Sport has wormed its way into a position of alarming influence in modern society. Sports (such as American football, Association football, a.k.a. "soccer", rugby, baseball, cricket and table tennis) initially developed as participative activities with obvious benefits such as fitness, camaraderie and a sense of personal or group achievement. However, these noble aims have now been bent to the service of money-making corporations and politicians needing a convenient distraction from issues of real importance.
 The concept of 'support'
Underpinning sporting woo in its modern form is the concept of 'support'. Simply put, a person who more often than not has no material connection with a given sport chooses one or other of its teams and declares him/herself to be one of its 'supporters'. This decision is often taken wholly arbitrarily and on the basis of such subjective criteria as the team's name, the colour of their shirts or shorts, or their geographical location. While the actual quality of the team may be a factor, adherents of many sporting cultures actively discourage choosing a team on this rational or quasi-rational basis, possibly because it attacks the quagmire of subjectivity that fuels the fire underneath the sporting machine.
The team-supporter relationship operates entirely in one direction. A supporter gives the team money, publicity and encouragement and receives nothing in return. Billions of dollars, pounds and every other currency are spent every day on supporting teams in dozens of sports, yet no scientific study has ever yet established a benefit afforded by this activity. When questioned as to why they support a team, supporters/victims are so deeply indoctrinated that they will defend the practice vigorously, often falling back on canards associated with typical woo-meisters such as aggression, changing the subject, quote mining, hand-waving and intimidation.
It is possible to support a team quite cheaply, simply by watching games on television or listening to the radio, but even this activity requires an investment of time and emotional energy that could and should be spent on beneficial activities such as curing cancer and building schools. Even worse, adults often watch sports in front of vulnerable children with scant thought to how they are indoctrinating their offspring into a lifetime of energy wasted on irrational triviality. Indeed, teams such as West Ham United foster endless dynasties of supporters, wherein parents will pass their obsession on to children for generations after the team has outlived any usefulness it might once have possessed.