Sports is a craze that has swept through our nation for years, bringing more elation than most mortals would have dreamed possible. Just as men are undeniably mystified when a woman cries over Steel Magnolias for the fourteenth time, many women are absolutely lost when understanding how one can combine big, sweaty men with some sort of ball to create a life and death situation. Thus here, on this blog, I’m going to take a shot at opening this door of mystery.
Before I begin, don’t think I’m going to rationalize donating your life to sports. I’ve seen it happen, and the results are always somewhat catastrophic. No one thinks of the phrases “that guy who always paints his ass red on gamedays” and “great use of time” in the same sentence. But it happens nonetheless. So to help understand this, here is a list of the necessary ingredients for every true sports-fan-for-life:
1 – Obligations that are easily shifted. This can include everything from mowing the lawn to all of the facets of childcare. Are there great football games on at noon, 3:30, and 8:00 this Saturday? This is when a seemingly average man can become Bobby Fischer is his ability to manipulate the situations around him. “Didn’t the children have fun at Lucy’s last weekend? I’m sure they’d have more fun there than here.” Or, “If I wash the car today, it will actually be dirtier tomorrow because of the current air quality.” If things get really bad, one can drop in the always-successful, “Didn’t we see people yesterday?” The key here is to shift obligations enough to make the spouse give up on making obligations altogether. It is then that you’ve met your time-honored friend…complete victory.
2 – Find a woman that can be fooled into thinking she likes sports. Stress the companionship of any sports event: you’re together, right? It’s great to care about things, isn’t it? It’s the most efficient form of bonding–investing your life and emotions in something that can be scheduled on TV. And, for the all the ladies out there, I guarantee you that if you can talk knowledgably about a nickel package and various blitzing schemes, you will never have to search long for a date. Never.
3 – Convince yourself you don’t need women. Obviously this quickly comes into play if #2 doesn’t work out so well. Left with only men to bond with, you’re not going to go to a movie, right? You’re not going to share intimate secrets at a coffee shop. But do the rules of transgression allow you to give bear hugs, chest bumps, and shouts of love in the name of sports? You bet they do! Bonding achieved.
4 – Prepare yourself to forget what non-sports people are like. You won’t be talking to them anymore, because: 1) they’re morons, and 2) they think you’re a moron. There is no in-between. It is a divide even bigger than that between your wife and her long-lost dreams of snuggle time.
5 – Get ready for both the highest and lowest feeling in the world. Suffering a crushing defeat can trash even the most promising of weekends, without question. Suffering a horrible season can bring doubt into even the tiniest aspects of your life itself. On the other hand, a huge win makes you feel like God himself is smiling down upon you! The world is beautiful, your marriage is healthy again…and why the hell are the children at Lucy’s? They don’t know what they’re missing.
6 – Pliable children. Speaking of the little ones, it is absolutely essential that your children must also enjoy sports. There is nothing worse than the true sports fan having a son that chooses reading over playing in the county’s six-year-old football league. Once again, though, the key is to have children malleable enough that you can convince them they like sports even if they don’t. With intricate work and carefully chosen timing, you can finally be your child’s biggest fan (and they their own).
Sports are truely the most genuine and easily visible form of competition in the world. There are no scripts, and anything can happen. After all, when Rudy shoves Candice off the raft in Survivor and screams his victory across the island, it’s just not the same. Sports offer the rarest form of drama: a life-and-death competition that no one will remember two years from now. Who wants to think back to that life-and-death competition when you have this weekend’s life-and-death competition to look forward to? It’s the perfect scenario.
So while there are many sports fans out there who enjoy a great game (myself included), few really know what makes a true sports fan. Just like the guys on the field, you have to be able to lay it all on the line for your team. Your marriage, your children, your job, your happiness, everything. And if the worst happens, you’re only staring one thing in the face.