Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sports: An Outside Perspective

I updated the blog! Not just with a new post either! A whole new fancy banner and background. If you have a widescreen monitor there is more to the background than just trees. There's also some weird ball of green energy, which I don't actually like, but since I can't see it on my monitor, I don't care enough to remove it. I'm also in the process of revamping the "about me" section because it really sucked before. The Rambler blog also got a few design updates. Anywho, on to an appropriately rambling post.

I started writing this after I got back from watching the last basketball game of the school year. It's been sitting in my drafts for a while. I figured it was about time to finish it.

Sports make sense to me. The human need to compete, to pit oneself against others with mind and body. The structure of training, the loose camaraderie of the players. The thrill of victory and the resolve that comes with defeat.

I used to play sports and I felt all those emotions. I played T-ball when I was very young, soccer here and there in grade school, more soccer from middle school to sophomore year, and sometimes the occasional rugby bout with my friends. I wasn't terrible at the sports I played either. I was a decent fullback in soccer and was pretty good at dodging the rhino-like charges of my friends in rugby. I even managed an in-the-park home run way back in T-ball (cause I'm that awesome).

My trouble isn't with sports, its with the social environment which surrounds them. I attended two basketball games a while back just to hang out with the crowd and be entertained. While I can't say that I didn't enjoy myself it did show me just how out of place I am at sporting events.

Now I recognize the fact that part of my awkwardness at sporting events stems from the fact that I am a nerd and any social event can result in my feeling uncomfortable. But some of the chants and motions the fans do are just plain WEIRD. For example, when our team had a free throw everyone would raise their fingers up and wiggle them in silence. When the OTHER team did a free throw the arms went up again but instead of wiggling fingers there was much jerky arm motion. Eventually it was decided that every time there was a free throw the fans would all turn around and face away from the court. And there was someone in an inflatable sumo suit.

In fact a lot of our nationally accepted notions of sports are just bizzare. I could go on for quite a while about how the leader of our nation gets paid $400,000 a year while athletes can get paid $100,000,000 a year. It's kind of ridiculous. But I suppose nobody is going to pay to watch Obama sign bills into law.

I guess a lot of what ends up throwing me off is the extreme competiveness some people experience. I need only point as far as the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry for an example. People break down crying when their team loses, whether they're a player or just a fan. I don't have a very confrontational personality so I end up not being nearly so concerned. It's possible that is due to the fact that I can only truly recall being on the winning team of a sports game about five times. Ever. So losing a game isn't a big deal for me, it's just a fact of life.

Whatever the case, sports games just don't present a fun time for me if I'm actually watching the game. All that said though, I do enjoy going to games to hang out on the sidelines with friends and chat, even if I don't know whether to be cheering for a touchdown or a basket.

                              -The Emotionless Rock