Friday, March 30, 2012

March Madness Madness

All the talk of March Madness is driving me insane. I have been forced into dozens of conversations about this topic that I know nothing about. It reminded me of an old post which I believe explains my stance.

Originally posted October 22, 2010

After a long, hard week working in the tire factory, it is finally Friday.  I could not be more happy for the weekend.  I just got paid, I have two days off, I just got the news I have been waiting for about a new job, and the Eagles are playing the Titans on Sunday.

So, guess what I will be doing on Sunday afternoon.  I will help you.  I may be reading a book, walking around the mall, or wasting time on Facebook.  I will not be watching the Eagles game.  I also will not be watching the Saints, Patriots, Bills, Cowboys, Jaguars or Steelers.  What do I have against these teams?  Nothing.  I just don’t watch football.  What do I have against football?  Nothing.  I just have no interest.  None.

I have never had any interest in football.  Or baseball.  Or basketball.  Or any other sport.  I just don’t care.  Sports do nothing for me.  When I see those big emotional documentaries on Babe Ruth, Joe Namath, or Mickey Mantle, or footage of the Immaculate Reception, I can’t help but think, “It’s just a game.”  What’s the big deal?

I didn’t grow up in a sports family.  We didn’t watch the games on TV or go play baseball in the yard.  I did play Little League when I was in grade school.  I even tried out for basketball when I has in the fourth grade, but even then it wasn’t because I loved sports.  I did it because,…well, it’s what my friends were doing.  I even had fun playing baseball in the summer, but it’s because I was a kid and I was playing.  Playing is what kids like to do, but I would have been just as happy playing anything.

As an adult, I really don’t understand the fascination with a bunch of guys who throw a ball around.  I am not saying anything against sports fans.  They enjoy it and that’s great; I just don’t understand it.  A man goes to see his favorite team play.  Let’s say the Rams, since I am so close to St. Louis.  There are some good plays, some lousy calls by the refs, and in the end the Rams win (or lose).  Now, I understand the entertainment of watching the game, but when it’s over, it’s over.  The number went up in either the W or the L column.  What difference does it make?  If they keep winning and make it to the Super Bowl, even win it, what difference does it make?  Whether they win or lose, they will be back again to play next year.  To be so into the game that arguments break out in bars and living rooms over whether the coach should be kept or which players should be traded is beyond me.

Once again, I want to state that I have nothing against the people that are huge fans, not even the ones who paint their whole body the team colors and wear crazy hats.  If this is what some people want to put their time and energy into, that is fine by me.  I am sure there are many people out there who do not understand my extreme interest in computers, reading, and photography.  Those are the things I like to do, and could easily burn an entire weekend in front of my computer or reading.  So, I have nothing against sports or the people who follow or play them.  I just don’t get into it myself.

However, there is one thing about many sports fans that makes me want to take up cage fighting so I can make them tap out.  Why is it that if I don’t know the name of the Bears’ quarterback or the shortstop for the Pirates in 2006, I am suddenly not a man, at least, not one from this planet?  I have tolerated the endless discussions about the rivalry between Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon with my best smile, but as soon as I cannot participate in the conversation with any knowledge on the matter, I feel like I am being shunned.  “You don’t follow NASCAR?  What do you do on Sundays?”  The next question is the worst one.  “So what sport DO you follow?  Football, baseball, golf, soccer, MMA fighting, dodge ball, competitive bass fishing?”  It is unheard of that I don’t follow any sport.  Once I confess this dirty little secret, there is usually several minutes of silence while they try to think of what we could possibly talk about if sports is off the table.

I first noticed this prejudice in high school.  Near the end of my senior year, my school hosted a Sports Appreciation meal.  It was a rather simple affair.  The school ordered several dozen pizzas for the sports participants of the school.  Of course, the basketball and baseball players were all there.  I walked in with my team and the partiers of the room stopped and stared.  “What are you guys doing here?”  You see, the team I was on was the Scholastic Bowl.  We competed against other schools in academic challenges.

As far as we were concerned, we should be part of the meal.  What we did was a sport.  We would compete with 5-person teams and two alternates.  There was a countdown timer and we kept score (unlike cheerleaders, who were at the meal).  Our matches had officials (like referees), we practiced three times a week and traveled to our different meets.  It was very competitive.  Sounds like a sport to me.

We hadn’t even been invited to participate, but our coach found out about it and decided we should crash the party.  We got a lot of dirty looks and nasty comments, but we didn’t mind.  We just wanted the pizza.  Maybe if we threw balls at the opposing teams while they answered we would have gotten more respect.

So, this Sunday, if you invite me over to watch the game and I say, “No, thank you,” know that it is nothing against you.  It’s just that if you want me to sit through three hours of sports talk and watching people yell at a TV then you need to have some really good snacks.

25 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Sorry. I just can't get into any of it.

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  2. So, what is march madness? We seriously dont follow any sports in our house either. If we get free tickets to a game we might think about going, that is if it isnt to hot, or going to rain, or if theres laundry to do.

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    1. March Madness is the nickname for the college basketball tournaments. NCAA, I think. Everywhere I go I am asked if my team is still in and who I am rooting for.

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  3. I went to a football game once. The nachos were delicious.

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  4. My gmail, which I use to sign into my blog, has been blocked due to "unusual activity". I posted feedback here a few minutes ago but it's not showing now. How frustrating!

    Anyway, I said:

    I went to a football game once. The nachos were good.

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  5. Here goes my third try to leave feedback!

    I went to a football game once. The nachos were good.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Sports food is usually good. Occasionally someone will drag me off to a baseball game, but I only go to hang out with friends. I don't care about the game.

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    2. Bozo, I got every comment you left in my email. So, they did go through, but didn't post to the blog for some reason.

      Very strange.

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    3. Lol, well good to know that if this happens again you're still seeing my comment even if it doesn't show here.

      I was five years old for that football game - so the other part I enjoyed was when the spectators did that wave thing. (when everyone stands and raises their arms making a ripple effect through the stadium)

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    4. Your name has changed.

      I can get into the excitement of the crowd sometimes. It is easy to get caught up in the moment, but the game has never interested me.

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    5. Lol goodness! Now all my comments are showing. This is rather funny and right up my alley. I always end up doing something dramatic - even when I don't mean to!

      The Lady in Red is one of my old identities but I'm not sure why it decided to pop up now. Very strange lol...

      It's a good thing my feedback only consisted of two sentences - otherwise it might have been hard for me to type it up correctly three times in a row....

      Have I ever told you that I love attention?

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    6. You and me both.

      Red suggested looking in the spam folder and there they were. There was a bunch in there from the last several months.

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    7. Yes, just saw her comment and checked my spam as well. Found one message. Now we know ;)

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  6. But the drama Brett!?

    Why not the drama?

    I like sports, but the main sport where I live is Australian Rules Football, where I grew up in a rugby family.

    Its worse wanting to talk sports and people are talking the wrong ones.

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    1. I got to play rugby one summer. It was led organized a Kiwi, so I assume the rules would be the same as Australian. It was very difficult to separate it from the knowledge I already had about football. We had a grasp on the rules, but kept getting violations on the field when, in the heat of the moment, we would do something American.

      It was fun. I don't think I would follow it on TV, but we enjoyed playing.

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  7. I follow NFL football. I enjoy Indy-car racing, but not NASCAR, and racing gets dull unless you only start watching near the end. If I'm at the game live, I can enjoy baseball, because it's about being out in the stands with friends.

    (Brett, check your "spam comments" sometimes when I get comments in my email that don't post, that's where they go.)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I checked and they were all there. Thank you. I have never noticed that option.

      When my son was at home, I tried to follow the NFL more closely. He was a football fanatic. It IS more interesting when you are aware of what is going on. I know the rules, but watching the stats and staying up an a few teams made it better.

      Live games are better, but it is more about the friends than the game. I may go along when invited, but it would never be my idea.

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  8. Poor guy! I loathe the whole works, but I can be excused because I have two X chromosomes. :)

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    1. A few years ago, I was walking up the stairs to my apartment. A woman standing outside her apartment asked me if I knew the score of the Bears game being played right then. When I told her that I didn't even know they were playing, she demanded my 'MAN' card.

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    2. I think a lot of people confuse "man" with "total meathead". My pre qualifications for a soul-mate included a total disinterest in sports.

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    3. Those guys are out there. I have met them. We are not all enamored by tossing a ball around.

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  9. I'm a pretty big sports buy. Mainly baseball and NCAA with a little NFL. But I do understand the point of the post. I don't know crap about cars, grilling, and I'm far from handy. So I get where people don't think your "manly". I hear that too. I blame it on being raised by my mom. But my brother does all of the above and my reason holds no water.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for getting where I'm coming from. It is nothing against, it's just the attitude I have a problem with. I also don't know anything about cars and can't fix stuff, so it gets piled on even more.

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