That’s because we can’t help but love a good sports story—and Butler clearly is one. It’s in our DNA to support Cinderellas, come-from-behind victories and comeback stories.
But the question is, why? Why does it feel so good to win? How do we choose who to root for? And what does that say about us? What is it about the spirit of competition that captivates our attention?
Whether you’re a sports fan or not, athletics play a huge role in our culture. Our language is peppered with sports analogies, our children’s heroes often spend the majority of their public lives on a field or court, and—especially here in Indiana—sports-affiliated companies contribute heavily to our economy.
For all of these reasons and more, Indiana Humanities will be launching a two-year “Spirit of Competition” theme in the fall of this year. Like we did with food in Food for Thought, we’ll look at the concept of competition through a variety of themes—specifically athletics, politics and economics—and incorporate engaging humanities programming that causes us to think, read and talk.
We’ll encourage you to think about things like: How can sports help bring people from different cultures and generations together? What kinds of things do you compete for? How are politics and athletics similar? What can participating in sports teach us about ourselves?
We hope you’ll join us as we examine the spirit of competition through a variety of online tools, events, grants, public conversations, reading programs and a traveling exhibit. Stay tuned for more details. (And in the meantime, feel free to get on the bandwagon and cheer for the Butler Bulldogs. And Notre Dame’s Lady Irish for that matter.)