Yes...wildly apathetic. Just like I am a radical moderate when it comes to politics and a devout agnostic in matters of religion. And of course my shirt size is extra medium. My life is a collection of definitive oxymorons.
Great Superbowl party last night. I went to a friend's house and he has about 47 televisions hanging from a wall in his basement and a bar with more beer choices than the Brick Store. Good times.
Who won? No seriously, I'm asking. I assume it was either the Patriots or the New York...Giants? Jets? Housewives? Yes, I could look it up or turn on the television, but I'm BLOGGING right now and if interrupted the very fabric of space and time will be rent asunder. Anyway, the party was great, and I was home and asleep before the start of the 4th quarter. I'm a huge partier these days.
My apathy for sports is a joke among my friends and even my wife. I will be asked if I want to go to someone's house to watch "the game" and I'll usually go just because I like hanging around with my friends, but I almost never know who is playing and sometimes I don't even know what sport. I either have to ask and get laughed at, or I have to shamegoogle to find out is it the second round of the whateverball playoff championships. Raise your hand if you've ever shamegoogled. If your hand isn't raised, you're a liar.
Why am I like this? Let's unpack that, in case you actually care.
I do not dislike sports, although given my past I have every reason to despise them. I played all manner of sports as a kid - about 15 years of soccer, some baseball, pin the tail on the donkey, pretty much all of it. However, to me all sports were just dodge ball. It seemed that no matter what or with whom I was playing, it ended up becoming a game of "kick/hit/throw-the-ball-at-Dusty's-face-until-he-goes-home-because-he-is-the-smallest-and-that-is-what-smaller-people-are-for." Fortunately by high school I discovered I was pretty good at art and simultaneously found peace with the fact that I would probably never have a girlfriend.
I remember a birthday party for a nine-year-old in which they had a piñata. Soon enough, the children turned on me and I was amazed at how difficult it was to get away from a dizzy blindfolded kid with a broom handle. That was last November, and I told my wife I am not going to another of my niece's birthday parties. I'll just send a card.
Despite the best efforts of my peers, I did turn out at least as well or better than most of them, and I don't think I would have without their tormenting. Nobody has ever acheived much who hasn't learned to deal with adversity. That is why I now hold an unpopular pro-bullying stance.
But I digress. During college I watched our team beat or be beaten by other teams in football and basketball. I went to a few games, but soon preferred watching them on TV at my crappy apartment. I had valid reasons that apparently only I understood:
1. Our college was a dry campus. No alcohol allowed in the stadium. I had a case of exceedingly cold and exceedingly cheap beer in the fridge.
2. Football was usually played in the cold part of the year. My apartment was heated.
3. College stadiums are extremely loud and crowded, and it can take 30 minutes to find and use a bathroom. Not the case at my apartment.
4. I almost always changed the channel and ended up watching an improv-based comedy show or a documentary about airplanes.
Now I occaisionally go to football parties with old college friends, and one particular friend's wife thinks it's just hilarious that I know so little about who is playing what game at what time of year. I think it's hilarious that we can be standing in her back yard and she can't tell me what direction north is. It's a different opinion of what is important, I guess.
During the game, Georgia used their 4th attempt to make the 2 yards required for a first down and failed. When the ball was turned over, my friend's wife asked "Why didn't they kick it?" I said, "It was 4th and 2 and they didn't make it" (proud to actually be able to answer a football question) to which she replied "Didn't make what? They're supposed to kick it." Turns out the girl with the cute UGA face tattoo and the go dawgs football stickers all over her car knew nearly nothing about how the game is played.
"Wait...weren't you just making fun of ME for not knowing anything about football?"
Everyone laughed except her. I was not invited back, but I think that is coincidental.
I've also noticed that some people get a little too invested in games over which they have absolutely no control. If our team loses, well, just forget about the rest of the evening, because Mike's in a sour mood now. That would be Mike who has never played on the team, knows no one on the team, did not bet on the game, and has lost his voice from screaming at the TV. That makes me wonder about Mike...and we all know several Mikes.
Sometimes I wish I was more like a normal heterosexual dude and could spout stats about Les Manwich Jr.'s performance on artificial turf while down more than 7 points in the first half, but I also think I have important stuff in that part of my brain. Last night at the party, the host said "Okay - trivia question for $20!"
"Oh please let it be about fly fishing or meteorology or woodworking...pleasepleaseplease...I'll SCHOOL these chumps," I thought.
"Which team has had the most Superbowl wins in the past 30 years in odd numbered years, and how many?"
"Shucks," I thought. He may as well have been asking...well, exactly what he asked.
And someone knew the answer, of course, and guess who it wasn't. I'm just out of my element...but the beer sure is cold, and I know I'll be just as happy at the end of the game as I am right now.