I am not a sports fan. That giddy glee that sports fans feel when they see their team’s stadium, field, court, etc…That inexplicable feeling of nervous excitement when the first pitch is thrown, ball is kicked, puck is dropped…The oddly satisfying taste of day old bread surrounding lukewarm hot dogs, stale chips dipped in cheese, and burnt popcorn…Finding commentator’s continual and constant drone like insider information as you watch sports from the comfort of your home with beer and clicker in hand…Yelling at the referee and players of whatever sports team through the television with the understanding that they can’t hear you…Nope. Nothing.
It’s pretty similar to that visit to the doctor when I was ten. He hit my knee with the pointy doctor’s mallet and there was no response – my knees have no reflexes. Many people would say that being a sports fan should be a reflex – like the one in your knees. My doctor told me to kick anyway – so I did. Similarly, I participate in the necessary social sports-related outings. When I was in college, I went to one football game. It was on Thanksgiving and pouring rain. I was about a mile from the stadium and I was already drenched. Then I stood for about three hours on cold metal bleachers that were more wet then me with no umbrella. And two fights broke out around me. That is literally as close to a fight as I have ever come in my life – twice in two hours. My library book was soaking wet and that was literally the only sports event I went to in college.
I hate March Madness – they take up every channel. I dread football season – they park their cars everywhere and cause the worst traffic. I have never understood the enjoyment of watching people sweat and grunt loudly. Soccer (football) games go on for hours only to have one team score one goal in the last five minutes. Football games stop literally every 30 seconds. Does anyone ever even hit home runs anymore in baseball?
Team sports obviously have great merit and value in the hearts of many people. It shapes their identities in the most inexplicable ways – while riding the tram in Prague, a very large group of my fellow Americans got on, shouting drunkardly. Before exiting, they shouted Alabama! Alabama! ROLL TIDE!! I know people who would drop everything to go to a sports game or watch it on their televisions – who would travel from Florida to Hawaii to watch a game live. I truly believe that sports have an amazing and lasting impact on people’s lives. Just. Not. Mine.
Don’t get me wrong, I get psyched for the Olympics: Gymnastics. Ice Skating. Snowboarding. Biathlon. That one where they do the jumping with the skis. But that only comes around every 2-4 years and if I happen to miss the Olympics, life goes on. And I watch this out of sheer envy than anything else – I want to get paid to jump in the air and be famous! I missed Shark Week this year and while disappointing, I just read an article on sharks and then moved on.
I feel like I am the 1% of America in this regard. No one watched sports in my family growing up. We played sports but there was no watching of the sports. Just kidding – one time my Dad put a football game on at home and then walked away for four hours. He came back to see the score and watch the highlights for five minutes. So, someone watched sports once when I was growing up. We have no sports paraphernalia anywhere. We are not devoted to one sports team. There are no signed balls or shirts anywhere. There is no rage or anger that swells within me when someone says something about a rival sports team.
Maybe I have missed out on something big here. There are hundreds of sports and even more sports teams. There is enough sports merchandise in the world to fill the oceans. Can you imagine the amount of money that sports franchises and corporations make off of people’s interest in watching other people getting paid to kick/hit/slap/whack around balls? If I am indeed the 1% of America, perhaps the 99% have something crucially important here that I’m missing. I mean, hello, it is 99%. Although this is just a number I made up. Okay, nevermind. I’m good.