Ok, so I can readily admit it, I am a sports addict, obviously. Anybody who devotes as much time as I do to a writing a sports blog (which may or may not ever be read by another human) would be in denial if he didn’t just admit otherwise. Let me save you the time and anguish and say if you are reading this we will just assume you are likely one too. If I am not actually playing sports, I am writing, discussing and usually thinking about them in some manner – doesn’t everybody have a few fantasy teams out there to worry about?
I will always love sports because they provide a great outlet from the everyday grind, for me watching the Maple Leafs lose another game is a great way to unwind and escape the “real world” for at least three hours. As a former athlete who played sports 24/7 I love watching the absolute best compete against each other. Most of my friends are fellow sports lovers so it is a great social outlet also, nothing beats having a few beers discussing the current state of your favourite team while watching the game on the tube (or live).
I was lucky enough to have taken in Justin Verlander’s no-hitter a couple of seasons back with my friend (he still owes me for that one) and we still talk about that game to this day, the tension, the electric atmosphere, and the sheer euphoria that ensued when “Mags” (Magglio Ordonez) caught the final out to complete the “no-no”. It was a priceless moment which a good book just can’t always (or ever) deliver.
However, today I wanted to discuss the opposite end of the spectrum as I am sure we have all known (or heard of) one or two males belonging to this strange breed – the non-sports fan. They are normally fairly easy to spot as they are either totally silent during any conversation involving sports or they are the one looking perplexed during a simple “Halladay or Stieb” debate. Sure, sometimes they will try to throw you off the scent and will throw in a “Yankees sure look tough” from time to time, even if they are currently mired in an eight or nine game losing streak, but for the most they aren’t hard to spot.
To quote Seinfeld: “Not that there is anything wrong with that”, and there isn’t, to each his own. I have a multitude of non-sporting interests, including poker, politics, fitness & exercise and I am also a confessed stock junkie but sports is something that I always come back to and cannot live without. If it isn’t sports then I have to ask, what consumes your time, what are you passionate about and what the hell do you watch on TV? When I have asked this question I normally receive the following standard answers:
1) I read – I love a good book and I have even been known to read a few from time to time, including non-sports books! Still, how much alone time does a man need, or have?
2) Music – Sorry, I have over 10,000 MP3s and counting and even play the guitar relatively well. This will not end my love affair of sports and in fact they normally go together beautifully.
3) Movies – Again, if you have seen the size of my DVD collection you will understand my passion and love for movies. Goodfellas, 25th Hour and The Unforgiven among my favourites.
4) Time – They just don’t have time. Hard to argue that, and sometime a 3 hour ballgame can be redundant, but what else are you keeping tabs on, celebrity gossip? Of course, this is also the same guy that is lighting up your email with terrible jokes and frivolously updating you on his every move via facebook.
5) Girlfriend /Significant other – This one isn’t always easy to get around as some guys might want to watch sports (a lot more sports) but they cannot successfully navigate the always tricky “what is on TV” argument. Maybe I am lucky in that regard, I am normally in charge of my remote control.
6) Kids – Can’t argue this one, but get them involved in sports at an early age and you will gain an extra vote (and hopefully a small majority) in the household TV voting democracy.
This isn’t directed at the casual sports fan, nothing wrong with taking a smaller interest in your favourite team or sport so you have time to partake in all of your hobbies and interests. I am more curious to find out how a male basically comes to lose touch with sports all together, and completely. Is it simply a lack of interest, general knowledge, athletic ability or does the girlfriend/spouse simply wear the pants?
Gentlemen, what am I missing?