A Sporting Chance

I have a confession to make. I don’t do sports. I don’t participate and I have utterly no interest in watching sports. I’ve never understood the sports mentality – the team loyalty, the matching outfits, the ‘we gotta win’ attitude. Add in all those numbers and stats that people compare and analyze and either my eyes have glazed and the voice in my head is shouting ‘oh no, sports-ball’ or I’m literally snoring[1].

Football, in particular, has never held my attention. I’ve hated the idea of boys/men training to hit and tackle each other long before the scientific evidence came into play. And the game just bores me – too hard to follow, too many people and too many flags. The action comes in thirty second spurts and then there’s a break, a bunch of replays and men talking about sacks, tight ends and full backs ad nauseum.

About 12 years ago a friend and I went to a Jets game at the Meadowlands. We were both football virgins. We enjoyed the camaraderie of the tail gate thing, but once inside and in our nosebleed seats, we found it far too butch. So we man-watched and pretended to care. We left at half-time, our wallets a hundred bucks lighter for the experience.

Yesterday was different. I went in a job-related way, my tickets a thank you for the work I do on the Diversity and Inclusion Council. I took the light rail uptown with at least fifty fans, all dressed in their overpriced team merchandise. I rendezvoused with a friend and together, we walked to the stadium, adrift in a sea of turquoise. There was a real sense of comradery, a tribal spirit amongst the people.  Their shared hopes and dreams were evident as they streamed into the stadium.

After walking around a bit, we headed upstairs to the suite. It was pretty fabulous, perched over the fifty-yard line. Even I was impressed by the location. The suite was equipped with food, beverages and two lovely bathrooms – not a bad way to spend a gorgeous afternoon. Except for the whole football thing.

If it had been a cooking competition, I would have been all in. At least with those, you can learn things which you can use in real life. Even better would have been a Broadway competition – cast of Hamilton takes on the cast of Hadestown in a song and dance off. That would have been so awesome. But the closest thing to jazz hands yesterday were the sparkly Top Cats, a group of seriously underpaid women dancing with silver pom poms[2]. I was amused that they danced their opening number to a Nirvana song.

The beauty of the box was the ability to watch the game both IRL and then watch the television to actually see what happened. Plus I could do a ton of schmoozing while the game played out. There was plenty of good conversation, most not even about the game. I would sit and watch, then stand and chat, then sit again. Luckily my friend had lived through her son playing high school football and was able to explain the game to me and a sports-ball averse colleague. I cheered, chatted and yelled and had a great time. And our team won! Whoo hoo!

Of course, I found the whole ‘keep pounding’ thing hysterically funny. Seriously, wtf?! And this thing I spotted in the Team Store will give me nightmares for months. Sir Purr may be the scariest looking mascot ever, with those whiskers and the scar on his head!

It was pretty much a stadium full of people all rooting for the same team; definitely an exercise in bonding. Everyone left smiling and happy. But as much fun as the experience was, you won’t see me at a game anytime soon. Unless you grant me access to a suite filled with interesting people. That, I might tolerate. It’s a sports thing.

Enjoy,

Lauren J


[1] I couldn’t even get through the quidditch matches in the Harry Potter books. They all just got a quick skim to see how they moved the story forward.

[2] According to Google, they make $75 to $150 per game. There’s no way that could even cover the cost of maintaining their hair and makeup. They so need to unionize.

4 Comments

  1. Lauren,
    Talking about preaching to the choir! I have detested televised sports, especially football, since before I was old enough for grade school. I found that sports fans become more neanderthal the more they congregate. I’ve been dragged to a couple games in my life and each time I rooted for the visiting team because I’m a troublemaker. When I was 11, I was threatened by a full grown ‘adult’ who told me to stop cheering for those bags of [crap] unless i WANTED his foot up my [butt]. Everyone laughed and threw food at me. Needless to say, there is nothing I could care less about than sports! So, in tribute to your brilliant post, this is for you –

    Like

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