Emotions play a crucial role in sports. They reflect an athlete’s self-evaluation of their performance and those of others. Some of these feelings are anticipatory, while others are present during the performance itself. These feelings are often scripted by the subculture of sport and its participants. For example, there are rules for appropriate emotions during the national anthem and postgame victory celebrations. For those who are not a fan of sports, however, these rules may not be as important as they seem.
While there is no clear evidence as to when sports originated, they are likely to have been part of children’s play from a very early age. Prehistoric paintings and art depict hunters pursuing their prey with joy. As time passed, sports became an end in themselves for ancient civilizations. In the Middle Ages, sports primarily consisted of competition between males and females. They were often accompanied by grand feasts and drunkenness, with a Pritschenkoenig, or “pritschenkoenig,” who was supposed to maintain order and entertain the crowd with clever verses.
By the late 19th century, sports had become a form of “patriot games”. The dominant group would use sports to promote its identity, while outsider groups used them to preserve their own. Today, we see sports as a manifestation of national identity politics, where individuals and groups can identify with each other. Sports can also be used to create or challenge identities and social relations. These are all important aspects of national identity politics. Sports can help to explain this complex phenomenon.