’s about physical competition, not touching each other, contrary to some seriously misguided opinions on here.
      We feel a need to raise kids here to be competitive. There’s just no better outlet for that than sports for kids, or at least not a reasonably convenient one.. Intellectual competitions just don’t provide an outlet for their youthful energy levels. Plus, so boring for the spectator (parents).
      Funny though, after all the sports I played, the only one that taught me skills I use on a regular basis is the one we all thought was a complete waste of time. That’s right, Hackeysack! You know how many times I’ve caught my phone with my foot?!

  20. Rus Archer | Sep 26, 2013 at 10:36 am |

    a fake study to make people feel comfortable about not liking sports?

  21. I don’t fake it. I have no interest at all.

    “Hey, the ball is on our side of the field! Really? Great!” Nah, that’s just not me.

  22. This is utterly absurd.
    But……I’ve fallen victim to it.

    I’m not a sports fan…at all. I’m more of a books & music bohemian type. More inclined to smoke some pot and read a good book while drinking hot coffee. The whole USA! USA! USA! beer and sports manly man culture never appealed to me.

    But…about 4 years ago, I was arrested, in my own apartment, with 1 gram of weed. It was a long story….basically, a friend of mine went out to his car, the cops were passing by, smelled the weed on him, knocked on my door…

    My Probation Officer’s office was ADORNED with University of Tennessee football paraphernalia. He was stark raving mad about them. So….I feign an interest. I even looked up pertinent info to discuss at our meetings.

    And…..he never once drug tested me, despite that being a mandatory monthly thing.

    So…while, it’s super absurd….it got me through an otherwise annoying year.

  23. A bunch of sweaty dudes throwing balls at each other is a bit too homoerotic for my tastes. But if other people like it, then good for them.

  24. Damian Caligula | Sep 28, 2013 at 1:50 pm |

    A bunch of sweaty dudes throwing balls at each other is a bit too homoerotic for my tastes. But if other people like it, then good for them.

  25. I’m 64 years old and I’ve never been polled about anything… well, ok, once I was polled about what I watched on TV, but I hadn’t watched any TV for about 20 years at the time and the phone pollster was so shocked she called me a liar.

    I am therefore quite skeptical about polls, particularly ones with such a small sample size. My guess is a lot of the appeal about sports watching is that it requires almost zero rational thought but can stir up people’s emotions without requiring them to take any actual risks or do any work… like gambling, pornography, politics, religion, racism. I used to play a lot of basketball, but I’ve never found being a spectator very satisfying.

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