Saturday, June 26, 2010

Not sporting

My home is a sports-free zone.  It seems every day of the year has a HUGE sporting event that has everyone talking and making predictions and getting emotionally worked up.  Not me.  I OD'd on sports during my previous marriage.  My ex was a sports addict and followed everything - some things with great passion while others with mild interest, and yet others with great disdain (but nevertheless followed).  We had VCRs and TVs all over the house recording events.  We all knew well never to make any mention of a score we may have heard lest we spoil the game or match he planned to watch later.  We attended so many hockey games and it was important that I understand all the rules and the subtleties of the game (yes hockey does have some subtleties).

After we split up, I began to eliminate sports from my life.  First unconsciously and then more deliberately.  When watching the news, I either switched the channel or turned it off as soon as a sports story came on.  Sometimes that is easy since sports is confined to after-weather time slots.  But sometimes sports is big news, like who got drafted and who won in the World Cup (Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Playoffs, Stanley Cup, March Madness, Wimbledon, U.S. Open, World Series of Poker, ad infinitum).  But I avoid what I can, and I certainly never spend time actually viewing a sporting event on TV myself. 

It's remarkable how eliminating something like that from your life frees you up for other things.  I realize now how much of my time and attention was devoted to someone else's passion that was not my own.

I'm not obnoxious about it.  If friends or family are celebrating their team's big win, I congratulate them.  I remember the excitement and fervor of those big events.  Back in the day, those were times for parties, food, gatherings, fun.  Yes, I enjoyed those times, even if I didn't care much about the game.

But now, my home is a sports-free zone.  And it feels more like my own space this way.


Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

Wonderful read, Becky. My father schooled me in televised sports. He felt that in high school and college much of my dating opportunities would be to school sports events so every Saturday and Sunday of my teen years seemed to be devoted to sitting in front of the TV with Dad and identifying referee and umpire signals and answering Dad's questions about this play or that.

Turns out in High School and College I knew too much to be a good date to the game. Sorry Dad. But college put a kabash on televised sports. Live or nothing. Much more entertaining to sit in box behind 1st base on a beautiful day and eat hot dogs and talk to the neighbors.

But I have never seen a sporting event as a life and death issue. Nor sacrificed my life to an obsession. Sounds as if you lived in sports hell. I applaud your sports free zone.

BTW one of my reasons for discontinuing my satellite TV is I could not opt out of ESPN and yet it was the biggest portion of the package I paid for. Directv and Dish need to get a clue.

Becky Stauffer said...

Boy, that's the truth, Jacqui. I sometimes wonder why they don't get smarter about packaging their channels. How about a movie-lover's package for example. I guess this is why I love Netflix.

troutbirder said...

Interesting. I think I've evolved in that direction. The bad role models of many professional athletes for young kids did it for me. When I was coaching in school it was a fun and worthwhile way to relate to my students outside the classroom. Now retired I don't know them personally so it doesn't have the same appeal.