Bears vs. Vikings Football Game: Ethnocentrism at its Finest

A guest blog entry by D. Caticchio (mom, student, world citizen)

The Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings, football rivals.

Here’s the situation: on Sunday, November 29, 2009, I had seats to watch the game, Jay Cutler against Brett Favre.

But let’s pause for a moment and think of what was really taking place besides this rivalry football game. I witnessed the greatest example of ethnocentrism, which can be defined as a person thinking whatever is theirs is the best, just because it is theirs.

Ethnocentric behavior was very apparent to me at the football game even though at the time I had no idea that there was a name for what I was observing. Then, I read an article about ethnocentrism and was thrilled to be able to put my studies to use in the real world.

Let me back up a minute to explain.

I am from Chicago and both of my boys were born in Chicago.  My husband, however, is from Minnesota. So, on our holiday trip to Minnesota to spend time with family we decided to get tickets to watch the Minnesota Vikings stomp all over the Chicago Bears.  My kids, who are not exactly huge football fans, have become extreme Minnesota Viking fans ever since Brett Favre joined the team. You see, Chicago and Minnesota fans could not stand Brett Favre when he played for the Green Bay Packers since all three teams are rivals and Brett Favre was the star quarterback that other fans cringed at but all wanted on their team.

Favre, after a second attempt at retirement, has taken a place on the Minnesota Vikings and to the excitement of Viking fans everywhere, he is the best quarterback there ever was.  All of a sudden Minnesota has a love affair with the man they hated not so long ago.

My family spent a lot of money buying purple and gold jerseys for everyone but me. We spent a lot of money on tickets to watch a game for which we already knew the outcome.  However, we did it as a chance to watch Brett Favre on his quest to take the Minnesota Vikings to the super bowl.

Fans throughout the stadium acted like they knew Favre personally, like he could hear everything they were shouting from the stands. They booed when a ref made a call against their team, as though the ref only made bad calls against them and never enough calls against the Bears. They screamed at every pass Favre threw and was caught, as though no one else has ever caught a pass before.

Favre did not disappoint his loyal fans, loyal, at least for the past two months and at least up until his contract ends in two years.

As for myself, I am not a football fan, but I could not cheer against my hometown. So, I clapped when the Bears made a catch or scored a touchdown. I also clapped when the Vikings scored. However, I clapped louder for Cutler, because he is from Chicago and he is the best. Well, not really, but everything else from Chicago is the best!


83 thoughts on “Bears vs. Vikings Football Game: Ethnocentrism at its Finest

  1. Professional sports are an excellent way to exercise ethnocentrism. Anyone who is a true sports fan is right in their own ways to be ethnocentric in their own views. I myself am a die hard Packers fan, and trust me I hear enough trash talking from Chicago fans to go around. Whether your team be first in the rankings or dead last, they are always first in your mind and fans never shy away from the chance to argue the contrary. If your team doesn’t play up to par, there is always that excuse brewing in your head of different reasons for this problem. A fan’s ethnocentric views often begins to brew over to simply making fun of an opposing team. Not only do you think your team is the best, but you assume that a rival team is the worst team out there. I constantly find myself arguing with Bears and Sox fans over which team is better, but it never gets old and it is only one of the many reasons I find myself obsessed with professional sports.

    1. That’s half of the fun with sports because you are so passionate about one team than when they lose you can talk about why they lost for hours and the same thing goes if they win. you want to say why they won and why they lost and how they can improve so they can reach the final game and win it. I always like you find myself in talks that could go on for hours about who is better and what if they did this then or what if he played of why would they try and do that play. its just so much that you can talk about and that’s why I find myself watching sport center nearly everyday.

    2. I agree, professional sports are amazing and the work and dedication that a person needs to go through is unreal and very difficult. I live in Chicago, but I am a hardcore Miami Dolphins fan. Whenever I see a good rival on primetime, I get excited to watch it. There is a need to appreciate the rivals there are in the world of sports, because it resembles rivals in every aspect of the society. Rivals in society create people to work that much harder for success.

      1. I do agree with what you are saying, sports are definitely an easy topic relate on. Whenever someone losses or wins a game anyone can give many different cenerios about that could have done and should have done. I think are universal bring alot of people together. I love sports and I play them alot.

      2. I agree that rivalries bring people together to become successful. That sport rivalries strengthens the society. The professional athletes really help bring the rivalries alive to bring them to life.

    3. Yes, I agree that sports is an excellent way to exercise ethnocentrism. Better to exercise ethnocentrism in sports than in other areas that can harm you or someone else. Sure some fans get out of control and try to fight someone from the opposing team. The passion and dedication fans have for their teams is amazing and even though its sometimes hard to admit defeat when your team loses we always look forward to the next season and seek revenge.

  2. I can see where the ethnocentrism comes from. When it comes to sports teams, fans are very devoted and will stand by their team through thick and thin. Chicago is infamous for having some of the most devoted fans out there, even if the teams can’t deliver. Just look at the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears – they have some of the most die-hard fans while their teams don’t succeed they still stand by them and bear (no pun intended) the elements to make it out to the games out at Solider Field. Which brings me to the fact that ethnocentrism and pride for their city/team is like none other. In conclusion, I’d choose to cheer for the Bears even though they most likely won’t make it to the playoffs, but they’re still my team, and the city’s team.

    1. I could not agree more I think Chicago has some of the best fans out there. I have been to games in many other cities and states to support my team and I know I’m not the only one. Chicago travels well with their sports teams. just over the past summer I was in Florida and I went to a White Sox vs Rays game and at one point the crowd started to chant “Let’s go White Sox lets go” it was awesome because I started screaming it out then the rays fans would hear us and start booing. another example is during the Chicago Bears vs the Tennessee Titans this year. We spanked them pretty early and all you could hear were the Bear fans. I even read an article that the bears fans nearly closed down a bar after the game because so many of them went to drink at a certain bar and almost cleaned them out!

    2. You raise an interesting point when you state that ethnocentrism and pride for their city/team is like none other. We can say that an individual is as loyal to their team even if they aren’t the best in the league as they are loyal to their religion, country, and etc. If I moved to another city I would still support the Chicago Bears because I was raised watching teams such as the Chicago Bears, Bulls, and Chicago Fire.

  3. This has to be the best blog I have read tonight! I am a huge football fan and I love my Chicago Bears. Well maybe not a huge football fan, I only know the key players and really enjoy watching it. Although I have no idea what ethnocentrism means or what it actually is, Bears vs Vikings vs Favre is where it’s at. I totally agree with you when saying everyone hates Favre but love him when he plays on their hometown team. I can’t say I hate the guy he is an awesome quarterback, but the thing is he knows it and that is what I do not like. Then again I would be full of myself too if I could play like he does. The Vikings did go pretty far this past year with him. They got knocked out by the superbowl champs New Orleans Saints. I would rather get beat by the champs than by the first place losers! Hopefully Lovie can help us out and do something with the Bears this year. DA BEARS!!

  4. Sports is a great way to exercise ethnocentrism. I myself am a huge Bears fan! I know all about the rivalries between the teams our division, particularly the packers! When Favre was on the Packers, I would always root for any team playing against them. It’s not that I hated him as a person, I just hated how he was so good! But if for any reason Favre came to the bears, I would become his number one fan! This happens all the time in sports, not just in football. Fans will always be loyal to their team, and can go from hating someone to adoring someone in just one trade.

    1. Sadly this is partly what is wrong with sports these days. People’s affiliations change in a mere moment, rather than be loyal, win or lose. Most specifically, the players are the least loyal. It used to be that being traded was a REALLY big deal… now it is just about the monetary aspect, which leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

      1. I both disagree and agree with this statement. I agree that money is becoming more of a factor with what teams different people sign with. But i don’t think that the players are not loyal to the teams that they play for. for example players like Brian Urlacher of the bears, has been with the bears for most of his career, and he has said that he wants to finish his career with the bears as well. I think that he is one of the loyal players in sports because he came from a smaller college and no matter how much money he gets he loves Chicago and the team he plays for. I also don’t think that having these players making a lot of money is a bad thing. A lot of the players have come from low income families where they didn’t have a lot growing up. so i think that pay them a lot of money is not always a bad thing. Also these players risk their bodies every time they go out on the field. Football is such a dangerous sports and these guys go out their and risk their bodies for the entertainment.

    2. It’s so true with what you said about Farve because I now can’t stand Lebron James and if when he made “the decision” decided to come play in Chicago I probably would have his jersey and be his number one fan. But because he went to another City of my city I no longer care for him.

    3. I think that most fans are like you and dislike a rival player and not dislike the rival person. Most fans would be happy if a rival player joined his team and played good. The fans would easily forget about the players’ days playing on a rival team. If a rival player comes to your team there is a sense that your team is better because that player left his team to come to your team.

  5. See, this is what sports is all about though. This is a great example of how passionate fans are, which makes going to the games even more enjoyable and excitable. Fans will always cheer for there team.(a tleast the good ones) Players switching teams is just part of the game today. As you stated, fans will hate players on rival teams, but love em in a second if they end up coming over to there team. It just shows the loyalty fans have with there team. They want to see a winning team, and Favre is the type of player that can help a team win. In todays sports world, its all about winning. We see players being traded all the time, and thats not going to change. We also see players leaving other teams in free agency. Its part of the game today, and i believe its how it will remain forever.

    1. Win or lose I will always cheer for my team. I agree that switching teams is just part of the game today. Its pretty funny how we would hate a specific player from a rival team but that hate would turn to love in a heart beat once he joins the team we so passionately support. And in some cases vise versa … we would love a specific player from our team but would hate them once they leave even if it wasn’t up to them.

    2. You are so true bobbyryan because up until this day I believe, feel, and know that Chicago misses Brian Urlacher ’54’ from the Chicago Bears. Simply because he connected with the fans, and we loved him. He also gave the city memories even almost took us to a Superbowl championship against the Colts. Any team that Favre plays for will give him the support and loyalty because of not only from his reputation but his job description qualifies him as a great quarterback. And those are hard to come by. And as long as he keeps showing his monumental efforts and being the best quarterback that he is, that will get him the wins that he so deserves no matter what team he plays for. And the rest is history, that’s part of his infamous resume.

  6. This post I found to be very interesting because it makes you think about people and the way they act when they think something is their own. I know being a huge sports guy I happen to take claim on many of my favorite sports teams. I find myself a lot of times talking to people and I happen to say things like “my team” or “we” even know I hold no ownership myself. However I believe I have a right to do this as well because its my money and other fans that are paying for players and teams and if it was not for are support there would be no team.

    But when I was reading this post everything she was saying it so true. So many people act like there team in sports is the best and I believe this is what sets up rivals in sports and what make it fun.The way we interact with each other when it come to sport and other topics such as movies, schools, and city’s we all have a mindset that we are the best.

    The funny thing about this whole situation is what she stated in the post and that is we can hate something so much such as Brett Favre but as soon as he is on your side he is the best and most amazing thing you have ever seen. We as humans sometimes don’t want to admit are faults and be proven wrong but when things start working in your favor you feel somewhat in titled to greatness.We happen to always take ownership and to have many examples of ethnocentrism all the time during are life.

    1. I am the same way with the “my team” or “we” because I watch the games, wear there jerseys, go to their games, and talk about the team like its my job. That is why i feel it is acceptable to say those things because i buy there stuff and support them so I feel nearly as if im part of the team. They even try and make you feel like that. For example at Chicago Bears games they tell you how you are important part of the game. Your the 4th phase. You have to be quite when the Bears are on offense and screaming and jumping up and down when they are on defense to make it harder for the other team to hear each other and not allow them to score. So i feel when im talking smack and I say WE are going to the supper bowl I feel like i earned the right to say that!

  7. There is only one word to describe what is occurring at this game… sports. Like Bobbyryan said, this is what sports is all about. If you’re a fan, it is your responsibility to bring the noise for your home team. Fans like to feel connected to the players, and what to feel like they are apart of the teams success. Whenever a team wins the Superbowl and reporters are interviewing players, you’re guaranteed to get the cliche response: “We couldn’t have done this without the fans.” Fans eat those comments up because it makes them feel like they won a championship too. There is nothing quite like a sports fan. You wont find four shirtless fans with “Bono” painted on their chest in 25° weather at a U2 concert (maybe in 50° weather). While ethnocentrism may be a synonym in this case, it’s really just fans being fans.

    1. I agree with you on this sports fans are in a class of their own. You won’t find many people as passionate about something so little. Fans of sports teams tend to have this mindset that they are also part of the team. You have the people that hate any other team besides “their” own. Sports fans have also taken it to another level. Some sports fans wont even be friends with someone who likes a different teams. I remember when fan was beaten after a Giants vs. Dodgers game. This is beyond wrong and just shows what kind of society we live in today. We live in a society where some people will go as far as to beat another person to death just because they root for a different team. I also remember when this season Kansas CIty Chiefs quarterback got hurt and the fans started to cheer. I never thought that i would see people cheer at another player getting injured.

      1. I agree John i talked about the Giants vs Dodgers in one of my posts as well because there becomes a point when you have to think this is just a sport it is not worth nearly beating a man to death over. You can talk as much smack as you want but there needs to be a point. And to go along the Kansas City Chiefs thing I remember when we had Rex Grossman on the Chicago Bear people would start chanting for Kyle Ortin to go in the game by belting out ORTIN, ORTIN, ORTIN.

      2. I agree that there is a point that separates fans from the obsessed. As a fan you have to know when enough is enough and let bygones be bygones. Like I said before, sports fans are one of a kind. We can love you one minute, and hate you the next. When Rex Grossman was our starting QB, he took us to the Superbowl. The very next season we start rooting for Griese. Then when he doesn’t perform up to our standards, we ask for Orton. Even now after we seem to have found our “franchise QB” in Jay Cutler, fans still aren’t satisfied. It’s difficult to please fans. We demand the best because we deserve it. We stick around through bad seasons, bad weather, bad coaches, and bad off field decisions by players. The only exception to this is NY sports fans because they’re spoiled… I hate New York sports.

    2. I agree that sport fans want to be part of the team as much as possible and cheering for their team is being a true fan. As fans we are aware that we can intimidate and make our rival nervous while at the same time inject momentum/determination to our players. I have also witnessed fans cheer after a rival player gets injured. I personally would never cheer if a rival player gets injured but I would probably without realization get happy that the game got easier to win.

    3. I liked that Peter S., fans will always be just that “fans”. And I believe the players know that. We all must get our moneys worth. No matter what time of the year it is the support comes with endurance from the fans. Because knowing what Chicago stands for which is to support our home teams no matter what. It sometimes gets to the point that if it weren’t for the fans in the city from which the team is playing for, the players would definitely go to where they are appreciated more and know that they have that type of support coming from outside the boundaries of endorsement and contracts etc. So fans are the backbone to keeping the hype up within the sports arena.

  8. Using the term ethnocentrism in regards to sports could not make more perfect sense. Growing up in a small town I have always cheered and supported my grammar school, my high-school, and now my college, which are all in about a 5 mile radius form each other. I thought not only was the school I went to the best in the neighborhood, but the country as well. I have been apart of a “gold ball” winning team in grammar school, been apart of a program that has won many state titles in high-school for volleyball, and now I attend a University that has a nationally ranked football team. I might not be discussing big name athletic programs, but I do know that the athletes and fan are in it for the love of the game, and with that mentality, I believe you deserve the right to believe “your team” is the best.

  9. I agree with most of the comments on this page, and I have noticed the same behavior of ethnocentrism in our society, specifically in Chicago Bears fans. The word ethnocentrism derives from the Greek word ethnos, meaning “nation” or “people,” and the English word center. So it can be inferred that this type of person thinks of themselves as the center of the “people”, and in this case how the Chicago Bears are the center of the NFL, for example. Just like how the early astronomers thought that Earth was at the center of our universe, called geocentrism, “ethnocentric” sports fans are sure to make it clear that their team and opinions are far more superior to the opinions of others. If there happens to be a discussion regarding sports, you can almost guarantee that the ethnocentric person was there voicing their opinion on why their team was better than the competition. Although it seems to be prominent in Chicago, ethnocentrism can be found in sports fans of every team around the world, but I can only relate to the bears considering my social location.

    1. I agree with what you have to said danfisher. Ethnocentrism can be defined as “making false assumptions based on one’s experiences.” So if you grow up with a family that loves a the Bears football team, chances are you’re going to love the Bears, too. Based on our experiences, or even our environment, we choose to support the Bears because they are from Chicago, and so are we, so it is only right to stick up for where you’re from, regardless of the skill or knowledge level.

      1. Update on the Bears as of recent: Lost two straight to mediocre teams and looking at an uphill climb to take back the division with three games left and one against the Packers. It wasn’t too long ago when the Bears were 7-1 leading the division and all of Chicago was on the “Monsters of the Midway” bandwagon convinced this was the best Bears team since they won the Superbowl in ’85. Now the Bears are 8-5 (1-4 since 7-1 start), and what are fans saying? “This team is garbage” “Our defense is old” “We don’t deserve to make the playoffs.” It’s funny how our own fans are so quick to give up on our team when things become tough. Maybe it comes with the territory of being a Chicago sports fan. For one of the largest cities in the U.S. we have won very few championships. The only team that hasn’t let us down in recent memory was the Chicago Bulls when Jordan was leading the way. I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t believe Chicago sports fans are so used to disappointment that we flip from ethnocentrism when things aren’t going well faster than any other city.

      2. Peter S, I have to agree with you. It seems that no matter how bad the bears do, they will always have their faithful supporters. This is a big concept when it comes to ethnocentrism. The fact that their fans will still support them while they’re doing bad, and even bash other teams, shows that they are very true and loyal to their team and where they are from.

  10. I thought this article was very well done. I agree completely when the writer says “Chicago and Minnesota fans could not stand Brett Favre when he played for the Green Bay Packers since all three teams are rivals and Brett Favre was the star quarterback that other fans cringed at but all wanted on their team”. People who like a certain team tend to hate on players from other teams, even if they do not know them personally. for example one of the most hated players in sports is Lebron James. People boo him at every away game he plays in, and everyone always says how much they hate him. but if he came to play for the Chicago Bulls everyone would more than likely be happy. In sports people tend to hate the players who are really good, unless they play for “your” team. I’ve never looked at it this way but it really shows how hypocritical sports fans can be. They hate a player, but as soon as he comes to play for your team he’s automatically your favorite player.

    1. Yes, JohnCitta, I agree with what you have to say. The only reason that Minnesota loathed Brett Favre is because he wasn’t helping them out. But the moment he joined the Vikings and began to help Minnesota, they forgot their hate for him and made him their idol. Jealousy plays a big role in ethnocentrism, don’t you agree? And yes, sports competitions and teams often are a good source of ethnocentrism if you’re looking for it. Although ethnocentrism in this context usually does not get too heated or serious, it can in other instances. For example if one country thinks it’s better than the other, then a war might break out, to try and prove who is the best. Am I correct?

      1. yes you are correct. I also think that jealousy plays a big part in ethnocentrism. But i think that wars start for other reasons other than one country thinking they are better than another. I think that another big component to ethnocentrism is pride. people especially sports fans have a huge sense of pride for their team and this can lead to them thinking that they are better than everyone else. I think having pride is a good thing but when that that pride starts to lead to hate then you have a problem. For example when America was attacked on 9/11 Americans everywhere came together, and had we had so much pride in our nation, but after awhile that pride started to turn into hate of the middle east. I’m not saying that pride is a bad thing in fact i think its a good thing. I just think its bad when people have so much pride that it turns into hatred of another group of people.

      2. I have to sat people from Minnesota didn’t like Farve not only because he was not helping them out but because twice a year he was going up against them and beating them down because he was so good. But yeah when they got him it was like turning Hitler into the Martin Luther King Jr. That might be a little extreme but you get the drift. Jealousy does play a big part in it because you want to have all the good played on your team not the others and thats why it can be frustrating to watch sometimes because sometimes the other teams will have a really good player that you deep down wish was on your team.

  11. I happen to agree with this article, ethnocentrism plays a big part in the professional sport of football, we watch it religiously every week. Each fan has their football team that they cheer on every week win or lose. Some fans though follow players, I know people personally that switch teams because they are a team player fan. I believe it all depends on the individual, but once you find that team or player ethnocentrism takes role. I am a Bears fan and obviously I hate the packers so of course when they verse each other all I do is smack talk the Packers and defend my team because my team is better. I’ve actually said I wouldn’t date a Packers fan because I hate the Packers that much, but it’s that die hard Bears fan in me that will never change. It goes for all fans of every team, we all believe that our favorite team is the best from the rest, especially when they win a game. Some people take the trash talking personally and that could start a fight or worse, those people take it too far but people take this game to the heart and that’s the way it is, it’s the love for the game.

    1. Sports fan would do anything to show their affection and they would brag
      every time their team wins especially if they know someone who is a fan of the rival team. When our team wins we talk about the game for the entire week and if our team loses we try to give excuses and say stuff like “if this happened … we could have probably won the match”. Yes, ethnocentrism can get us into trouble if can’t take take it and decide to settle the score by fighting.

    2. I have a lot of cousins on my mom’s side of my family. We are split about 50/50 between being cubs fans and sox fans. I am one of the die hard cubs fans and I love to hate on the sox. I think having a rival team to root against is a good thing because then I have another team to root for. Even when the cubs are doing bad I always have the team playing against the sox to root for. I think that it is some of the fun in sports is to always think your team is better than their rivals.

  12. I think that ethnocentrism plays a huge part in sports at all levels and ages. I know for a fact that back when i was in high school they would take players based on what clubs teams they played for rather than someone who played for another. I went through this because I live in Bolingbrook but I attended Naperville Central high school. Because i lived in Bolingbrook I always played soccer with them. We had a traveling team and won tournaments and even got ranked as one of the top 100 teams in the state. But when push came to shove for the school team all the kids who played for the Naperville travel teams and clubs were picked and some of the guys on my team were left out even though they had much better abilities. It also reminds me of a story i heard last year after a game between the San Francisco Giants and the Las Angles Dodgers. They are very close cities and yet huge rivals because they are so close and two of the Giants fans ended up beating a guy to death because of a fight that started over what team was better. This goes around all over the world too, there is a movie that shows it really well its called Green Street Hooligans and is about gangs in England that fight before and after nearly every single soccer match.

    1. Bryan I agree with you when you say that it plays a huge part with all levels and age groups. I never really realized home much ethnocentrism has a role in high school sports. I played baseball and in high school and also played travel baseball before that, and now that I look back at it my high school baseball team was basically a bunch of kids from my travel team or other travel teams in Naperville. I wish that this didn’t take place because it takes away the chance to meet new people, and it doesn’t give a fair chance to all of the kids that try out. What if one of the kids from a different town was a lot better than me or someone else on the team. They are not only hurting the schools chance at being better but they are also hurting the chance of that kid to get noticed by a college scout or even the chance to just have fun and play baseball. I never looked at how much ethnocentrism takes a role in high school sports until now, but now that i do i realize how much it takes place in the world around us.

    2. Hey Brian Houlihan! Do you think that this ethnocentrism could be developed over time through socialization? I believe that this could possibly start at a very young age. As psychologists have proven, egocentrism, or self-centeredness, is present during childhood. And I think that the strength or presence of egocentrism at a young age determines the presence or intensity of ethnocentrism at a later age. Another reason I believe that ethnocentrism is developed over time is because through the process of socialization, we define skills, knowledge, values and even beliefs. The strength of these factors can affect ethnocentrism later in their life.

  13. This is what makes sports so great. I’m more of a soccer fan but enjoy watching the Bears play against great teams such as Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, and etc. Fans are loyal to their team and who wouldn’t love seeing their team dominate? Whenever I’m watching soccer I get all excited when my team are about to score a goal. What is unique about sports is that your emotions throughout the game changes. One minute you’re celebrating and the next you’re sad the rival team scored.

    1. I agree with you too. I’m from Chicago and in this city the sports arena is made up of all areas. Baseball, hockey,basketball, and football and not that I am sports aculmated, I am indeed a fan because they all represent Chicago and a great city it is. Surprising when the teams are having a winning streak the city gets excited and goes all out with giving support where needed. On the other hand, when the teams are having a bad run the fans emotions display differently too.

    2. I like your stance and do agree that sportrs are great and your emotions do change throughout the game. This is what makes the game so great is having much excitement and being able to watch your favorite team play. I do think emotions do change for the good and for the badas well. Competititon is big when it comes to these match ups.

  14. Although ethnocentrism has no factual support, it’s what makes being a sports fan fun! Even when faced with a knowledgeable opponent fan, silly arguments that don’t make sense can be the most successful in inciting anger, which is a goal for a lot of people, called trolling. As for my household, my family is very against our city’s sports teams, especially the Bears, claiming they will choke in December. (which they usually do, and are currently doing now!)

  15. I think ethnocentrism is everywhere you go and not just sporting events. However, that example of favre switching over teams and the Vikings accepting and loving him as if he was theirs all along is superb. I believe that everyone is in there own reality relative to their life on earth. What you think, what you feel, and what you believe are all apart how you shape your reality. Since this is the case, a lot of people, not all, become very self oriented and self indulged. They will take pride in anything that they consider their own and the example in the article makes that evident. Only people that realize that earth is a place to enjoy with others are usually less ethnocentric and will share joys with their fellow man.

  16. I love sports and I am a Chicago fan 100% because I’m from there I think that would be the same for me if I was born anywhere else as well. I think more so I am a fan of the game. I can like other teams or players, but when they play Chicago I am all about the home team. I don’t get too personal with opposing players unless they do something dirty I wouldn’t have liked done to me or something. I will say some fans take it way too far for example when players get seriously hurt they cheer, making death threats to players if they play bad, and even attacking opposing teams fans if they come to their stadiums, which I think all are just horrible acts to commit against another human being. I love sports for the spirit of competition, but there are more more ways than mine to play the game, and it will never go outside of that for me.

    1. I respect your stance. I agree with wanting to root for home. That makes sense. I also understand your distance when it comes to fans taking loses too seriously, not considering these players are humans. Fathers and sons of in families that expect them to return home in one piece! We get attached to things we seldom can relate to. Ask a player about that venom from disgruntled fans and they can relate but they have a certain empathy that the average on-looker can’t comprehend the pressure of.

    2. I agree with what you are saying. I also have other favorite players outside of the city but when Chicago plays, I will be behind them forsure. I do believe that sports fans can get alittle malicious but that is due to the competative part of the game. In the end, I just think that all of the emotions are for the intensity of the game. I hope

  17. Can this ever be about who deserves the crown? Can this be about pure sportsmanship? Oh wait. We’re talking professional sports or glorified slavery. Is there a cool name for that as well? Pardon me. Wrong post for that, I guess. The issue is, unfortunately, we can’t ever be tied to a player from a team. They get traded. And for the right price and opportunity, they leave and wear one jersey with pride just as they did the previous season with a rival team. Enjoy the game. They’re paid millions. We pay hundreds to watch them and it’s not even shared! There’s no loyalty there, so we must ration our loyalty otherwise.

  18. This is honestly what sports rivalries consist of!! You hate that star player on the opposite team, but the second that star gets traded to your team you love him! This honestly happened again this year with WR Greg Jennings long time packer star wide receiver… Personally hated when he would tare up the bears… This year he signed with the vikings ironically, and all the vikings fans flipped out when they got word Jennings was Minnesota bound.

    1. This also happened with the Cubs this year. The Cubs Signed Jason Heyward who was on the Cardinals last year. Last year Cardinal fans loved Heyward but now that he went to their rival Cubs they booed him this year. I think that rooting against athletes that leave your team is fun. I like the idea of that athlete being a villain to a city.

  19. It is true that most people cheer for their hometown team. Even though we live in Illinois I have a friend that is a Chargers fan because he was born in California and considers that his hometown. Then of course people are always going to hate on star players when they don’t play for their team. That’s because people always seem to want the best of the best in things and can’t be happy with what they’ve got most of the time. It’s sad to see that that is how society works. That people can’t cheer on an opposing team’s player when they show exceptional talent and skill. Sadly its’ how society is… everyone wants to be #1.

  20. I have never been a football fan and I had the opportunity to go to a Bears game this past year. It was quite the experience. I felt like a little kid absorbing the experience. Ethnocentrism is a great way to explain what is going on. I mean I was at the colosseum! The noise and battle cry sounding off from speakers. One army positioned and facing the other and all of seated around them screaming. War!

    1. Now the experience you had with at a football game was that the same as other sports team you have gone to see? I only ask this because football maybe the most egocentric sport there is, I mean how many people are screaming war on a baseball diamond going into the top of the 4th at a cubs game?

      1. No, there is not enough money in other sports able to support such a circus. The stadium, sound system, and visuals cost a large chunk of money. Amongst the sheep stands but just one shepherd, leading the pack. I am a nonconforming member of society when it comes to sports. I am a big fan of my kids playing any sport. I try to make all the games and even enjoy the practices. My wife watches the hockey games. I told her that when I own the team or my kids are playing, is when I will start watching.

      2. I totally agree with football being the biggest financial pay off sport. It is also the most egocentric sport in my opinion. Take for example of a high school; everyone wants to be with the star football players. This causes them to become full of themselves and establish a popularity ladder where they see themselves “better” than other students. Now you have mentioned your children, have you noticed any ego-centrism type behavoir when they beat an opponent? Have you tried to steer them away from this thinking?

  21. Ethnocentrism comes into play within the players, however, the fans are more so adoring the charisma of the athlete, more importantly what he/she brings to their favorite team. Simply the location of the athlete plays the greatest factor in how accepted he/she is. As stated in some of the above comments, if Brett Favre were to come to the Bears, I’d be his biggest fan. It has become less about the player and more about what the team means. Those who follow football in depth (which I don’t), have a better gauge of the different players on different teams, weighing their statistics and charisma. It is the leisure fan that cheers for their team regardless of the players. As an athlete, I strive to be the best, want to be the best, and do the best I can. More importantly, I just want to have fun, and for most athletes it’s all fun, so they could care less about what the fans think.

    1. I do agree that ethnocentrism has to do with the players also. Fans love when their best player does well because then it gives them leverage on backing their team up. If you are more into sports you can have a better idea of what is going on and be able to back up your arguements. If you do not follow sports as much, I do agree that those people do kind of cheer for whoever and are less into it.

  22. I believe that sports do the best job of bringing out the ethnocentric person in all of us. It can be any sport, and all it takes is one moment for us to be completely thrown into the swing of the emotions in the game. However, when fans take it too far and become fanatic about the events/sports teams, is where the issue lies, and usually unacceptable behavior arises. Its funny how opinions can change on the flip of a coin, especially with sports teams.

    1. Sports do bring out the ethnocentrism type behavior in anyone. Is it appropriate for children? Do you think that we should be teaching them about winning and losing and that they are better then someone else or should we promote ideas such as (I’m regretting this as i type it) participation awards?

      1. I believe that children should be brought into the world based upon the ideals of the parents. However, I do not believe sports are about being better than another person. Through my years of playing hockey (so I may be a little bias), the game has always been about the team. If you solo yourself out from the rest, your not playing the game nor are you on the team. Every person is ethnocentric to a certain extent, it just depends on where your restraint/respect for the game lies.

      2. I totally agree about teaching the values of teamwork to children. Though with some sports such as hockey or volleyball players become very aggressive and trash talk. We have both done it before, and truth be told it is rather hurtful. We teach this to children through winning and losing and crowning champions. Now should that be continued at such a young age or should we continue giving out participation awards?

      3. This is true, winning and loosing as a child is very black and white most of the time. I remember being a child and thinking it was the end of the world when we didn’t win, and it did take me a while to understand that winning was not everything in the game.However, I am not sure how the use of participation awards would remove the “champion” feel of winning/loosing the game. I believe that having these wins/losses helps build motivation and hard work in young players.

    2. I agree that ethnocentrism in sports can easily be taken too far. It can and sometimes does get taken to the point that people get injured in fights over which persons’ team is better. I think that ethnocentrism has a place in sports if it is kept in control. If it gets out of control and goes to far that is when someone can get hurt.

  23. I am probably the least ethnocentric sports fan ever, is that even a possibility? I say this because I am a god awful trash talker. People could rant on and burn me about how much my team sucks and all I can say back are useless sentences like yeah, so. I never really cared for the trash talking aspects of sports. Don’t get me wrong I am a diehard Bears, Blackhawks, and Chicago baseball fan. I’ll go out and celebrate if any of them win the big game. I am much more interested in how awesome the player plays. Examples would be Matt Forte juking a defender out of his cleats or Patrick Kane corkscrewing a defender into the ice. I found that stuff much cooler then going around bragging about my team winning the big game. I can’t be the only one right?

  24. Farve coming back was stupid. it doesn’t matter what team he’s on, he played on the packers team forever. No matter what team he can be on, hw will still be a packer. I don’t even think that Chicago would offer him a contract just because how much we hate green bay. don’t get me wrong Farve is one of the best of all time but you just can’t be on one team you’ve been on your entire career then retire, then come back and go to your rivals team. IT just shouldn’t happen.

    1. I am a die hard bears fan, but I would not go as far to say him coming back was stupid. If you were a sports prodigy, had possibly one of the BIGGEST fan bases in the NFL, a NFL hall of fame career, you would probably do the exact same thing to try and spur one more successful year. Ethnocentrism does not stop at fans, Players experience the same behavior, and if that behavior is getting one more gold season, then so be it

  25. This can be related with anything, really. Let’s say I own a BMW, but my friend owns a Mercedes. I automatically believe that my car is superior to his car, just because I own it. We see this in little kids as well as politicians; even the United States as a whole. For example, when there is war, we consider ourselves the “good guys”. Me being in the military obviously makes me firmly believe that we are indeed the good guys, but there are many people that would disagree around the world. Whether the cause be bad or good, a majority of the people will still support the United States and continue to call our military the best. It is part of our psychological make up to take pride in what we have and even become a little naive about it.

  26. I believe that ethnocentrism is extremely prevelant in sports. I believe that that ethnocentrism is really what makes sports so unique and competative. Depending on the city that you live and the amount of love for your sports team may vary but I know here in Chicago fans are very particular about baseball and supporting the Sox or Cubs. We go to great extremes to stand up for and support our baseball teams in Chicago. This is simply a cross town rival but I do believe that ethnocentrism caries across the whole United States and can vary in terms of how much of this support is given from city to city. I myself am a part of this idea of ethnocentrism and love to support my hometown teams, which are the Cubs Bulls Bears Blackhawks and I’ll show the Sox some love since they are a Chicago team but when it comes to game day, I have to go with my team.

    1. Even as a sox fan, if the Cubs are playing, I will humor myself with watching them, I’ll even find myself rooting for them against certain teams. Sports bring out the kid in all of us, I don’t care what you say. I could be in the swings of a bad day, but the minute I’m at a game/event, it’s as if all the issues/bad day just disappears. So is ethnocentrism really that bad if it is in moderation? or is it an unhealthy attitude to have in general?

  27. There’s something very powerful about being in a stadium with some 80,000 people all cheering for the same thing. I’m not the most die hard fan there is but my grandpa was. And so in -15 degree cold games the coldest in history there we are all 6 of us enduring. It was so cold I one friend got permanent frost bite. I agree with the posts before mine. Where it’s a way to fight for something you love without the idea of crossing lines. People are competitive and I think it’s a great outlet. If we didn’t have this maybe there wouldn’t be as much city respect, loving where you came from, something to talk about with strangers.

  28. i think that ethnocentrism is what really brings all the excitement to sports. I think that sports are at there most entertaining when the teams both think that they re the best and that they re not going to lose. Ethnocentrism is in the fans too because they believe that there home town team is going to win no matter what, even it they have not won a game all year they will still cheer loud in hope that they will. Ethnocentrism is the main driving factor that keeps the fans hooks for life.

  29. As someone who watches football and wants to continue their career analyzing the sport, I can agree with this post on some levels, but on others not so much. While it is true that during those 2 years at Minnesota he was helping lead the Vikings to a good record, along with a NFC conference championship appearance in 2009, he really did not deserve the cheering that was received, I believe that cheering on from the crowd obviously was fake, given after he would leave the Vikings, they would go on to remembering him as the NFC North owner of the 90s and 00s. There seemed to be a false sense of ethnocentrism there, seeing that the following year in 2010 he had the worst season of his career. While 2009 was a great season, it seemed to me that he was only putting up these numbers because he had the most dangerous RB in the NFL behind him in Adrian Peterson. Teams had to commit to the run, which meant 8 man boxes, leaving it super easy or any NFL QB to pick apart a defense like that. After that 2009 season, I would say Viking fans went back to hating him, even though he was a member of their team.

  30. I completely agree with this article, no doubt. People in general do not like to be let down so they’ll do everything in their right mind to make things work. I feel like sports especially, makes people too competitive and hateful towards each other because no one wants to be told their team is bad. They’ll spot out all the good qualities about their specific team and try to bash on other teams by focusing on all the flaws they have. It’s an on going thing that, in my opinion, will never stop because thats what drives people to watch the games, go to games, pay for games, etc. This country is so patriotic that it’s not a surprise to me that people get this attached to local teams.

  31. I am in agreement with you on this article. Sports are the best way to be ethnocentric. That’s what makes it interesting because everyone roots for something that’s in some way theirs, whether it’s because the team is from their home city, or because the team has some special connection to them since childhood. Personally, I root for every Chicago sports team because it is my city and I support my city’s teams. But, when you spoke about Brett Favre and how people can be bandwagon fans when he switches teams, it reminded me of many different situations. Specifically a recent one. Dwyane Wade used to play with the Miami Heat, along with Chris Bosh and Lebron James. They were the trio that most Chicago Bulls fans despised, because they were good, and they wouldn’t want to go against the Bulls. Recently, our star on the bulls, Derrick Rose got traded to the New York Knicks, along with another one of our stars, Joakim Noah. When they got trade there, Wade came here to the Bulls. Now that Wade plays for the Bulls, all these Bulls fans who previously despised him, became so happy to have him on our team because they knew he was good, and more importantly, he’s now OURS. Chicago property. This is what sports is all about. Ethnocentrism and being proud of what represents us. Personally, I’m ethnocentric when it comes to my sports teams and that’s something that I think may never change.

  32. I am a Bears fan, but I can get behind another team if they don’t seem like a bunch of jerks. My grandparents in Indiana where originally from Illinois, and like both the Bears and Colts. If people cared more about the players themselves than for a team, there wouldn’t be as much ethnocentricity. Just because you like one team doesn’t mean you have to hate every other team. As a Bears fan, I am supposed to hate the Packers, but I actually like Clay Mathews who is on the Packers. Is there really anything wrong with that?

  33. Ethnocentrism is excellently shown in football, I completely agree. Not only that, ethnocentrism can be seen in almost every sport. Soccer is a great example of that since it is one of the most played if not the most played game in the world. Anyone from any culture or any part of the world can get behind a game of soccer and route for any team due to ethnocentrism. As a personal example, I am a huge hockey fan. My mom got me into the world of hockey and introduced me to a wide variety of teams besides my hometown team (The Chicago Blackhawks). There are teams I like and there are teams I dislike ,and similarly to your example, I will route for other teams like the Philadelphia Flyers when they’re not playing the Hawks. On the flip side of things, I will route for the Hawks when they’re playing the Flyers. It truly is ethnocentrism at its finest.

  34. Reading this article made me realize that no matter whoever comes on your team, you will love them as long as they play. As mentioned, the Minnesota fans hated Brett but once he came on their team, they loved him. Why? Because of his ability to play good. I don’t know much about football but I know that the Bears this season aren’t doing that well. If they got some good players who are willing to play, they will make the team better. And also the city of Chicago will also love them if they play good.

  35. I agree that sports fans are a great example of ethnocentrism. If your team gets a good player that you did not like before odds are you will root for that player and enjoy having him on your team. In most cases I agree that fans will root for whoever their team puts on the field. However, there are cases where a team gets a good player and fans are not happy about it. One example I can think of is when the cubs traded for Aroldis Chapman, who had been suspended for violating the MLB’s domestic violence policy. Many cubs fans were not happy with this acquisition and rooted for the team but not for Chapman.

  36. When LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat and create a “superteam” Cleveland fans were absolutely distraught. Even more, they were angry. They took to the streets to burn his jerseys, slander his legacy and tear down billboards. After a few years with the Heat LeBron decided to return to Cleveland, which was near his hometown Akron. The same fans who burned his jersey, cursed his name and despised him acted like he never left. The next year he won Cleveland a championship and the world seemed to forget. Sports and the connection they have with ethnocentrism are funny like that. When you put it into perspective are fans what they are: fanatics? Or are they just selfish?

  37. I agree that the rivalries of sports are complicated and I agree that the rivalries are more about the individual players then the actual teams. Like the whole LeBron moving to the Heat and then back to the Cavaliers. The emotions of sports fans change so dramatically just because of the players then the actual rivalries. Another great example could possibly be Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. He was one of the greatest player of his time and he retired from the team and one can assume that the fans were devastated and then when he came back they most like felt a surge of happiness.

  38. Now me personally I am a pretty big football fan. Since I am from Chicago I kind of have no other choice but to support my hometown team. Even if we are not too good (just being honest). By the way you stated that Cutler was from Chicago. He is actually from Indiana. Now I am extremely happy that Cutler is no longer with the Bears because let’s face it, he can be a huge reason why we rarely beat the Green Bay Packers with or without Brett Farve. I like how you said your family still spends a lot of money on tickets even though you already know the outcome of the game, and I have to say I am the same. I try to go to a game or two every season and depending on who they are going against, it can be quite obvious what the outcome of the game will be.

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