The Creation and Evolution of Sport

Sports are magical. It is fascinating to me to think of how each sport came to be. From James Naismith to Alexander Cartwright to Walter Camp, each sport has its birth in the mind of its creator. Think about it. You conceptualize a game in which the rules you codify come from you and your brain alone. Your task is to convince some of your buddies to give your sport a shot. None of you have any idea how to play; what techniques work best; or if the game will even be entertaining!

As time goes on, and your idea begins to catch fire, the layers of your game begin to filled in by those who find your sport enjoyable. The lines you have drawn and the rules you have enacted have been vetted. A hobby moves to a game; a game transforms into a sport. Professionals are born. Gaudy monstrosities are built to house its competition. Coaches create a proper method to technique. Diehards are born. Your game now has its own demographic. Its own feel. Its own atmosphere. Money is introduced. Your idea has blossomed into a market, which changes over time. The commerce of ideas have given your game the stamp of approval.

Next time you watch a sporting event, whatever it may be, think about how far it has come. From the creation of an idea to the evolution of modern sport. Then, think of all the great memories which have been generated by the games you love. As my friend Matt Zemek said so eloquently: "This is why we watch [sports]. This is why we care. This is why we give large parts of our lives to sport. It gives us moments of poignancy." So much of the human experience can be understood through the annuls of athletic competition. And it all started with the germ of an idea.

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