Today’s Daily Post prompt is actually something I’ve spent some considerable time thinking about, but I’m not sure that I have the energy to write a detailed post. But I did want to take some notes, at least, as it’s something I plan to come back to at some point (probably far, far in the future).
The short answer to the question about sports fandom is that no, I’m not a fan of any particular team or sport. I do enjoy going to baseball games, and I love to watch hockey on TV, but seldom do either. The only real reason I like baseball is because I like eating hotdogs and drinking beer, so that’s really not a valid reason to say I like the sport. However, I’ve been dragged to football games, and no amount of beer or hotdogs made the experience less than mind-numbingly boring. On the other hand, I’ve actually willingly volunteered to go to baseball games, so that has to mean something, right? I’m not even going to include basketball into this equation. I HATE basketball. Everything about it is the worst thing ever. There isn’t a single redeeming factor to the sport.
As far as hockey goes, it’s pretty awesome, but I’ve never lived in an apartment that got a sports channel that had hockey, and it’s not a regional thing here so it’s not on the regular channels (that I’ve ever seen). So that’s more the kind of thing you need to go to a bar for, and I’m not into going to bars to watch games – especially if no one else will be there to watch with me. I don’t know any hockey fans here. But I do think it’s an excellent sport, and I love the fact that they beat the crap out of each other, and that they’re honestly interested in winning the Stanley Cup for the honor of it. The money isn’t (yet, anyway) as big a piece of the hockey culture as it is with baseball, football and basketball.
But overall, if I didn’t ever get to watch another sport, I wouldn’t care. It’s not my thing. On average I might watch five games (of any kind) a year. It wasn’t a part of my childhood experience, either. My father played high school football, but only because he was 6’3″ and 250 lbs, and probably mostly because he wanted to attract girls. He never watched sports games when I was growing up, and often talked down about sports in general. He’s an outdoorsman, and has always valued camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities over organized sports. When my mom wanted to sign me up to do community sports, Daddy never even came to watch me play. Can’t say that I blame him, really. I don’t think I was actually there to watch me play, either.
I played tee-ball and softball as a kid, but was utterly terrified of getting hit with the ball. I was so scared to get hit by the softball that I moved out of tee-ball a year after all of my friends. I played until I was literally too big to fit in the uniform. The tight white pants cut off circulation below the mid-calf hem. I only played a year or two of softball, until they tried to move me onto a fast pitch (vs. slow pitch) team. I couldn’t catch, hit, or throw, and I was tried in every position except for pitcher. I loved it anyway, but everyone was happier when I moved on and left the team. In high school I ran track (200 m and 400 m), but never beat anyone. I just wasn’t all that competitive or athletic.
That translated to my interests, in general. I always thought that school sports were kind of lame. I hated going to games, other than to be in the JROTC color guard that did the presentation of the flag before the game, or to sell concessions to raise money for student groups during the game. Sometimes I did both. My “sport” of choice throughout high school was quiz bowl (I was both JV & Varsity Captain, b/c yes, I’m just that big of a nerd). In college I think I went to two football games in all, and maybe one basketball game. I tried playing ultimate frisbee a couple of times, but couldn’t catch or throw, and hated all the running for nothing.
It wasn’t until after college that I discovered running on its own (no balls, discs, or obstacles) again, and how much I enjoyed it. Once I understood that the only thing I needed to do was stop thinking and just move at whatever pace I could manage, it started to be a lot more of a joy and less of a chore. It’s still the only sporty thing that I do, other than yoga. But neither of those hobbies belongs in a fandom conversation.
There are a few things that I’m crazy about, to the point where I’d guess you’d call me a fan. The only thing is that I’m not sure if they’re sports or not. I really love demolition derbies and motocross, and monster truck rallies aren’t half bad, either. In fact, I’ve been seriously considering taking up demolition derby as a hobby one day. There are even classes you can take. Then I might get my own fans – who knows?