There are many ways to study and interpret the world of sports. For example, the print media devotes a large amount of space to sports coverage. Even the august New York Times features hefty sections on sports. In the 20th century, public interest in sports news grew tremendously. As a result, sports newspapers began to sprout in many countries. L’Equipe, a Paris-based daily sports paper, dates its origins to the early 20th century.
Although there is no single definitive answer to when sports first developed, there is no doubt that they were included in children’s play. Eventually, they developed into autotelic physical contests. Some early art depicts hunters chasing prey with a joyous abandon. Ancient civilizations developed hunting as a purpose in itself, and the sport of hunting took on a more organized aspect.
While some forms of sports involve a lot of physical activity, such as running, biking, or playing tennis, the emotional aspects of sports are important as well. Many people develop strong identifying bonds with a team or player they admire, and may even harbor a hatred for their rivals. Similarly, emotions may arise when a beloved player is injured, or when a team scores a last-minute goal to win a game.
There is a close relationship between the mass media and sports. In addition to its impact on the culture of a country, sports and mass media have become economically interdependent. Without billions of dollars in broadcast rights, professional sports could not exist. No other cultural form attracts such a large audience.