Football? No, thank you.

It seems like I’m the only guy in the world who doesn’t like sports.  At least, when I travel it feels that way.  Cities live and die by if their team wins.  This year, Argentina had riots when one of their teams lost.  LA has riots if the Lakers lose or win.  I just don’t get it.  I want to get it.  Oh, how I want to get it.  I want to understand the thrill of following a team during the season, knowing every player’s record and their strengths and weaknesses.  Then, in the off season, actually getting joy out of seeing which players get traded.  A great ice breaker with a local in any city you visit is to ask who their favorite team or athlete is.  Sports is one of those universal things men can talk about, like the weather or attractive women.  But guys seem to like talking sports more than altocumulous clouds.

I’ve even played competitive sports, so it’s not like I haven’t tried to understand.  I played soccer (read: football) as a kid, like a good midwestern boy should.  But I only liked the half-time orange slices and end of the season pizza party.  At one point during a game, I invented an imaginary instrument and began to play it on the field instead of playing defense.  We lost that game.

People call someone a nerd if he knows every Star Wars character, and which planet they’re from, and what colored light saber they have.  But if someone knows every stat of the starting lineup of some team, that’s acceptable knowledge.  I learned while in Argentina that Messi was a fantastic football (read: soccer) player.  I didn’t know who this dude was, but apparently he’s the best player in the world or something.  Back when I was slinging coffee in Beverly Hills, I served the Boston Celtics’ center, who was wearing a Celtics jersey, and I just thought he was a tall guy that liked the Celtics.  I won’t know who you are if your name is Joe Torre and once managed the LA Dodgers, but if you played a peripheral character in Jane Seymour’s mid-90s television show Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, get ready for one starstruck fan asking for your autograph.

I’m sure I’ll continue to get by without sports in my life, but I’m a little nervous about when I turn fifty.  I hate playing golf, and according to the birthday card section at Target, that’s all fifty-year-old men do.  Well, that and they fart a lot.  I guess I have something to look forward to.

Sep 2011
POSTED BY travelbugrobert

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