World Cup fever

Why does it feel so natural to enter into a global event via television?

Humans coming together through a television event is just another step in the process of people adapting to new circumstances while the human mind remains the same. We survived by evolving the group mentality and this called for sharing know-how and feelings.

Like all creativity, various football codes appear to have arisen spontaneously from within groups that need a physical and emotional way to express shared experience. The same need has led to a new experience of belonging and communal engagement accessible through mass media presentation of local and international sports competitions. These competitions are now possibly the major experience of communal belonging in modern life and mass media play a positive role here, even though valid criticisms can be levelled at their influence and presentations.

The symbolic space of sport is a modern expression of belonging, where people can enjoy common ground and act out emotions shared with others as we see them doing in the football stadium symbolic spaces . They go away, whether energised or disappointed, steeped in visceral contact with belonging.

Team games mimic tribal loyalties. They deal with vestigial fear of the outsider, so containing potentially dangerous rivalry between neighbouring groups. Identifying with a team and with other people in its successes and failures can provide a powerful, though partial, substitute for community identity and self-image. The symbolism deployed to build and maintain team spirit among supporters may seem facile but there is evidence that team affiliation brings positive energy to community, particularly when the local team wins a game. Even half-hearted team supporters know this from personal experience. And Germany has proved this convincingly through the 2006 World Cup, because they feel there is a new community of pleasure and pride in patriotism.

This may well be a test of how enduring one-off sporting triumphs can be(whether as successful host nation or champion) in intensifying the euphoria of belonging within the group.