As someone that lives and breathes sports, I often had a hard time understanding what comes with the concept of a “home team”. Sports are such a wide net of entertainment, each athlete offering humanity so much, that I often get hung up on the idea that every team is everyone’s home team.
Why is it that we are separated by geographical constraints, when we all appreciate the sport. Without an opposing team, the home team would not exist. So why do people’s tempers run so high when it comes to which team someone is rooting for?
The deeper issue
Without getting too philosophical, I believe that the notion of the home team is something we use to create false competition with those around us. We have evolved in such a way that we still do compete with one another for superiority, but it is not in the same primal way in which we are used to.
Sports act as a conduit for this primal emotion, cementing the idea in our head that we (our team) is better than the other team. By doing this, we are able to compete on a healthy level and claim superiority simply by being in a certain geographic area. In essence, we aren’t actually doing anything. Maybe in an indirect way, but when it comes down to it, we have little to do with the performance of the athletes on the field/court/whatever.
So why root for the home team? Because it’s fun. It gives us a group to be apart of. And even though what we do matters little, what we stand for matters a lot.