I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Even though I’m a man, I don’t like sports. And, because of that, I don’t get the male obsession with sports. Make no mistake, friends, men are obsessed with sports. Next time you’re out having lunch, eavesdrop on the conversation of a group of guys and I guarantee what you’ll hear is an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of their favorite teams, a recap of whatever game they watched in the last 24 hours, who’s going to the play-offs, and more. The list is endless. And, exhausting. Maybe even endlessly exhausting.
As I said in opening, I’m not a sports fan. What I am is a book fan. In fact, I like books so much I’m a literature major. That means that while I may not be able to tell you the difference between a hit-and-run, a nickel defense, and a backdoor cut, I can tell you about the subtext in The Great Gatsby, discuss the theme of Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, and almost understand T. S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland”. Unfortunately, none of those things come up in male conversation on any kind of regular basis, and, by “any kind of regular basis”, I mean “at all”. Worse, no woman has ever been overcome with desire while I wax eloquent about these subjects and said, “Take me now, you erudite stallion!” Though now that I think about it, that may have as much to do with the fact that I use phrases like “wax eloquent” to describe my love of literature.
There are a lot of reasons for my disdain of athletic competition, not least of which is my total athletic ineptitude. As a kid, I hated recess because we almost always wound up playing some stupid game like football or baseball and, as I just said, I suck at those things. Whenever someone would say, “Hey, wanna play football?”, my response was “No, Kevin, I don’t want to play football. How about we play ‘Sit over here and try to read without moving our lips’? I’ll whip all you mouth breathers at that.” Okay, so I didn’t actually say that. Kevin was a lot bigger and it wouldn’t have gone well for me.
I’m not sure why, but we have decided that sports are the number one indicator of manliness. Not just playing sports, either. Watching seems to be as important as actually dressing out for a game. Interestingly, this activity has a lot of similarities with a teenage girl going to her first formal dance. You’ve got to have the right dress (favorite team’s jersey), the proper accessories (a football, a foam finger, etc.), your makeup done correctly (face painted in team colors), and even your hair (your favorite players name shaven in somewhere). It’s even visible in the way men act while watching a game. All those angry shouts, jubilant high-fives, and incessant yapping about the intricacies of the game are just the guy version squealing in delight when you see your friends’ outfits. In other words, it’s annoying as hell.
And, can one of you sperds (aka sports nerds) explain the appeal of fantasy sports to me? I mean, it’s all stats and math and other stuff that got people like me (aka regular nerds) shoved into lockers and now, suddenly, it’s cool? Are you frickin’ kidding me!? Y’all realize that, when you strip away the manly man drivel of athletics, we’re really talking about Dungeons and Dragons with sports, right?
The fans are bad enough, but sports announcers? Those guys really get on my nerves. Come on people, no one gets that excited over a game. I guess I could see it if things were close, but that never seems to make a difference because these goobers. They get just as excited watching Clemson run up the score on some poor, defenseless liberal arts college as they do a triple overtime play-off game between Auburn and Alabama. Y’all need to get a life real bad.
You’ve no doubt picked on the fact that it isn’t sports that irritates me as much as it is the people. And, oh how the irritate me. I firmly believe that it was some sports wienie’s blathering that prompted H. L. Mencken to write, “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” I’m sharpening my knife right now.