This paper explores the importance ofsport in our society. Several metaphors for sports are presented, including the military and religion. It is argued that for some fans, sport takes on the quality of a secular religion which serves to offer continuity in life, an institutionalized agency for catharsis, a transcendent experience giving followers an escape from the mundane, and a sense of belonging. Using football at the University of Nebraska as an example, empirical support is given for the notion of sport as civil religion.
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