Sunday, February 1, 2015

On Sportsing

So this funny thing happened to me last year:  I watched football.  On PURPOSE.

As someone who grew up in Southern California where there was no major NFL football team that everyone cheered for, I don't remember a single time before I moved northward to Washington where someone I knew said, "Oh, that's Sunday - I watch football that day."
Basketball, sure - I mean, the Lakers were kind of a big deal there for a bit.  But I was jaded by years of forced basketball participation at my religious elementary school (who combined P.E. with "team practice" so you literally had no other option but to be on the team) and could never get into it. 

I dabbled in baseball for a while in my "tweens" when I was so awkward at softball that I began to question my devotion to swinging bats at balls... I have an uncle who is also a ridiculously huge Dodgers fan (we're talking full-car emblems taking up both sides of the Dodger-Blue car AND at least one tattoo) and it was hard not to be enthusiastic about the team when he was around.  
But, I found out a secret about baseball while I went through this baseball experimentation phase... now this is tough to admit, so brace yourselves:

Baseball is pretty boring to watch. You get about two minutes of excitement for every hour of play if you're lucky.

So naturally, after finding this out, I gave it up and never looked back.

So, in summary: sports just weren't a thing that people who didn't play them ever really got into when I was growing up.  My dad didn't "sports," therefore neither did my brother, and since I generally only dated music elitists (or, as their kind is currently known: hipsters) at my high school I never had anyone share the passion for sports teams before.

But then I got to Washington.
And everyone is wildly into this Seahawks team.
(Which is putting it mildly.)
And I started to understand what makes people want to "sports."

First of all, when it's rainy up here... oh man is it hard to make yourself go out of the house and do things sometimes.  You really have to find things to do inside that make you happy.  And you always need a reason to hang out with your friends - sports is an excellent way to bring food, booze, and camaraderie into your afternoon without really any effort on your part.

But you know what else also helps?
Football is pretty damned entertaining.
The NFC championship game this year was crazy intense.
And unlike baseball, you're constantly marveling at how these players get into the kind of shape where they can do these crazy tackles repeatedly and still be able to form coherent sentences afterward.
It took 30 years for me to actually try watching football, and even though I'm lost with a lot of the rules and terminology, I'm lucky enough to have friends who are into football who don't mind my asking them mid-game, "Where's the pocket, anyway?"

Will I ever become the kind of person who watches all of a team's football games in a season?  Meh, probably not.  But chances are next year I'll watch more than just two.
One thing is sure, though: I'm never going to be the kind of person who makes enemies out of random strangers - or friends - over sports teams.  Those people who mock each other in public for wearing another team's colors?  Yeah, that's not really my thing.

I never want to be SO into a sport that I find my emotions totally controlled by random strangers playing a game hundreds of miles away from me. I'll never know stats on players or the names of all the players.  But I will get excited when my team wins and I will probably get swept up in all the madness after the superbowl, too.
Am I a fairweather fan?  Nah, I'm more of a tag-along, but I'll probably tag-along no matter how well the team is doing.  At least I imagine that I will...  I don't really know, though, since the Seahawks have kind of kicked ass since we moved up here.  ;)

So, in short, this fangirl book nerd has gotten into sports a bit, and would appreciate it if her hipster friends would pretend they're not rolling their eyes about it.

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