Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tebow, Football and Sports in General--Help Me Get It!

Easter has come and gone, and I don't think I remember a bigger deal on Easter than Tim Tebow speaking at a church in Texas and drawing a crowd of approximately 15,000 people.

Tim Tebow seems like a nice guy and he certainly has received plenty of attention from his prayer pose.  But did people go to hear him speak or see their favorite football player?

I grew up an artist.  Painting, writing, drawing, singing, dancing--anything.  I was never one to be very into sports.  I had a boyfriends who was the captain of the lacrosse team in high school, but I cannot remember ever going to one of the games.  I grudgingly played tennis with my family on weekends, but would have prefered to do practically anything else.  I remember I loved playing wiffle ball on our front lawn as a kid with all the neighbors, but it was nothing serious.

I've been to football games, baseball games, basketball games, hockey games and the U.S Open.  Although I've enjoyed parts of each game, I can honestly say I was bored through most of them. 

I liked Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame--but I did not have to sit in the freezing cold for four hours or fight the crowds when the day was over.

So help me here--what is it?

What is it that makes people spend thousands of dollars for season tickets? 

Why do people spend hours to get to see Tim Tebow speak at a church on Easter Sunday?

I feel left out.  I envy everyone jumping up and down for the team they love.  But I don't feel it--but I want to.

I saw my first Yankee game when I was in the sixth grade.  I took a bus with all the other crossing guards from school--this was our special day, our reward for keeping everyone safe and working so hard.  And I LOVED that day.  It was sunny and beautiful and we ate hot dogs and yelled that the Red Sox needed washing.  I could not see a thing--we were up in the very last row.  Behind us was a window with a metal grate over it.  The wind was whipping and we could not hear a thing either.  But I got to know some new kids, and I liked that part A LOT.  So I became a Yankee fan--kinda.  I could high-five other Yankee fans in the hall now.  (I was not super-popular--so this was AWESOME!)

So I will still go to a game because I can remember that wonderful Yankee game day feeling in sixth grade.

If anybody can tell me what they love about sports I would really like to know.  I am looking forward to that high-five feeling again :) 


  1. Well, I said I'd post and here I am :) Like I said on Twitter, I think part of the, for lack of a better word, problem with folks who don't "get" sports seems to be that they assume there's some universal zeitgeist that they're just not tapping into. I mean, I get that feeling, I feel the same way about certain movies or music - I wish I could get whatever sensation it is that a certain portion of the population gets from it, but I just can't.

    Like art or poetry or what have you, a lot of sports enjoyment comes down to what a certain person brings to the game. I'm a baseball fanatic and former player, but I'm more of a stats geek. I'm endlessly fascinated by the permutations that can play out in any given game. Basically, there are so many baseball games during a given season or run of seasons that you're bound to see something truly exceptional at some point, if you watch enough games. The law of averages dictates that. That's my own thing - witnessing order borne out of chaos.

    What seems to be the prevailing attitude, however, are storylines. So if it helps, think of sports as soap operas. I'm a Nationals fan, so over the course of the season I get a reasonable facsimile of what these guys are like - they become something like characters. The ups and downs of the long season can become like the story of a novel, with lots of twists and turns, full of drama. That's what a lot of people get out of it, and those victories where you go crazy (and I do this sometimes) are something like a satisfying climax to a plot.

    That, I think, is why it's so difficult to get into it if you weren't into it when you were younger: 1. you need to find a *reason* to get invested, 2. you need to stick with it long enough to get a sense of a narrative.

    Even then I think it's just not for some people. And of course there are people who take it way overboard and do repugnant things like defend molestors because they're part of "our" team, but I think that's a product of mental and emotional issues more than an indictment of sport itself.

    Whole lot of words about hitting a ball! :)

    1. Although I have no sense of narrative, I think my reason was that feeling...and I still get it.
      The Yankees start soon and I love this time of year and going to a game or two.

  2. I can watch certain sports like hockey or baseball, enjoy it, understand the game, but I don't need to really follow them that much.

    Football and basketball bore me endlessly, so I'll not watch them. Same with tennis and golf.

    Tebow, I find, is rather sanctimonious about himself... it seems more about his piety then the faith itself.

    1. Football...I don't like it.
      I don't like the elitist element of golf--the audience has to be quiet so they can make the shot...foo.

  3. First, you have to understand the game. That takes time. My wife got into football because we wenr to a game and she loved the emotion of it. Now, she has taken time to umderstand the rules (difficult!) and get into the strategy of it all. The tight pants probably help too...

    Second, sports are the ultimate reality show. Victory, heartbreak, anger, joy, whatever...it's all right there in front of you live.

    Third, there are the underlying storylines. There is drama in trades. There is drama in interviews and analysis. Appreciation of this drama is the difference between a watcher and a fan (short for fanatic, btw). The off the field stories are really reality soap operas.


    1. I do understand baseball, and used to like playing it when I was a kid.
      I still like it when the season starts and going to some games.
      I have never been into the players or the stats--I like the stadium, the crowds, and eating a hot dog outside during the game.
      Maybe I like baseball more than I thought :)

  4. Sports in general have never really turned me on. I was very good at a few of them (track, and archery), and only okay at best at the rest. I have a good arm for throwing a football, and I set a high jump record. I was also the first girl in the State of Indiana to varsity wrestle.

    However, I didn't really enjoy *watching* sports until I stumbled into roller derby. A lot of people think of the old TV derby when I say that, but derby had a reboot in the early 2000s out of the quirky Austin, TX community, and it quickly got serious. There are now hundreds of amateur derby leagues all over the world and a governing body called WFTDA (Women's Flat Track Derby Association).

    Roller derby is just fun. Dangerous, yes. But fun to play. Addictive, honestly. There is nothing like it. I still have dreams about roller derby, where I am skating (better than I ever did in real life), or even fighting with my teammates (which is not allowed).

    Other than Derby, the only other sport I can watch for pleasure is horse racing. It's just beautiful. Not as exciting as roller derby, but romantic where derby is gritty; elegant where derby is rough.

    Tim loves NASCAR, so I watch it with him. We usually fall asleep. I don't turn it on unless he's watching it with me to explain where exactly the drama/excitement are.

    1. Wow Red--I cannot even IMAGINE being a roller derby girl!! You are brave!
      You should post some pix or vids--I'm sure a lot more people than me would want to see them :)

  5. When you are young, you watch because, hey, you want to be like those guys (girls) on the field, performing amazing feats of athleticism and winning accolades from adoring fans.

    When you are 20-35, you watch because, hey, that could have been you, if you'd been a little luckier.

    When you are old, you watch because, hey, that *was* you when you were younger, though it seems everyone else has forgotten.

    1. Oh neat!
      Never thought of it that way--and that idea can porbably apply to any field.
      So Nike was right JUST DO IT--while you can right Marie :)

  6. One of the most difficult things about my life as a man is the fact that I don't really care about sports. I never quite fit in with most "guys," especially once conversation inevitably turns to sports. When it's one-on-one, I do fine with finding common ground, but add another guy to the mix, and I might as well just back away.

    I never really competed, and perhaps that's why it's not that interesting to me. I can understand the narratives, plots, drama, etc... that people talk about, but personally, I'd rather watch a movie every Sunday for two hours to get those elements than a football game. I think my main interest is very similar to yours. Any sporting event I've really enjoyed is usually more about the people I'm enjoying it with, feeding off their enthusiasm. And usually it's the end of the season games that I catch.

    Sorry, wish I could be of more help to you as one of the opposite gender, but for the most part, I'm just as baffled.

    Paul D. Dail
    www.pauldail.com- A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

    1. Yup.
      It's all about the relationships.
      And it is probably even more of a challenge as a man--the world is sooo sports driven.
      Whenever we meet new people or get together with relatives we have not seen in ages, the first question about my 15 year old son is Oh...what sport does he play? And I replay he PLAYS instruments (drums and piano).
      Oh well.
      I'll still go to a Yankee game this year--but probably only one, and also a hockey game because someone I know gets tickets now and then right behind the Rangers goal. And I'll have a great time yelling and eating everything in sight and high-fiving everyone I can reach.
      But until Super Art is a sport or we have the Reading Olympics--I will remain a lukewarm fan. :)

    2. I just realized that I had used rather amusing wording. "My life as a man," as if to say I once used to be a woman.

      While I find myself very close to my feminine side (I ask for directions way more than my wife), I haven't actually been a woman... at least not in this life :)

      Paul D. Dail
      www.pauldail.com- A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

    3. AAHAHhahahah!!
      Thanks for pointing this out :)
      I had not noticed--and I am so glad you pointed it out. It made me smile.
      And as for sports and toughness making you (not YOU--one) a man--I don't agree. I think it makes you a sports fan or athlete. So I squint my eyes and wish there was a bit less focus on sports. I wish a boy/man did not have to feel like an outsider because they are not sports guys.
      Hope this does not make me enemies...


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