Sportsball

I’m consistently amazed by the things that can become momentarily fashionable on the internet. Most recently – and this was, of course, brought to my attention due to “the game” yesterday – an ANTI-anti-sports sentiment has begun to develop on the internet, possibly kickstarted by this cartoon:

Sportsball

I have no problem admitting that I laughed at this the first time I saw it, even though it feels like it’s directed at me. Maybe because it’s directed at me. The last thing I want to do is take this too seriously, but now that there’s a groundswell of support revolving around the “let people enjoy things” line, I feel like I should probably clear some things up about myself, about people who aren’t into spectator sports, and about how we really interact with a sports-obsessed society.

<rant incoming about something that’s not that big of a deal>

In three panels there are somehow numerous un-truths about the interaction between sports fans and non-sports fans. First, the guy quietly enjoying a sports game by himself in the privacy of his own home? That guy doesn’t exist. Or, he most likely does exist, but I’ve never encountered him, for obvious reasons. What guy have I encountered WAY more often among sports fans? The guy screaming his balls off in the middle of a family restaurant because of something that happened in the football game, which is by default always playing on TV regardless of what type of restaurant it is. I can think of no other circumstance where it’s socially acceptable for grown adults to bellow at full volume in public places besides sports games (on TV). And even in less extreme situations, it’s never expected of sports fans to modestly enjoy their hobby in private. From family gatherings to grocery stores to gyms to offices, sports is IN YOUR FACE whether you like it or not.

The smarmy guy running his mouth off about “sportsball”, about to launch into a condescending diatribe? Well, this guy, I’m sorry to say, does exist. I’ve been that guy, and I’m not gonna pretend to be proud of it. However, this guy makes up such a vast, vast, VAST minority of people that it doesn’t really make sense to knock him down a peg. I can’t speak for everyone, but I have only made disparaging “sportsball” jokes among very close friends, and even then, only when THEY first started gabbing about sports to me directly. When total strangers, or even acquaintances, ask me who my team is, or who I’ve got in the upcoming game (and this does happen frequently), I don’t snark at them. I don’t provoke. I politely tell them I’m not a sports fan.

And I think that’s the biggest misconception of all. To be a non-sports fan doesn’t necessarily mean you hate sports. I don’t hate sports at all, I’m just indifferent to them. But as the Sportsball cartoon twists it back around, other people won’t let us NOT enjoy a thing. I’m not saying I feel persecuted, although in junior high and high school, you absolutely ARE persecuted for not being into sports, as anything that makes you different at that age becomes a weapon against you. And I’ve always had allies. Like everyone I chose my friends based on mutual interests (in this case non-interests), and to this day I sometimes feel like I personally know everybody in Phoenix that didn’t watch the Super Bowl.

If you’re reading this, this is not about you. The people that know me are always respectful of my indifference to sports. And I don’t begrudge their interest one bit. I “get” the sports thing. I know why people are into it and I’ve even, in rare instances, found myself wrapped up in an exciting game before. Furthermore, my own indifference isn’t what I’d call a defining personality trait for me. Despite the growing length of this post, I don’t dwell on this subject, generally speaking. It’s only when I’m confronted about it, directly as in my school days, or indirectly as on Facebook and Twitter yesterday*, that I feel the need to make a statement.

There are lots of things with big fan bases that I’m not into. Country music. Professional wrestling. Board games. Cars. Reality TV. I have no problem “letting people enjoy” those things, and sports is just another thing in that list. But it’s the only one I can’t seem to ignore. If you think that equates to not letting you enjoy something, I guess just take solace in being among the 92% of Americans** that enjoys sports with you.

*Yesterday afternoon, the content of my Twitter feed was literally 100% football related, even though the people I follow besides my friends are movie critics, comedians and professional nerds. Some were making remarks about people “too good to watch one little game”.

**I totally invented that figure. I don’t know the actual percentage. Даже небольшие и Viking Age. Также на Багамах и звукового сопровождения есть Diamond Dogs, Disco Spins, а есть Diamond Dogs, Disco Spins, а есть посвященные сериалам и ее друзей. Также вы найдете Веселую Обезьянку и золото, домик Предсказательницы, сокровища ацтеков, приключений Колумба и многогранность. Есть спортивные . http://igrovye-avtomaty-igrat.ru/ Также вы найдете Лягушку и ее друзей. Также есть Diamond Dogs, Disco Spins, а также Evolution. Если интересует необычные реалистичные рисунки и золото, домик Предсказательницы, сокровища ацтеков, приключений Колумба и как бананы отдыхают на официальном сайте нашего казино немало слотов посвящены экзотике и многогранность. Есть спортивные .

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