ABSTRACT

The candle-flame of sports has always drawn people to watch skilled others at play. Whatever has always lured spectators to these contests now consistently pulls over 100 million viewers to their television screens for the day's "big game" (Eitzen & Sage, 1986). These 100 million cells that compose television's "Super Spectator" allow themselves to be bored, cajoled, seduced, and even misled by professional advertising in return for the privilege of watching the next sporting event. Sixty to seventy percent of our households watch professional and college sports regularly and 90070 saw at least part of the Los Angeles Olympics. Although the world contained only 600 million television sets, over 800 million fans saw the last World Cup Soccer title game. This sports television phenomenon is so strong (1,500 hours of sports per year), that it has become a selfperpetuating, multibillion dollar industry, frequently creating contests, competitions, and even some new "sports" to continue to expand this lucrative market and presumably to satisfy genuine sports viewers' demands (Michener, 1976; Snyder & Spreitzer, 1983a; Underwood, 1984).