Have you ever had one of those weeks where you learned a lot and did a lot, but now in retrospect you forgot it all? Welcome to my week. I sit here on a Sunday night and let thoughts run through my head because I know a deadline was set and I must follow through. The most recent thing pops into my head: Super Bowl Sunday. As a football coach and a jock growing up I feel that I should care, but I don’t. If you will indulge me for a couple of paragraphs I will explain. It all started this week when one of the teachers at my school on the way to morning duty ask which team I was pulling for in the Super Bowl. I remember this vividly because I can recall my very 1st thought when she uttered that sentence, “I do not care and I would rather be talking to someone about a book.” For the next couple of minutes I will explain how this all started and why I am “that guy”.
Flashback- I grew up playing sports all the time: baseball, soccer, swim team, basketball, football in high school. I was in one of these at any one time of the year. I enjoy sports to this day, if you really know me I am a fanatical baseball fan (so much that my wife normally hates me from about April- September, or I should say a strong dislike). These activities definitely with the constant guidance of my parents kept me out of prison and going down a very bad path. If I would not have stayed busy, trouble would have been easy for me to find. One instance when I worked for a law firm in college comes to mind. There were two guys that I worked with that were constantly reading the sports section of the newspaper and talking about sports. I listened for months and one day I opened my big mouth. My question to both of them was, “Do you think that more things would be accomplished in this world if people that constantly talked about sports would take 5% of that time and do something positive to society?” The literal second the inflection of a question came out of my mouth I knew that I had asked the wrong question. Then within milliseconds after that the look on both of their faces told me all I needed to know of why I will never truly blend in, my true colors will always show somehow. They looked at me with a combined face that said, “WHAT?”, and immediately went back to talking about sports and ignored me the rest of the work day. From that moment on, I knew that I was a guy, but I was never going to be “one of the guys”.
It has taken many years, but I am finally secure in what and who I am with my stance on sports. I feel very fortunate that one minute I can be discussing the aerodynamics of nascar and why restrictor plate races are necessary and immediately switch to discussing why one of the Hugo nominated books should have won because the prose and characters had a depth that has not been seen in the Space Opera Sci-Fi realm before. This is the guy I am and proud of it. My nerd shines through all the time, but if I have to show how big my (insert your favorite term for penis here for humor) I can do that to with my athletic ability. Not just words, but I can walk out onto a field and do some stuff. Heck I still play keeper in an over 30 soccer league here in Homewood and love the guys I play with every Sunday(I am not good, but it is fun to get out there and play again). I have typed too long to get to my point so let me sum up.
I love sports and what they do for you as a human being. I learned teamwork, sportsmanship, the art of being a gracious winner or loser, to be a leader, to deal with people that are different and think differently than me, that my physical limits are only truly affected by my mental limits(that one rang the truest once I ran the NYC marathon). I do not love what we as society have turned those people that play games for a living because they have strong pituitary glands into and the pedestals that they are perched. My role models have never been athletes, they have always been someone that I could have a conversation with, such as the people that I talk to on a regular basis. Right now one of my role models is a good friend named Justin. He has a calm and a viewpoint that amazes me every time we talk. I will explain my slight man crush on Justin later, but role models should be someone that you can have a discussion. The Super Bowl was fun for a couple of reasons: 1) I was with good friends 2) I ate good food with those friends 3) I watched my sons play and hang out with those friends 4) the commercials, they are always good and last but not least 5) I only watched about 10 total minutes of the television and the game. I did see the black out and that was fun because you know that someone probably lost their job, just in the fact that we care so much for this event that someone is no longer getting paid because of an electrical error that really means squat in the long run. I ask only one thing, lets take that 5% of the time we would continue to talk about sports and look to the person next to you and say something nice or discuss something other than sports for maybe 10 minutes, but I understand if you want to give me the look that says, “WHAT?”