Or more accurately, I am not a fan of watching sports, and I never was, really.
I’ve tried very hard to get into sports, particularly because such a large percentage of my family and friends are obsessed with them, and I was made to feel pretty bad about myself just for not knowing certain (admittedly kind of obvious) facts about the NBA, or the NFL.
Someone would ask me a question like, “Who’s your favorite professional football player?” And I would be thinking Come on come on, think of an NFL player. You have to know at least one. Didn’t Michael Jordan play football once? Not sure if that counts. What about that guy, Ben Roffleburger, I think that’s his name, did he play football? Or was that hockey? Eh, screw it. Roffleburger it is.
“Ben Roffleburger,” I’d say, feigning confidence.
Needless to say, I was made fun of a lot for that mistake. Using the power of hindsight, I decided that for now on, whenever someone asked me who my favorite player was, I’d say J.J. Wilkes. Never heard of him? That’s because he doesn’t exist, or at least, there is no J.J. Wilkes in the NFL, as far as I know.
You see, for whatever reason, sports fans (or at least the ones I know) take an unhealthy amount of pride in their knowledge of the game, so they won’t be willing to admit they don’t know who certain players are. So when I say “J.J. Wilkes,” in an obvious, well-duh-of-course-he’s-my-favorite-player kind of tone, they’ll just go along with it.
To be honest, I think I’ve done a good job at pretending to know what I’m talking about in recent years. In ninth grade, I managed to keep this up for a surprisingly long time with this one guy sitting next to me Geometry. He would always start off by saying something like, “Yooo, did you see the game last night?”
I would read his tone of voice and respond accordingly. “Yeah, I was so pissed.”
“I know right?” He’d then keep talking about the game, while I’d nod and make a bunch of general statements until the class started and we had to be quiet. He eventually figured out I had no idea what I was talking about, but by then it there was only two months left until summer vacation, so I didn’t really care.
Lately though, I’ve been wondering why, exactly, I used to be embarrassed of not liking sports. I guess it’s because of some sort of mental conditioning, in that I’ve been told again and again by the people I grew up with that basically, sports are the greatest thing ever and I’m weird for not loving them. If you were to tell my brother that you preferred to read a book rather than watch a basketball game, he’d look at you in the same way I’d look at someone who just sneezed in my face. It was only a few years ago that I realized 1) my brother is stupid, and 2) you should watch whatever you want, and only if you want to, regardless of what people may think.
Also, sports are really boring to watch. Well, I guess hockey isn’t that bad, but baseball or golf? I’d rather die.
I’d prefer Game of Thrones. Instead of teams we have houses, and instead of ridiculously rich people who throw a ball around for a living, we have a bunch of ridiculously rich people who start wars for a living. It’s better in every single way.