This is a small sample size, but let’s take a look at some recent winners in sports. Back in February, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl. Arguably the two most storied franchises in the NFL (and save the Yankees, possibly American sports.)
Later in the Spring, the Cricket World Cup was won by India, the country most associated with the sport, after a nearly 30 year run without lifting the trophy. Last month, the Rugby World Cup was claimed by New Zealand, once again the country now most associated with the sport, and once again after a lengthy drought (last title, 1987). Less than a week later, the St. Louis Cardinals clinched their 11th World Series title (2nd most in history).
What does this all mean? Again, with a sample size this small, probably nothing. But when times are tough (economically in the U.S., politically in India, environmentally in New Zealand) people look for something to rally around. Something safe and reassuring that they know they can count. Something that reminds them of their strengths and past successes. Sport can answer that call and in a lovely symbiotic relationship, the teams feed off the fans who are desperate for the win, driving them on to play inspired. It’s perhaps not a coincidence that the Cricket World Cup was played partially in India and the Rugby World Cup took place in New Zealand.