On (not) Being a Sports Fan

I’ve never been able to understand our culture’s obsession with sports. My father has always been a big sports fan, and most of my friends are too, but my brain seems incapable of making the connection to find pleasure in watching “the game”. I think part of it has to do with identifying with a team, or in my case, my inability to do just that. I don’t derive pride from the people who’ve been hired to wear Chicago on their jerseys. I suppose I respect them for their level of excellence, but that doesn’t mean I care about them. I know they definitely don’t care about me. However, I do really like the social aspect of watching sports. It’s fun to have some beers and food with my buddies.
Maybe it has more to do with not understanding the game well enough. Not spending enough time learning the rules, strategies and history behind the sport. I know people love baseball for the endless stats, and football can be likened to a battlefield, but I still end getting up bored and often fall asleep (much to my friend’s amusement / disappointment).

I do see the value of knowing what’s going one if you meet a new guy. It’s a lot more likely that he’s been watching ESPN than reading David Brin’s new book (which is excellent by the way). It’s also really uncomfortable when the first question after I say I’m from Chicago is, “Cubs or White Sox?” I dread that question. I never can decide if I should say that I don’t watch baseball or fake my way through that topic and try to steer it somewhere else as quickly as possible. Faking it is generally my go to, unless I’m with another friend who laughs at the question and says “Aaron doesn’t care about sports.”
I guess that’s what it comes down to for me. I have so many things that I want to do, read, learn, that it makes no sense to worry about this. I just need to get over my insecurities about looking weird in front of new people. God knows they’ll find out the truth if they spend more than fifteen minutes with me.

8 thoughts on “On (not) Being a Sports Fan

  1. I kinda feel like I’m in an opposite place- most of the people in my standard social circles (i.e. girls, especially Orthodox ones) care absolutely nothing about sports, and I legit follow most sports, especially New York teams. Let’s trade! Also heyyyy Aaron love your blog!

  2. When I was much younger, I would come to Chicago and go to Cubs games. Jordan and Pippen were leading the Bulls and The Bears had The Fridge. One by one, each sport went on strike and players demanded more money. It was a huge turn off to watch professional athletes demand so much when so many other important professions in our country are paid so little. I stopped watching them and haven’t looked back. I find myself watching tennis because it’s not a team sport and their isn’t such a team mentality…and in the end, I’d rather be playing than watching.

    1. Thanks for the comment Jacqueline. That kind of stuff has never really factored into my thinking but I can definitely understand why it would be insulting to have people that you wish were role models act like that.

      We should play some tennis when you come in November!

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