Friday 5 August 2011

I Could Beat Myself

I was just watching Louise watch football. Like so many people she is totally invested in the game. She shouts at the TV, argues with the ref’s when they make a bad call and stomps off in disgust when it is obvious that her team is about to lose. If they were losing badly she would have left quite some time ago.

The interesting thing about her is that she has teams that are her favourites and they are always to be cheered for, but in the games which she doesn’t care for either team, it takes a while before she realizes which team she is actually cheering for. She might think she is cheering for blue, but when blue scores she is pissed off. Green it is!

I am one of those people that will bend with the wind when it comes to sports. I don’t really care at all who wins or loses and the team that I am cheering for can swing back and forth several times during a game, depending on who is losing. You see I almost always cheer for the underdog. I know, by cheering for the underdog I am setting myself up to lose again and again and again. If I am going to do that, I may as well just cheer for Toronto teams.

I never played sports when I was younger. Perhaps I should clarify that, I never played sports very well when I was younger. I think there are a few factors that contributed to my lacklustre performance in sports. First and foremost, I am not competitive. I like to win, who doesn’t, but it doesn’t make me feel better about myself to know that I kicked someone’s ass at football. Secondly, I have never been very fond of team sports because as sure as the sun will rise in the east I will let my team-mates down because I couldn’t care less who wins. When I was younger I knew that I could never be as good as my brother who was something of a natural athlete, so I guess I just didn’t try that hard. That is my loss.

I have played team sports at different times in my life, mainly when I was a kid, when my dad still had hopes that I would be good at sports just like my brother. I played baseball during grade school and was always the left fielder. That gives you an idea how good I was. I was a good five pin bowler, but for some reason I only bowled for a couple of years. I was the kid that was the last one picked in road hockey. There were times in the game when I would get in the way of a break-a-way and save the goal. I became the permanent back up defence. I was always the first to leave when the arguing started about road hockey rules. It was just a matter of time before Robbie B. would get mad and take his ball and nets home. If I left first I would get first dibs on the TV. Well, unless dad was watching sports.

When I was all grown up and working at the post office in Kitchener our depot played a round robin tournament with the other depots in the area. We did pretty good for the 8:00AM game, but by the 11:00AM game most of the team had five or six beer in them and had trouble keeping vertical. No way that they could co-ordinate hand and eye well enough to catch or hit a ball. No, I stand corrected, one of the guys managed to connect with a pitch and drove a foul ball that hit my four year old daughter in the ass. I am sure that isn’t the reason that she doesn’t play ball, but it could be.

Dad was an amazing man. He worked hard and loved his family, providing a nice house and all of the other necessities of life. However, on his down time he was a sports nut! I walked in on him once with a football game on TV (no sound), golf on the small portable TV (sound) and listening to baseball on the transistor radio with headphones. He would swing the bat/club and catch the ball lying prone on the bed. The only thing remotely like it is when my dog is asleep and chasing a dream rabbit. Very strange! Later in life he could always win at the Sports Select lottery. I asked him how he did it and he just said you could always be pretty sure who was going to win given their past performance. Yeah? I think he was psychic.

I have my beliefs about how professional sports are run and organized, and perhaps in another blog I will babble on about it.

I envy the people that get such joy out of sports, both watching and playing, but for most of my life I have stuck to individual sports like hiking and cycling where I can challenge myself or not, depending on how I feel. If I really push it, I bet I could beat myself!

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