Making a Comeback: Why We Go Back to Competition
The first thing I want to say is that I have been writing this post for quite some time now, but it was not until recently when I started researching the topic that I realized how much research there actually is out there on this subject. If you are interested in the subject then you will probably find what you need here.
I am going to start with a brief history lesson before getting into the meat of my argument.
In the beginning there were no sports, only games played by children. The first organized sporting event was the ancient Olympics which took place in Greece in 476 BC. Games were held throughout Europe and eventually evolved into modern day events such as football (soccer), baseball, basketball, wrestling and boxing. These early competitions were mostly fought between two teams of roughly equal size. However, over time these contests became increasingly popular among spectators and eventually grew to include all sorts of other competitors.
Eventually, the popularity of these events began to spread beyond the confines of Europe and eventually they caught on in America where they soon developed into a major spectator sport. By the late 1800s professional football had become established in many American cities and by 1900 there were hundreds of thousands of fans attending games across North America.
As these contests became a popular source of entertainment for the masses, the early competitions gradually evolved into gladiator-like fights between men, women and even children. Spectators began to place bets on the outcomes of these contests and wealthy business owners saw the opportunity to turn these events into profit centers. Soon stadiums were being built specifically for these contests and “promoters” began organizing these fights, mostly involving two people but sometimes involving larger groups of men (or occasionally women and children).
These early contests were brutal, with virtually no rules at all. These “freak-shows” became popular with the masses and were an excellent source of revenue for their investors. These fights were often held in prisons or makeshift rings in muddy fields. They continued to evolve over time and by the early 20th century these events had become even more popular as motorized transportation (automobiles) allowed them to move away from crowds and into large arenas specifically designed for motorized transportation.
Eventually, a new form of transportation (aviation) began to gain in popularity and in the early 1900s wealthy businessmen saw the need to move these competitions away from muddy fields and into large buildings specifically designed for air travel. These buildings soon became known as stadiums and their circular design was specifically intended to minimize the effects of the wind upon the crowd and their expensive hats. These “Stadiums” soon became the latest fad among the wealthy and a source of great profit for their owners.
These stadium competitions are known today as automobile (and other motorized vehicles) races. While these events have become incredibly popular with the masses, there are some who believe these races to be little more than a barbaric spectacle which showcase the dangers of technology.
Nonetheless, races of all types are incredibly exciting to watch and the roar of the crowd is nearly as much of a thrill as the competition itself. Some people even pay good money just to watch the qualification rounds.
Of course, these races aren’t without their dangers. The machines involved are hard, fast and heavy. In addition to the potential for crashes there is also the threat of terrorist attacks as some feel that these machines rob the world of beauty and tranquility. As a result, security at these events is quite high.
You’ve been to a few races before and they’re always a blast. You’ve often wondered why you can’t get tickets for the main event but your parents say they are always sold out instantly and are never available to the general public (or at least not anyone you know).
Unfortunately, today’s event is overshadowed by recent events. The terrorist attack at the stadium is on everyone’s mind and security is even tighter than usual. You and your parents have gotten to the event early in order to minimize the amount of time you’ll need to spend getting through security. Even still, you expect it to be longer than usual due to events (excuse the pun) and you’re not looking forward to the extra scrutiny.
As usual, your mother is looking out for you and doing her best to get you to the event on time.
“Come on, we’re going to be late!” your mother exclaims.
“Relax, mom, you’re acting as if we didn’t have seats at all.” You say.
“I know, but I just don’t want us to get stuck somewhere with a bunch of slow people that are holding up the line.” She replies.
You roll your eyes and follow her through the crowd and into the stadium itself.
Upon entering, you notice that security is indeed tighter than usual. The line to get scanned and have your bags checked is longer than you’ve ever seen it. The entire event just has a different feel to it today, like everyone is on edge.
Your mother is correct, everyone here is moving at a snails pace. People aren’t just lined up to get through security, they’re everywhere you look. You and your mother are finally called forward to get your items screened.
You roll your bag forward on the conveyor belt and watch as it passes under the scanner. The machine makes a beeping noise and a red light comes on, signifying that something was detected.
Security personnel immediately grab you and your mother, pulling you out of line and taking you over to a table where you are both patted down. They don’t find anything on either of you and you’re released after they’re done with the pat down.
The entire time this is happening, people are shouting at you from behind because security had to stop the belt to get to you.
What did you do?”
your mother asks.
“I don’t know, they found something in my bag I guess.” You reply.
Well what was it?”
“I have no idea.”
You take your bag and go over to the scanner again, putting in on the conveyor belt. You watch as it passes through only to have the machine beep once again and a red light to come on. This happens three more times before you realize that there must be something in one of the pockets.
You empty out the contents of every pocket and spread them out on the table, trying to find whatever it is that’s causing the machine to go off. It takes a little while, but you find it eventually; it’s an antique pocket watch with a gold chain.
You know the watch isn’t anything special, it was a gift from your grandmother years ago that you always loved, so you decide to bring it with you to keep as a good luck charm. You had forgotten that it was in there and the security must be far more sensitive now since it went through several scanners without being picked up.
You put everything back into your bag and grab it, and the security guards immediately stop you.
Where do you think you’re going?”
one of them says as they take your bag and search it again.
This time they find the watch, and once again they pull you and your mother aside where they perform another pat down on both of you. When they’re done this time, you find yourself shoved up against a wall with several soldiers pointing guns at you.
What the hell is this?
!” your mother yells.
“Ma’am, please step over to the side and you can wait there.” The head security guard says as a couple of his men take you and your mother out of the main area.
They take the watch from you and get ready to put it in a bag until one of them looks at it closer.
Hey boss, isn’t this the Baroness’s watch she had stolen awhile back?
It looks like the one in the picture.” One of them asks.
“It is, let me see that.” The boss says as he takes the watch.
Sources & references used in this article:
Is competition making a comeback? Discovering methods to keep female adolescents engaged in STEM: A phenomenological approach by KB Notter – 2010 – digitalcommons.unl.edu
Control and competition: Banking deregulation and re‐regulation in Indonesia by RH McLeod – Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, 1999 – Taylor & Francis
Competition makes a comeback by J Kronholz – Education Next, 2010 – ed.codeandsilver.com
Blue ocean strategy, expanded edition: How to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant by WC Kim, R Mauborgne – 2014 – books.google.com
Paradoxes of the competition state: The dynamics of political globalization by PG Cerny – Government and opposition, 1997 – JSTOR
How to drive your competition crazy: Creating disruption for fun and profit by G Kawasaki – 2011 – books.google.com