Why do people watch sports?

The basic anser would be they watch sports for the entertainment value. Which would be the same as saying to fill [spare] time or to fill in time that would be spent doing nothing. Some people may watch a sporting event to keep track of a particular player they may personelly know, or a team on wich they use to be a player. Others may watch sports because their jobs are part of the process such as sports columnist or coaches, or advertisers. Others may watch sports to keep current on statistics win/losses for gambling purposes. It's a vicarious thrill of being on the side of the "winners". Long ago, battles were a matter of life and death, with "our guys" having a serious interest in winning. If "our guys" lost, generally the men were killed and the town looted. If "our guys" were the winners, they got to do the looting and killing. Back then it was all participation sports. Everybody played, and everybody had a serious interest in the outcome. Today, we have "civilized" our thirst for victory, and focus our efforts into team sports. When our team wins some still get the sense of satisfaction from the victory. Others are far more removed from the events and we recognize it for what it is: a bunch of testosterone infused jocks being overpaid for our entertainment. They don't really DO much for society other than make some of the audience feel like winners because of their emotional ties to the team, usually through regional proximity.