Apparently, some sports season is winding down and/or another one is winding up. Something about brackets? I’m not sure. I just know that there’s been more talk of teams around the office and the group emails from my college alumni group are starting to be full of lots of ticket swap talk.
I really wish I got the sports thing. I think this is the one only-child trait that I hang on to. I’m not overly selfish. I can play well with others. I don’t mind sharing. But I just don’t understand team sports. I remember standing on the volleyball court in school and thinking “So…did you want to handle this or do you want me to? There’s like 6 of us. Are we really all needed, because I have some arpeggios to practice if you’re good.”
You’d think I would have absorbed something useful about sports by now. I am, after all, from Texas, where football is a very big deal. And because I was extra cool, I was in marching band in both high school and college. So I went to a LOT of football games.
But the things I most looked forward to had nothing to do with the game. In high school, we were allowed to take the boxes our hats came in into the stands with us to store our bright, white feathered plumes before and after the half-time performance. But you know what else those boxes could hold? Calculus and French text books!!! I was always so happy to have an extra four hours to work on homework, that I generally forgot to watch the field.
In college, my favorite part of the game was right after the half-time show when we would get applause and apples. They’d pass around this box of fruit and it was just delicious!! I mean, I think I was supposed to be happy that one of our players won a Heisman or something and that I got to see him play every week. But those apples were like the best apples ever.
There are a few general reasons why I can’t get on board with team sports:
I hate seeing men cry. I mean, I love it when men are emotionally avail, but it just breaks my heart to see them cry.
And guys often cry after losing a game. They’d try not to, but through their clenched lips and stern looks, you could see tears just welling up and them doing that not-blinking thing so that the tears wouldn’t actually fall. I’m misting up now just thinking about it.
I put things in perspective. A friend was lamenting the fact that the Buffalo Bills have lost four Superbowls and thus people make fun of them. And I’m like “But they WENT to the Superbowl!! They made it there!! I can’t get to the Superbowl. That’s a serious accomplishment.” Apparently, just making it to the SB isn’t quite good enough. I’m a giant perfectionist and I still don’t get that.
I can’t stand to see people get hurt. I’m a huge baby when it comes to other people’s pain. My roommate once broke his toe in front of me and I had to call a doctor because I was the one who passed out.
And when it comes to specific sports, there’s just too many things that don’t make sense.
Baseball: You get in trouble for doing the right things. In the spirit of “okay, maybe I can learn to like this,” I played softball once a couple of years ago. I was up to bat. The pitch came toward me and I steeled myself for the contact. Dug my toe into the dirt, rotated back and CRACK!!! I hit the ball really high and really far. It was super impressive flying into the sun like that. Like a bird. A round, wingless birdie.
And then I got OUT!!! Excuse me?? I just did something GOOD. I just demonstrated a serious piece of timing, strength and coordination and you PUNISH me for it??
I haven’t played since.
Soccer: Thought I was gonna like this one because they don’t stop the clock. Yay! A night, tight 90-minute game with nice, tight bodies running up and down the field. Low scoring, but that’s okay… until they do that bullshit kick off at the end!
I don’t remember what the score was, but at this match I went to in Australia, apparently, the judge or ref or officials or whatever didn’t care what it was. These players had just exhausted themselves and instead of going with what was on the scoreboard, they had a kick off where the first one to make a goal won the whole effing game! What?? Why not just do that at the beginning if you don’t care about the effort that went into it? Sheesh!
Basketball: Too many points. If it’s that easy to get points, it’s just doesn’t seem challenging. I would like it better though, I think if the guys went back to wearing those shorty shorts that they used to.
No surprise that the sports I do like are individual events. And super white.
Tennis: I played when I was in school. Classy, simple, elegant. And if you’re a girl, you get to have fun making the audience feel like pervs when you vocalize your impacts and efforts.
Equestrian Things: Who doesn’t want to have something and powerful between their legs? Seriously, though, horses are wonderful and they can fly!
Lindy Hop: If you think swing dancing isn’t an athletic pursuit, you clearly haven’t seen this video.
Tissu: Just getting into this now. First class is this weekend. Went to Cirque a couple of weeks ago. Squealed like a little kid throughout. Signed up for a class. Have clearly overestimated my hand and shoulder strength, flexibility, stamina and comfort with heights, but looking forward to it!
Click here for an Oreo guide to regular sports.
And here to choose the right NCAA team for Oreos.
And if you’re of color and you’re going to play a sport, be sure no one else looks like you, or you’re going to confuse reporters.
If you’re a sports fan, what is it that draws you into a game? Did you play yourself? Do you have friends who play? Let us know in the comments!
I love tennis. I loved playing it as a kid, before the class got too focused on beating your opponent. 😦 I just wanted to volley! And then later my younger sister & I bonded over Wimbledon during one interminable summer at our dad’s house.
The only sport I enjoyed playing in school was volleyball, once I got on a good team that didn’t make fun of my breast size. Then it was fun to be part of a team, to work together to accomplish something.
Baseball is great to sleep to, football is not my thing unless it’s my hometown team (Denver Broncos!) and even then I could forgo the actual game for a highlights reel. I used to enjoy the white noise of car racing, but now they talk too much so it’s not good for afternoon napping anymore.
Mostly I ignore sports, particularly professional ones. I dislike how most of them are so violent and how much money is involved. I detest the cult of near godhood that surrounds some of the players. I deeply dislike the viciousness of competitive sports and the culture that surrounds & supports it.
I don’t follow any sports. None. I used to follow basketball when I was in 6th grade and played, but gave that up after a year of being too short and sucking at the game. I was smaller and skinnier than all the other kids, so I was not good.
Good luck with Tissu. I work/hang cirque acts several times a year. The women who do silks are strong and hot. I saw Cirque du Soliel years ago and I kept thinking “I could do that!” with most of the acts. Nearly ran away with the circus, literally.
I did notice that they were strong. Also that they were determined, focused, ambitious and brave. But thank god they’re hot, too! 🙂 Pshaw those other qualities that are relevant to their work and humanity.
Class, incidentally, was the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done ever. Ever!! The coach was very nice. And even included some “easy” moves so that I could do something that looked halfway decent before I ran out of the room crying and screaming in pain. I’m sure I’ll be back…though this is not going to progress nearly as quickly as I had hoped.
Volley ball and badminton always made me nauseous in gym class when I was in high school. I have no idea why. I received a bat in the face once; I was eleven, playing baseball – busted two front teeth. I got them fixed and one week later, fell flat on my face, playing tag – busted another front tooth.
i want to be a sports conmtmeator to, and im also in high school but like u i have no idea what path is should follow. and i think it mite be harder for me since im a girl.