Monday, November 3, 2008

It's only a game! Or is it?... A crisis of Values

by Cassondra Murray


No, this is not about politics. In fact, I’m trying desperately to escape that.


It is about something much stranger. The mind of a writer.

Have y’all seen that movie, How to Lose A Guy In Ten Days? It’s a great chick flick. Humor, drama, Matthew McConaughey (I’m not a big fan, but he ain’t hard to look at.) and Kate Hudson, a cute, smart girl who—and this is SO rare these days-- gets the guy without benefit of surgical enhancement.


For you who have NOT seen it, the movie opens with Kate as Andie Anderson, serious journalist who wants to write about world peace, forced to write fluff for Composure Magazine, a materialistic rag for women. Andie is in the office with her friend.

Friend: “Andie, there’s an envelope here for you.” (waves mysterious white envelope in Andie’s face) “You know that editor at Sports Illustrated—the one you’ve been shamelessly flirting with?” (Andie gasps and snatches at the envelope) “Looks like it paid off.” (Friend hands over envelope and Andie tears it open like a mad woman.)

Andie: (dances in a circle) “Wooooohoooooooo, I just got tickets. In. The. Tenth. Row!”

Friend: “For what?”

Andie: “Only THE most awesome display of athletic grace on the planet!”

Friend: “The Ice Capades are in town?”

Andie: (dances madly in a circle, waving tickets) “No, the NBA FINALS ARE IN TOWN!!!!!”

Andie has just received a coveted pair of Nicks tickets—for the first game of the finals.

I am a girl. I freely admit this.

I can put on the goo and fluff when I need to, and I like pretty clothes. I even did the pageant circuit when I was young, hot and in shape. I like sparkly stuff, candles, bubble bath and good wine.

But I’m kind of an odd girl. I like the outdoors. I like shooting and archery. I like canoeing, rock climbing and rappelling. I don’t hunt but I can field dress a deer.

I own a big chainsaw. When I took the ASVAB to get into the military and scored high enough to do anything I wanted, my first choice was some job where I’d get to blow stuff up. (No lie. That’s what I asked for—“got anything where I can blow stuff up?”) I can mix mortar and I can build things. I can plumb a house properly. I like to fish. On my do-before-I-die list is “Learn to operate a bulldozer and a track hoe.”

But sports?

I don’t get it.

At my local Mexican restaurant, when they have football on the tube (not AMERICAN football—it's soccer) I actually enjoy it. But let’s face it. Some of those Central American sweaty hunks are dang HOT.

The fact that I like looking at hot men in great physical condition is NOT the same as appreciating the sport. There’s a country song I hear now and then called “I’m A Lucky Man” and one line goes… “Last Sunday when the Bengels lost, Lord it put me in a bad mood…..” This has never happened to me.

Because I studied photojournalism as an undergrad I had to shoot every sport available in the northern hemisphere. I liked soccer best. And yet I’ve never gotten interested enough to follow it. Something is apparantly wrong with me.

I. Don’t. Get. It. It’s a ball made of leather and filled with air. Where it ends up is irrelevant in the larger scheme of things. I just don’t care. I would guess some of you feel the same.

But there’s trouble, you see. Big Trouble that’s not going away.

This trouble started about mid-October. We get season tickets to the symphony orchestra. If you’ve never been to a symphony concert you haven’t lived. You can FEEL the music. It’s powerful. I leave on a slightly different dimension than the one on which I arrived. A higher dimension.

Sixty to Seventy people—each of whom is one of the best performers on the planet, and has spent nearly his or her entire life devoted to the intensive study of an instrument—all up there just for me, working together to bring something static to life—to make it breathe and soar—for those few minutes in time to act as one and create something that will never happen exactly like that, ever again anywhere any time. And I GET TO SEE IT! To feel it. To be forever changed by it.

So I was sitting at the symphony the other night and a distressing thought occurred to me. A horrible thought. A thought that could cause a shift in my entire system of values.

In my weird writer’s mind, the understanding of the gift happening in front of me smashed headlong into that first scene in the movie with Kate Hudson and the footage they showed of the Nicks games and I had an Oh Sh*t moment.

That professional ball team—that’s a group of individuals, each of whom has devoted his or her entire life to his sport—though his instrument is his physical body and the way it handles a ball, and his skill is, among other things, brilliant teamwork—to perfecting its use and the performance, just as a dancer would—and they’re all together at that game, working like crazy to make something happen—in a clash against another group, perhaps as talented as THEY are, and this clash of wills, of physical prowess, of skill, of talent, of PASSION even—gets played out in front of me and I get to see it. To perhaps be elevated by it. To even, perchance, be CHANGED by it?


But I don’t. Cuz I never watch. Cuz I don’t care.

But maybe I should? Maybe now I MUST!

There are vast numbers of people who care. They gather around tvs and in arenas and behind coffee tables loaded with snacks and beer and put incredible amounts of energy into caring.

Why? There must be a reason.

And if I decide to care (and I believe I might be on the verge of caring whether I want to or not) how do I learn about this? The rules of any given sport are like quicksand. It’s a quagmire of complex “if this then that, but if THAT, then this other thing…” ..and they change from little league to high school to college to pro. The athletic conferences alone are confusing.

It’s like firearms and weapons calibers.

Why is a certain caliber called what it is? For example, the rifle caliber .45-70 gov’t (you say this as Forty-five, seventy, government) Why is it called that? It’s a .45 caliber round with 70 grains of black powder. (A grain is a measurement of weight).

Are you zoning out yet, the way I do with sports regulations? No?

Try this one. .30-06. (Pronounced thirty-ought-six). Thirty caliber with six grains of black powder? NO! Thirty caliber, invented in 1906. Let’s consider the .380 (Three-eighty). It’s actually a 9mm short. The cartridge is 9mm in diameter. But a pistol chambered for .380 will not shoot 9mm ammunition. A 9mm MIGHT shoot .380, or it might not. HA!

The .38 Special (Thirty Eight Special) is actually .357 inches in diameter. Is it a three fifty seven? NO! They’re different. And is a .38 Special a “Saturday Night Special?” NO! It could be, but it’s not necessarily.

NOW are you confused?


Heck, even I’m confused, and I know about guns.

So back to sports. A foul in football is not the same as a foul in basketball, is definitely not the same as a foul in baseball. I think a foul in football isn’t even called a foul. A penalty maybe? I know sometimes they throw some flag on the ground, but that’s not the same as flag football, right? And then they stand around for like half an hour deciding what to do then they play for thirty more seconds then stand around again.

In basketball, you have only so long to shoot, right? Well, not necessarily as far as I can tell. There’s something about a shot clock. And depending on the league you’re allowed to touch the net or not, and the shot line is in a different spot. I’m reeling here.

Then there’s the goal line in football. I went to cheer my friend’s senior running back (why are they called that? Nobody can explain this to me. Everybody runs, after all. Half back—I see nothing missing on this man. Why is he called a half back?) on for his final game. They were behind, then after half time they took off like crazy. I started cheering. OH, NO! How was I supposed to know that at half time THEY SWITCHED GOALS!????? I was cheering for the wrong team!



Knowing men the way I know men, and their general aversion to touching each other in any kind of affectionate way that does not puncture a lung or knock loose a kidney, what’s up with that bottom patting on the football field? As far as I can tell the ball is not in play when the bottom patting is going on. Does the “no touching” rule for manly men get thrown out if you’re in a football uniform? Does it have something to do with the tight ends?

Now that I’ve gotten sorta interested, or at least seen the potential value in being interested, how am I supposed to figure out what is going on?

I know that some Banditas are sports fans. Jeanne ( La Duchesse) actually flies to Chicago to watch the Cubs play. And not just cuz she lives with sports fans. SHE LIKES IT! Anna Sugden is a hockey fanatic. Even at writing events, her phone pings her with hockey scores. Donna, Jeanne, Posh and Nancy have been, at one point or another, involved in rivalry based on Buckeyes, Lions and some other strange stuffed creation from North Carolina.

I’m in an awful state. My very way of being is in flux. My core life values are teetering on the edge of...perhaps not collapse, but at minimum, significant deflation.


Do I just pick a team and start to care? How do I choose?

Is it possible to catch up and actually understand? Am I doomed to be eternally confused, cheering even though the team is running the wrong way?

Do you care about sports?

Which ones and why?

How did you start? Do you have to be “born into it?”

What is your favorite team?

Do you have a favorite sports hunk or hunkette?

If you had to pick a sport to learn about, what would it be?


Third base in baseball has nothing to do with third base in romance and is CERTAINLY not related to a three-pointer, but they are ALL related to SCORING. And getting to any one of the above seems really complicated.

Third base in romance is the only one I actually understand.


Help a Bandita out. Throw me a line here!

Oh, and how the blazes do those soccer/football players keep their socks up?

97 comments:

Joan said...

It's not Obama!

It's not McCain!

It's ME!!!!!!!

I win!!!!!!!!!

Joan said...

Actually, the GR wins cause I'm baking chocolate chip cookies tomorrow.

Oh, Lordy Cassondra I sure am with you about the sports. I don't quite get some of them and rarely interuppt my daily life with concern for them.

On and off through my life I've paid more then less attention to baseball. When I was young I watched the Reds play and win the World Series.

In my thirties I had a thing for the Braves.

Living in KY I become interested in college basketball ONLY if U of L or U of K are in the NCAA tournament. I pick out the teams in the pool like I do racehorses...by their name and if it "feels" right :-) (I always pick Gonsaga...I like that name).

Cassondra said...

Ha!

Congrats Joanie! You get the Golden Rooster, so I guess in the competition for the BIRD, you WIN!

Okay gotta go in and edit to make this readable...sheesh the pictures got BIGGER.

limecello said...

LOL congrats on the GR, Joan! I... like sports. Some, at least. I'm now a huge football fan. Never really cared about it until college. My school won the national championship my freshman year and it was all "downhill" from there. I cared about baseball in high school some when my team did well, but my hometown teams always lead to heartbreak.
Really, the teams I root for are the ones I grew up with.
I know enough to enjoy the game, but I don't obsess over it. :P

Cassondra said...

Okay that's a little better.

Limecello, so you're one who "grew up with it," then?

See...I'm guessing there's really no hope for a newbie like me. How long would it take to absorb all the basic stuff necessary to even get mad at a ref?

I'm thinkin a really long time.

Cassondra said...

And BTW Limecello, define "huge football fan" for me.

What is necessary to reach this pinnacle? Do you go to actual games? Sit out in the cold? Do you tailgate? Have Superbowl parties? Paint your face? What?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, JT!!!! Fabbo stuff. And I think he needs to go on a diet. He's been eating chocolate and ice-cream for I can't tell you how long!

Actually, Cassondra, your post really rang a bell for me. I was an odd, bookish kid and VERY anti sports. I think because anyone who had any sporting ability used to treat me like I was mud. Well, in terms of anything sporting, I was.
To be fair! The family were all sports mad too which didn't help. Christmas holidays when I could lie around watching TV, I couldn't because Dad had the cricket on all day every day. Sigh. Test matches in the cricket go for weeks on end, I swear!

But I was always ballet mad.

And then one day, I thought, you know, it's all about the pursuit of excellence. Whether it's playing the piano or hitting a ball. And suddenly I had that window into sport so I could see what other people had long ago seen in it.

Great when that happens, isn't it? Like a whole new world opens up to you!

Joan said...

See Cassondra, I don't even TRY to understand the actual RULES...

I just clap my hands when my side gets the ball.

And eat nachos.

:0

Cassondra said...

Joanie T said:

See Cassondra, I don't even TRY to understand the actual RULES...

I just clap my hands when my side gets the ball.

And eat nachos.


OMG. Is this the secret? Maybe there AREN'T gobs of actual sports fans! Maybe there are gobs of PARTY AND NACHO fans?????

ANd they're all just doing that thing..you know how people who aren't sure which fork or glass to use wait for the host or hostess to use theirs first. Could that be it? Everybody is just watching the one guy in the room who actually gets it, then they cheer, but really they're just there for the nachos?

Oh, dear. This could be the uncovering of a VAST conspiracy.

Cassondra said...

Anna Campbell said:

And then one day, I thought, you know, it's all about the pursuit of excellence. Whether it's playing the piano or hitting a ball. And suddenly I had that window into sport so I could see what other people had long ago seen in it.

Yeah. I kind of realized this when I used to watch the Olympics. That's pretty powerful stuff, especially cuz those kids aren't getting paid anything. They're working their butts off for the pure love of the sport and the pursuit of excellence.

With team sports--especially the professional kind--it gets a little more gray for me. The swimming, the tennis, the ice skating--all that is really clear for me. One individual trying to accomplish his or her personal best.

Maybe it's because I never played a team sport that I don't quite get it.

I have noticed working with girl scouts and with team building for corporate and school groups, that those folks who have played team sports are much better at "playing well with others" as a rule. Not always but as a rule it's true.

Amy Andrews said...

Sports? Jeez.
Pass me a knife so I can poke myself in the eye with it.

Very anti-sport. Very anti a bunch of testosterone laden hulks who can flaunt normal rules and conventions AND LAWS cos some team pays them an obscene amount of money to throw a stupid ball.

Now on the other hand, your posts Cassondra - they're my kind of sport. I'd pay to come and watch you belt them out on the keyboard and then swear as you try and go back and fix up the pics. They're epic. Worthy of any 5 day cricket match!!

jo robertson said...

De Ho, I'm literally in stitches! Too, too funny, Cassondra. You've perfectly captured the mystery of what -- to me -- is the essence of all sports -- major confusion!

Loved it!

Oh, Joanie, no fair that the rooster gets some of your chocolate chip cookies!!

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Joan.

Hi Cassondra,
I love sports. I'm not much of an athlete, but I like to watch them on tv. My favorite sports to watch are hockey, baseball and soccer. We have many teams to choose from in NY, but I like the Yankees and the Rangers. I know Anna is a Devil's fan. I'm not into college football at all. I do get a little excited when March Madness comes around. I don't know how soccer players keep their socks up, but you should pay extra attention to the end of the game when the players shake hands with their opponents and take off their jerseys to give to each other.

Minna said...

I don't watch sports very much. Actually, I think sports should be shown only on one tv channel that is dedicated to sports, instead that they are showing sports events on every "#¤¤&+% channel. I do watch hockey sometimes, if there's Oympic games or world championships and Finland or Canada is playing. And I have gone to baseball games (Finnish baseball) with my friend who is a fan, but otherwise.... =P Why bother? Everybody seems to be doped up anyway. But all the other sports aside, I do like to watch skating.

Philippe Candeloro - 1998 Olympic in Nagano:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTI7gU8FnuA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivi941jVyM8

Enigma-Beyond the Invisible. also featuring the Finnish European champions in icedance, Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx2jrunyGjE&feature=related

Helen said...

Well done Joan I want some cookies as well

Cassondra fantastic post.
I have always been a sports fan I have never played a lot of sports myself but my Dad played lots of sports cricket mainly and I love it (Anna test cricket lasts 5 days although they used to go for 6 days because they had a rest day).
I love rugby league and soccer hubby and I always went to the footy games before the kids came along and we would take them sometimes as well and all of our children played lots of sports and they love it as well. We still go to cricket, rugby league and soccer games together love it.
We also watch a lot of sport on TV I find that I can read and watch sports at the same time so I love it get lots of reading done.

Have Fun
Helen

Anna Sugden said...

OMG Cassondra I'm ROFL. I knew that little bug would nibble away at you - you're too curious and passionate not to be captured!

My interest in sports came from my father, who took us to games and talked about sports while he watched it. I was never very good at sport, except for netball (like basketball) and rounders (like baseball), where I did ok.

But, the enthusiasm and excitement were infectious. You can't fail to be interested when those around you read the paper from the back page first!

Personally, I think you can't beat going to a game. And if you have to choose, go for one that is fast-paced and dramatic like football (soccer), rugby or hockey. Just like at the opera, the symphony or a show, you get drawn in. It doesn't matter if you don't understand the rules, you'll get the drift from those around you. Trust me, you'll be drawn in.

My teams, as most of you know *g*, are the Washington Redskins (American football), Manchester United and Exeter City (football) and the New Jersey Devils (hockey). We kind of adopted the Yankees while we were in NJ too.

The only sports I don't like are cricket and basketball (the latter only because I've never really got into it).

As for how soccer players keep their socks up - it used to be with a special piece of elastic or string. Hockey players use tape.

Big wave to Jane! Oh yes about the shirts!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I am not a sports fan, I have a very vague idea of football and basketball. I know when to cheer and when to look sad. Mostly I know this because I had a girlfriend that was a cheerleader and when she wasn't cheering (she was on the b-string)she was jabbing me in the ribs when I was supposed to say yay! Physical pain has a tendency to make you pay attention whether you want to or not. I was just there for the hot dogs and social interaction.
Once upon a time when I was married I would come out of the kitchen long enough to watch one player, I called him fancy feet, his name was Medcalf, I think, anyway, I could watch that man run for hours, never saw anyone's feet move like that before or since. I can't even tell you what team he played for. My husband at the time was a fanatic for football and when Medcalf did his thing he would yell for me to come watch. That was about as enthused as I got for sports. My son isn't sports orientated, if he can walk across a room without tripping (yes, he takes after me sadly) that is cause to stand up and cheer.
The only thing I could do to help you Cassondra would be to hunt up my old girlfriend and let her jab you in the ribs. 40+ years ago and I think I still have bruises.

Joan said...

Anna S.

I actually don't mind watching hockey (Got interested in it the year America beat Russia in the Olympics)but the best part?

The FIGHTS!

*BEG*

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Joanie - I'd vote for you!

I like some sports - especially the last quarter, last inning, last few minutes, etc. I played softball when I was young, hence understood the concept. Learned about football & basketball when it was a social thing to go to the games to cheer. Learned soccer when my little ones played the game while we parents stood on the sidelines.

I can't get interested in a team unless I have some connection to it. Thus I root for Ohio State because I graduated from there so many decades ago. I really don't care about a team for the beauty of sport, the skill of its players, the strategy of it's play. I watch the superbowl for the fun of the commercials.

Trish Milburn said...

Cassondra, I've always been a sports fan. I played basketball for two years and ran track (badly, I might add) for two years. I always wanted desperately to be a better athlete than I was.

Growing up in Kentucky, we watched a lot of UK basketball. Since moving to Tennessee, I got into hockey (which I love to see live, even though it's friggin cold in the arena) when the Predators franchise started. And I like to watch the Titans play football (Yay! We're 8-0!). Honestly, the best way to learn the rules is just to watch, and perhaps watch with someone who does know the rules. When we started going to Preds games, I knew next to nothing about ice hockey. But now I know when I see high sticking, boarding, a carom, clearing the puck, etc. It's very exciting, and you actually pick up stuff pretty quickly.

When we get together with the hubby's family for Thanksgiving, there's a lot of sports watching involved, particularly since the BIL is a college basketball coach.

Minna, I love Phillipe Candeloro. He was so fun to watch.

Joan, you're right -- the fights at hockey games are awesome. And I'm not a violent person. It's just part of the package deal.

Kirsten said...

Hey Cassondra, great blog as always! I'll tell you, I have absolutely no interest in sports. Never have, and I suspect never will. My husband claims I will when our son is playing, but I doubt even that will be enough.

I have no problem with this. My husband has little interest in romance novels. He also has no interest in synchronized swimming (which I used to do, long ago!) or diving. I love water colors, but don't really like oils.

I read romance but not Moby Dick.

I like sweets but not sour foods. I hate vinegar and dill. I love squash but dislike kale. I've got nothing against these foods. I can even appreciate their value in the food spectrum. But I refuse to eat them.

I think you can appreciate the absolute genius of a fine athlete and still have no interest whatsoever in sitting through one of their games. :-)

flchen1 said...

Amen to what Amy said--I would SO pay to see you craft your posts! Another awesome one today :)

I'm pretty take-it-or-leave-it as far as sports goes... I can appreciate the dedication and artistry but I'm just not a die-hard fanatic for any team or sport. Sometimes it's fun to watch with my husband or friends, but I don't tend to watch by myself :) Unless maybe there are nachos involved ;)

Congrats on the GR, Joan!! Or perhaps, congrats to the GR ;)

Nancy said...

Joan--you do win. After yesterday's chocolate and today's cookies, the rooster will be on a perpetual sugar high. I'm with Helen. I want cookies, too. *g*

Cassondra--LOL! What a hoot of a post. I do think a person can start late and catch up on any sport, if sufficiently motivated. I probably married one of the few men in this hemisphere who has less interest than you do in the whole sports thing. We did briefly follow baseball, during which time he learned fair/foul balls and strike/ball differences, but that was about it.

I grew up in a small college town, where I eventually ended up graduating, so there was a fair amount of sports action. If there was a ball in motion (except for baseball, which seems odd in light of subsequent events), my father followed it. He gave up volunteering for the Lions Club because he was tired of spending football games in the concession stand under the seats, unable to see. So I absorbed the rudiments of football and basketball too early to remember doing so. Daddy later became a serious Atlanta Braves fan, but I'd already left home. So my knowledge of baseball is confined to what I learned watching classmates (guys only, back then) play Little League and Pony League.

I think you make a good analogy with the expertise of musicians and athletes. I love symphonic music, but I'm geared to it because I was in the high school band and orchestra, playing classical music in concerts. Having done something and enjoyed it might draw people to watching those who do it better.

I do think some sports fans are draw to watch by vicarious enjoyment rather than inherent interest in the skills. Note the frequent use of "we" when referring to teams on which the speaker does not actually play. Maybe some football fans wanted to play football but, for whatever reason, couldn't. I'd love to play tennis, but I have no foot speed. Seriously. None. I tremendously enjoy watching people who do.

However, I'm never tempted into we-ism by tennis because it's not a team sport. And the exultation some people (mainly guys) display over fouls and massive football hits leads me to believe that vicarious release of aggression is one lure for them.

Louisa Cornell said...

I grew up with two brothers so I participated in some sports whether I wanted to or not. I got really good at foot racing as they were always chasing me with something. And when we lived in England there were never enough guys so I always got to play cricket and soccer. I played field hockey, lacrosse and basketball when I was in college.

Now I am far more excited by a wonderful symphony concert or opera performance than I am by a sporting event. I do watch college football, but only if Alabama, LSU or Southern Miss are playing. I don't get NASCAR at all! Maybe it is because I HATE to drive!! I love horse racing passionately.

Anna S, my brothers and I are HUGE Manchester United fans.

I have to agree that sports should ONLY be on channels that are dedicated to sports. Leave the rest of the channels alone even if you have to show reruns of old movies. I LIKE old movies!

I took fencing lessons a hundred years ago when I was a child and I would really LOVE to study the sport again.

And I believe it is a federal law that you must gorge yourself on nachos, bean dip, and only foods that are truly bad for you when watching any sporting event on television. At least that is what happens when my family gets together to watch sports!

Louisa Cornell said...

Oh and CONGRATS on nabbing the Golden One, Joanie!

Where are MY cookies???

Cassondra said...

Hi everyone....the lair's official vampire is officiallyup and out of her coffin. No coffee yet, so look over the typos will ya?

amy andrews said:

Very anti-sport. Very anti a bunch of testosterone laden hulks who can flaunt normal rules and conventions AND LAWS cos some team pays them an obscene amount of money to throw a stupid

I KNEW IT! I almost adressed this issue in the blog, but the dang thing was already too long. (My blogs are ALWAYS too long.)

I feel this way too about their behaviors. There is, apparantly, one saving grace. Anna Sugden says that hockey players don't do this stuff. According to Anna, they play like 90 games per year, they're constantly moving through the 2 hours of each game, PLUS they're training--no standing around (I guess they don't have "downs" in hockey)so they just can't go out and drink and do drugs and stay up all night partying and do their jobs. Their bodies can't take it.

THAT I like. I like that their devotion to their sport and their training can't stop when they get a major league contract.

She also says that they don't make all that much money, and many of them give large percentages of their incomes to charity--which would be a drop in the bucket compared to baseball, football or basketball, but it's a sacrifice for these guys.

So I'm wondering if hockey will end up being "my sport," exactly for the reasons you've listed Amy. I don't like these insane behaviors, or the examples they set for young people.

Cassondra said...

What, Jo?

You don't know about downs, half backs and tight ends either?

C'mon y'all, I was hoping for some enlightenment here....

Cassondra said...

Jane said:

We have many teams to choose from in NY, but I like the Yankees and the Rangers.

Okay Jane, this brings up an important point. WHY are these your favs? What is it that attaches you to these teams?

If I'm going to pick a sport and a team to care about, I need some criteria.

Cassondra said...

Oooo, Minna, thanks for the links.

I see a lot of hockey fans so far. Hockey is relatively new to the South in the States. But the fans I know are RABID.

Apparantly even though Anna says the hockey hunks are the nicest guys, the fans are the worst fighters. Interesting.

Cassondra said...

Helen do you have favorite teams?

I can see soccer players liking rugby and rugby players liking soccer. Rugby--now there's a rough game.

Do you know all the rules? Like--enough to get mad at the refs if they make a bad call?

Cassondra said...

Okay all, the REAL sports fiend in the lair has arrived!

Anna Sugden said:

My teams, as most of you know *g*, are the Washington Redskins (American football), Manchester United and Exeter City (football) and the New Jersey Devils (hockey). We kind of adopted the Yankees while we were in NJ too.

So how did you choose "your" teams?????

C'mon y'all, I gotta start somewhere. How do you pick when you're starting out new? Is it some divine dispensation and "you just know?" What?

Cassondra said...

Diana said:

The only thing I could do to help you Cassondra would be to hunt up my old girlfriend and let her jab you in the ribs. 40+ years ago and I think I still have bruises.

Oh, that doesn't sound fun. I suppose that's how most people learned what they know--by hanging with other people who know.

But I DO get the social interaction thing. I've said for years that football (American) might be my sport because I'd like the tailgating (yes, I have a truck, so I could officially tailgate) snuggling up under a warm stadium blanket and drinking hot chocolate. But I don't think that's a good reason for me to take up liking sports.

I think it'll likely be hockey or soccer. I'm getting that vibe. Maybe both? That way I'd have sports year-round? What do y'all think?

Cassondra said...

Donna said:

Learned about football & basketball when it was a social thing to go to the games to cheer. Learned soccer when my little ones played the game while we parents stood on the sidelines.

Okay I'm getting a pattern here. Most people learned about sports by accident--some other reason they were there. Social stuff or kids or required attendance or something. Could an entire industry be built upon this "accidental assimilation?"

Surely not. There must be somebody who REALLY CARES.

Well..somebody besides Anna Sugden. One day y'all will get to read her New Jersey Ice Kats hunks. Yummmm. Slurp.

Cassondra said...

Trish said:

Honestly, the best way to learn the rules is just to watch, and perhaps watch with someone who does know the rules. When we started going to Preds games, I knew next to nothing about ice hockey. But now I know when I see high sticking, boarding, a carom, clearing the puck, etc. It's very exciting, and you actually pick up stuff pretty quickly.

Hmmm. I'm obviously going to have to glom onto some of y'all and hang out to learn. I'll bring the wine.

Oh, wait. That's not right, is it?

I'll bring the beer. Is that better?

I have a steep learning curve with hockey and soccer since those sports were virtually non-existant in Southern KY when I was growing up. And yet, here I am, considering those.

I guess, too, if you don't watch tv, it'd be kinda hard to assimilate the information. Rats.

It's not looking good for me.

Cassondra said...

Inara said:

He also has no interest in synchronized swimming (which I used to do, long ago!) or diving.

Hey, those are very nearly sports though, aren't they? And you used to do them? Ha! I question your disassociation with sports.... (picture me with one eyebrow raised).

Nice analogy though--how you can appreciate the value of it without being interested in it. I've sort of been in that boat all this time. Now I've decided that maybe I'm missing something.

Cassondra said...

flchen said:

Amen to what Amy said--I would SO pay to see you craft your posts! Another awesome one today :)

Seriously y'all, it's not much of a spectator sport. Kinda boring. Like watching golf. I don't move around much.

I do swing at things and get frustrated at times. Mostly with Blogger.

Cassondra said...

Nancy said:

I do think some sports fans are draw to watch by vicarious enjoyment rather than inherent interest in the skills. Note the frequent use of "we" when referring to teams on which the speaker does not actually play.

Nancy, you and your analytical mind have nailed the thing I'm about here. This "we" thing. People get serious about it.

I mean, they FIGHT!

This is the part I do not get or understand. And I, like you, leaned toward non-team sports for enjoyment. Tennis, martial arts (not a sport to me, but it can be considered a sport), equestrian events, etc.

It may be this "we" mentality that I am after. I think I want to feel that and understand it.

I am getting, however, that this assimilation into sports takes up a LOT of TIME. Hmmm. That could be a downfall.

My dad played baseball on local vacant lot teams when he was a young man, and was apparantly very good at it. I guess that's why he watched baseball on tv when I was growing up. Of course, he also watched football, and I don't think he ever played that sport.

Now that you mention it though, and I'd forgotten, it was baseball he was most involved in--and would sit up past his bedtime to watch.

Nancy I believe you have something here.

But I know for a fact that Anna Sugden did NOT play on a hockey team as a young girl. Right Anna?

And since I did not play on any team, perhaps it's hopeless?

Dianna Love said...

That post is too fun, Cassondra.

But I'm going to have to admit I do love sports, a lot of them. When I was growing up, my dad cared nothing for sports and my mom was a major Green Bay Packer fan.

I was the second child, which seems to create a sense of competition at birth, especially when three more rug rats show up. I loved watching pro football when I met my husband who was a huge college football fan - GA Bulldogs. I scoffed at how college couldn't be as exciting as the pros until he took me to my first college football game and I was proved wrong. I love golf, love playing it and watching it. As for basketball, I'm not interested until it comes down to the playoffs and hockey is "okay."


Even though I've never understood the rules of soccer I do love two groups that play the game - adult male teams [yum] and the little kids who run around like a pack of guppies in shorts that fall below the top of their socks [is that not the cutest thing ever?]. Both of those keep me entertained for hours. "g"

Like you, I enjoy guns, fishing, motorcycling, but love to dress up for my honey as well. Not sure what category that puts us in, but I'm with good company as far as I can see.

Thanks for a refreshing topic today.

Dianna

terrio said...

Okay, I haven't read all the comments because there's like 36 of them and I'm lazy. But I'm going to answer some of these questions and apologize now if I repeat someone else. Then I'll read the rest.

I can watch football, baseball, and Nascar and know exactly what is going on at all times. I have NEVER understood basketball so have never gotten into it. I'll watch it if forced, but it's painful. Watched hockey some years back, but never quite understood it so gave up. Same goes for soccer but I will watch the World Cup when it comes back around.

The reason I understand the sports I do is because I've watched or played them since childhood. My recommendation is football because it really is the easiest to get the gist of in a short period of time. You don't have to know what a Half Back is or what he does to enjoy the game.

If you watch a full game with someone willing to be patient and explain it to you as it happens, you'll get it in no time.

My eyes glazed over when you started the gun stuff. LOL! Though I'm proud to say I do know how to pronounce that .3006 thing. But only because I was married to a hunter.

Minna said...

I don't know about hockey players, but in Canada I met some very nice (and good looking, too) Canadian golf players who helped me with my huge suitcase. But I still think -for so many reasons- that golf is one of the most useless sports in the world.

Anna Sugden said...

Hmmm ... let's see ...

I became a ManU fan because I had a teacher who loved them and that teacher was cool. Exeter is where I was born.

I became a 'Skins fan because I lived in DC - so you can't do anything but.

And the Devils were the first team I spent time watching when I got into hockey.

I see sport as kind of tribal - people support teams because of where they live (access to live sport) or went to college, their success or family tradition. And that allegiance remains with them, no matter what.

So, in your case - you'd probably go to see the Preds (Nashville Predators) as your nearest hockey team (I think). Once you've been once or twice, they'd become your team. Minor league hockey is pretty good too - and a lot cheaper to watch.

Anna Sugden said...

So, Louisa, mentioning our season tickets for Man U probably would make your brothers even more envious than the bag of Cadbury's in our front hall (left over from Hallowe'en). *g*

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Dianna *waving*

I love watching little kids play sports. We often get Mighty Mites (TimBits in Canada) at the hockey - a game in the intermission between two sides of a local kids hockey team.

The funniest thing is the way they all swarm around the puck or the footie ball - forget tactics, they all want possession!

Anna Sugden said...

Rabid? Moi? *VBG*

And, yes, hockey players are some of the nicest, politest, most unassuming and gentlemanly people ... off the ice. And some of the fittest men I've ever come across (in all senses of the word!)

Don't get me started on all the bad press hockey gets, when you have such idiots as in the NBA and NFL. *g*

terrio said...

About that yelling at the ref thing, it doesn't take long. I watched the World Cup in '07 I think and within minutes was yelling "That should have been a yellow card!" As I'd never watched a moment of soccer before that, I'm still not sure how I got so involved so quick. LOL!

Louisa Cornell said...

Anna S, the boys would do almost ANYTHING for those ManU tickets! However the real hockey fight would be over the Cadbury's! It would NOT be pretty!

Dianna Love said...

Hi Anna (waving back at you) -

...who said about Mighty Mites on local hockey teams - "The funniest thing is the way they all swarm around the puck or the footie ball - forget tactics, they all want possession!"

LOL - that is so funny to me. I have never laughed so hard as when I - being an aunt and godmother to several youngins - watched 4-5 year olds run around a soccer field after a ball. There was no way to figure out who played on what team because it was one big clump of moving shorts going from one end of the field to the other. Except for the occasional pair that found something interesting to look at on the side of the field and had to be herded back to the main blob again. "g"

I'm still not through all the posts yet, either. But I'm loving the comments on both sides of the coin.

Dianna

Cassondra said...

Okay, wait JUST A MINUTE HERE.

Jane said (and I missed this part somehow):

I don't know how soccer players keep their socks up, but you should pay extra attention to the end of the game when the players shake hands with their opponents and take off their jerseys to give to each other.

Okay, this is a DEFINITE positive mark in the soccer column for when I make my choice of which sport to glom onto. Not only are the hunks hot, but they take their shirts off after the game? Right there in front of God and everybody?

Oh.

Somebody fan me.

Cassondra said...

louisa said:

And when we lived in England there were never enough guys so I always got to play cricket and soccer. I played field hockey, lacrosse and basketball when I was in college.

Wow, Louisa, you played lacrosse? That's a rough sport. My husband does x-ray and nuclear medicine, and he sees more AWFUL injuries in lacrosse and rugby than in any other sports. More broken bones in soccer. Collar bones. Ouch.

You know, I have always wanted to learn soccer--at least, since I became an adult. Maybe this is why I'm leaning toward that sport as a fan? I wish there were adult soccer leagues around here, but like taking dance or swimming lessons, almost all classes and teams for beginners are for little tots. Once you're an adult there isn't much opportunity to learn a team sport if you don't already know it. This frustrates me.

I think I might actually enjoy it.

Then again, I so powerfully dislike being BAD at things, it might be an awful experience. Because I would be bad ya know?

Good for you that you were able to get right in there and kick some butt right along with the guys. I think that kind of thing tends to make us more confident in our approach to the world in general--if you want to do something,you just go DO IT.

No wonder you're such a powerhouse of a person--talent and a background of jumping right in.

Joan said...

Not only are the hunks hot, but they take their shirts off after the game?

Ok, this did NOT happen for me when I fell asleep in the San Francisco Marriot lobby on arrival during the power outage only to wake up in the middle of the Brazilian soccer team!

Helen said...

Do I have a favourite team ?

Yes we follow Wests Tigers in the rugby leauge we even have signed jerseys framed and photos of the team winning the grand final in 05 love that team.
During the last soccer world cup we were up at all hours of the night watching all of Australia's games and yes I am still peeved about the Italian that went down and took us out.
As for ref or umpire calls yes I do get mad when I think that they have made the wrong call and have been known to yell out a few times although not as much as my hubby does my Father taught me that the ref or umpires call is final whether you agree or not you need to accept it hubby doesen't see it that way and after being with him for so long it rubs off a bit LOL.

Have Fun
Helen

Cassondra said...

Dianna Snell said:

I loved watching pro football when I met my husband who was a huge college football fan - GA Bulldogs. I scoffed at how college couldn't be as exciting as the pros until he took me to my first college football game and I was proved wrong.

Okay, another sports fan enters the lair. But WHY? If your dad wasn't a fan--okay but your mom was--did you get the interest from your mom? Did you guys play ball in the back yard or something? Is it part of having brothers? I had brothers, but they were much older and gone when I was little and they don't care about sports either.

Even though I've never understood the rules of soccer I do love two groups that play the game - adult male teams [yum] and the little kids who run around like a pack of guppies in shorts that fall below the top of their socks [is that not the cutest thing ever?].

See....I'm not entirely sure it's fair to choose a sport because of the hot guys. I've never seen the cute rugrats running around like guppies, so I can't say about that.

I am perilously close to choosing soccer though, and I fear that my motives are not entirely competition related.

I'm just sayin. ;0)

terrio said...

Cassondra - Have you seen the tight pants those (American) football players wear? Uhm...seriously worth checking out. Maybe I'm weird but I kind of like to watch them hit each other. I'm guessing I don't want to look into that too deeply though.

Joan said...

Have you seen the tight pants those (American) football players wear?

Oooooo...baseball uniforms!

Years ago, my brother bought tickets to our local AAA baseball team for my birthday (I was a big fan of the Redbirds back then). Right along third base where they came out to do Alllllll their pre-game stretching.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I was in hog heaven! Oh, and I also tortured my brother by gushing about it. He finally left for...nachos! :-)

Cassondra said...

terrio said:

I can watch football, baseball, and Nascar and know exactly what is going on at all times.

Picture me bowing low to the ground in awe of your knowledge.

Okay NASCAR--I know, I KNOW that apparantly once you go to a race, you're hooked. But I am never going to care. I'm just not. Okay I will probably regret saying never. Lessee.

Oh, there they go! They're makin' a left turn!......LOOOK! They're makin' another LEFT TURN!....OMG! NOw they're...they're...Oh, SHEESH! THEY're MAKING ANOTHER LEFT TURN!

Kay.

I'm only half kidding. I do understand that it's about the drivers and the associations and the sponsors and the pit crews and...

But back to team sports. I am in awe that you totally know what you're doing and understand all this and care enough to watch. But you PLAYED it. And this seems to be a key for a lot of people.

The standing around after a football play makes me about nuts. I think maybe I like a little faster paced game. They are incredible athletes though. Their off-field behaviors...I dunno about that. The professional players I've met (all Titans at events I've run) were very nice people, and I know they do a lot of public service--it's actually required of them as part of their contracts. But the number of pro football and baseball and basketball players in court at a given time is astonishing! My husband told me that more than half of the Dallas Cowboys have criminal records. I'm like WHY are these people still on the team?

Ah well..that's another soapbox and one I probably shouldn't get on cuz I don't know what I'm talking about.

The thing about hockey and soccer is....there's no hockey in my town cuz there's no ice. And Western Kentucky University has just cancelled it's soccer program. Yes. They have. I don't understand this except that they weren't winning, and rather than replace the coach, which is what most teams do when they're repeatedly not winning, they cancelled the program. So my chances to watch soccer just tanked as well.

Hmmmm.

Cassondra said...

Minna said:

But I still think -for so many reasons- that golf is one of the most useless sports in the world.


see, Minna, it's not all that interesting to watch is it? But here's the thing. I don't just like playing pool. I have been absolutely, totally ADDICTED to playing pool. In fact I used to cut class at my junior college to play pool at the student union building. I got so good at it that nobody on campus could beat me at pool. And golf, in a strange sort of way...well...it's like pool. You have to hit a ball and get it into a hole a long way off.

I have never played golf. For one reason.

I am afraid.

I am afraid that if I played golf I would become so addicted that nobody would ever see me again. I've known other people who have gone to play golf and never been seen again in this way. They become totally consumed by it. It's like the meth of sports.

I am avoiding it for this reason. I think I'll like it too much.

Cassondra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
terrio said...

I won't hold the Nascar thing against you. LOL! My dad was a huge fan so I've watched it since I was 6 or so. And it's about the finesse of the pass, the bump drafting, the great save when they almost lose the back end. But yeah, they make a lot of left turns. :)

For the record, ANY sport is better to watch in person. I don't care what it is, if you're THERE, you can't remain passive. I understand nada about hockey, but I'd take tickets to go watch it anytime. There's just something about being there when it comes to sports.

Cassondra said...

Anna said:

So, in your case - you'd probably go to see the Preds (Nashville Predators) as your nearest hockey team (I think). Once you've been once or twice, they'd become your team. Minor league hockey is pretty good too - and a lot cheaper to watch.

Yeah, I figured the Preds would be the ones to see. After all they're less than an hour from me. And are there minor league teams that use the same ice? I'm guessing that if there's an ice rink, there's more than just one team using it, but I dunno.

Cassondra said...

Anna said:

I love watching little kids play sports. We often get Mighty Mites (TimBits in Canada) at the hockey - a game in the intermission between two sides of a local kids hockey team.

The funniest thing is the way they all swarm around the puck or the footie ball - forget tactics, they all want possession!


I bet this would be really cute. But I'm thinkin that if I want to understand the game, this might not be the best place to start?

My Brother In Law was arm-twisted into assistant coaching a soccer team when my nephews were kids--the youngest was, I think, three. (sheesh that's young--they don't wait around to get those kids on the playing field nowadays) My BIL made the mistake of saying to the three and four-year olds "BE THE BALL"--His youngest son spent the rest of the season rolling around on the field pretending to be the ball.

I guess ya can't get too abstract with the little tykes. (grin)

Cassondra said...

Anna said:

I see sport as kind of tribal - people support teams because of where they live (access to live sport) or went to college, their success or family tradition. And that allegiance remains with them, no matter what.

This makes perfect sense to me. And I see it everywhere. My dad was a Reds fan--The Reds were the closest team to where we lived, so he supported them. The trouble is when you grow up without the tribal associations. I didn't get that at all so I have none really. I did get really excited when the Titans went to the SuperBowl their first year in Nashville, but I knew some of the players from events I'd run. And they were so close...SO CLOSE! IT WAS HEARTBREAKING.

So see...I have potential, don't y'all think? If my heart can break over that last-second play, there's hope, right?

Cassondra said...

terrio said:

I watched the World Cup in '07 I think and within minutes was yelling "That should have been a yellow card!" As I'd never watched a moment of soccer before that, I'm still not sure how I got so involved so quick. LOL!

OMG! Terrio I think there's just no hope for you. You, apparantly, are genetically geared to sports!
I have no idea what a yellow card it. We had yellow sticky cards to catch white flies in the greenhouse when I used to be a professional grower. I'm thinkin they're not the same thing. ;0)

And how the heck did you know it should've been a yellow card? You must know SOMETHING!

Cassondra said...

Dianna Snell said:

There was no way to figure out who played on what team because it was one big clump of moving shorts going from one end of the field to the other. Except for the occasional pair that found something interesting to look at on the side of the field and had to be herded back to the main blob again. "g"

So I'm guessing that coaching these teams is a rather low-stress affair? And maybe the coaches don't do long lectures on the finer points of technicalities and strategy?

Hey, maybe I could play on one of those teams.

Cassondra said...

Joanie said:

, this did NOT happen for me when I fell asleep in the San Francisco Marriot lobby on arrival during the power outage only to wake up in the middle of the Brazilian soccer team!

OMG! Joanie, I FORGOT about that! I THINK the Brazilian guys are the ones I saw that were my favs because they had--no lie--THE MOST GORGEOUS MAN I HAVE EVER LAID EYES ON playing for their team. It was either the Brazilians or the Venezuelans--I wasn't really paying attention to anything but him. And neither were the tv cameras. Apparantly he was not only a gorgeous hunk but was very good at the game as well. Pretty boy. I was so overwhelmed with stuff to do at SanFran that I failed to recognize the significance of exactly what you'd waked up in the middle of.

Oh, man. AFter eight hours on an airplane. That is NOT how I'd want to encounter the soccer hunks.

Cassondra said...

Helen said:

we even have signed jerseys framed and photos of the team winning the grand final in 05 love that team.
During the last soccer world cup we were up at all hours of the night watching all of Australia's games and yes I am still peeved about the Italian that went down and took us out.


AHA! WE HAVE A WINNAH! No kidding Helen you are a serious sports fan. You and Anna Sugden could compare notes!

See, I just can't imagine doing this. Collecting memorabilia and stuff. I can see getting a jersey for the team I like--cuz it's something I could wear.

I dunno if I'll ever be this big a fan. Maybe....you just never can tell.

Oh, but I'll be yelling at the refs right off the bat once I learn the rules. That's just part of my makeup. I won't be able to avoid it. The trouble is learning WHEN to yell at the refs. :0/

Minna said...

I am afraid that if I played golf I would become so addicted that nobody would ever see me again.

We had the chance to try it on sports lesson in high school. I was bored to death. Besides, not many sports require that much space and mowed lawn.

Cassondra said...

Terrio said"

Have you seen the tight pants those (American) football players wear? Uhm...seriously worth checking out.

Yes. Yes, I have. And it is a mark in their favor. But there's all that padding. Kinda hard to see the merchandise through all that padding ya know?

And I've NEVER seen them take their shirts off after a game, so even with the tight pants, the soccer hunks may still have one up on them.

But here we are--back to the less-than-pure motives for choosing one sport over the other.

It's about the GAME LADIES...RIGHT? (echo..echo..echo)

RIGHT??????? (crickets chirping.)

*sigh*

Annie Solomon said...

Well, I'm with you, Cassondra. I don't get it either. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I never played sports. I think most men spend some time on a team. They come to appreciate the skill it takes to compete. It's hard to appreciate something you don't experience. I think young women today have a better shot at enjoying sports, thanks to Title IX. My 3 nieces not only played basketball seriously in high school, they all love football and basketball. So maybe you need to get the pads out and get Steve to throw you a couple of passes. Then you can take him down. Or vice versa. That should be fun...

terrio said...

Sure it's about the game. But a little bonus eye candy never hurt anyone. Do you think the guys are watching the cheerleaders for the choreography?!

Cassondra said...

Terrio said:

For the record, ANY sport is better to watch in person. I don't care what it is, if you're THERE, you can't remain passive. I understand nada about hockey, but I'd take tickets to go watch it anytime. There's just something about being there when it comes to sports.

Terrio, I think you've nailed something really important. And this is true for so many things isn't it?

The symphony I talked about? Not particularly interesting on tv. But live, Oh. My. Goodness. Not to be missed.

Concerts--Even if the production is exquisite on the record and the sound is perfect, you wanna go to the rock concert and see it happen live--feel the energy.

As far as I can remember, I've never been to a live professional sports event. Maybe this is what I'm feeling that I've missed.

Wait. I've been to horse shows. But that's not a team sport.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Cassondra--great post as always! I'm one of those rare creatures who enjoys televised sports selectively.

For example--in high school, I played tennis, soccer & volleyball at a varsity level. To this day if I walk into a room where any of these sports are playing on TV, I'll hang around for the pleasure of seeing professionals make poetry out of physical acts to whose difficulty I can personally attest.

I understand completely how if you played football (or basketball or hockey or fill-in-the-blank) you'd have a great appreciation for watching it on TV. Here's what I don't get, though. It's a phenomenon I have seen time & time again & I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. Somebody please enlighten me.

I'm talking about the female sports fans who have not the faintest understanding of the game.

These are women who self-identify as rabid fans of, say, the Minnesota Vikings. They (along with their husband/boyfriend) have season tickets. They have authentic jerseys they wear to the games. They actually paint their faces in support of their team.

And yet, if pressed, their actual knowledge of football is paper-thin. They know which direction the ball should be going, they know which color their team is wearing. But the complexities of each play? The strategy behind the play? Nada.

I suspect (and I hope this isn't offensive to anybody because it's only a theory & it does NOT apply to women who actually know their stuff & I know there are lots of you out there) that these women are in it not for the love of the game but more because they love the positive male attention they get for being so rabidly "into" a traditionally male sport. It makes them appealing to a certain sort of man. They don't like the sport so much as they like the social benefit of liking the sport.

Or maybe when they say, "I love football!" what they mean is "I love the party atmosphere, tailgating, hanging out with my friends & the energy of the crowd." That's perfectly legitimate. I've been to plenty of parties that I enjoyed without understanding really what or who they were for.

So is that what's happening here? Am I reading too much into something that just supposed to be fun? Am I being fussy? Snobbish? Snarky? Sexist? Somebody talk me down, here! Because I like sports as much as the next girl, but I don't know what to make of girls like this.

Cassondra said...

Minna said:

We had the chance to try it on sports lesson in high school. I was bored to death. Besides, not many sports require that much space and mowed lawn.

Now see...I think I'd get really mad at it because I was bad at it, thenI'd have to go get good at it, and that would take a LOT of time and money. *sigh*

But you're dead on about the turf. The one thing I know about golf is how to maintain the course and that grass is high maintenance baby. It was part of the horticulture graduate program at my university. I had to learn some golf course maintenance and management.

Cassondra said...

Sorry about the double posts y'all. Between the wonky line down the side of the blog and the double posts, Blogger is not my friend today. Trying to remove them when I catch them.

Cassondra said...

Annie Solomon is here! Yay! (waving madly)

Annie said:

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I never played sports. I think most men spend some time on a team. They come to appreciate the skill it takes to compete. It's hard to appreciate something you don't experience.

I think this is a large part of it. Any skill that you've practiced, you appreciate when you see it done with a high level of expertise. I was on drill teams, but beyond that, my teamwork training has come from the work world or Search & Rescue. I was never on a sports team. And I grew up much as an only child (siblings were adults when I was born) and there wasn't opportunity for me to hang with neighborhood groups to play sports. So I felt a bit of an outsider when it came to games. Last one picked for the team in gym...all that...so not a lot of good associations with team sports, and not a lot of appreciation for the finer points of playing the game.

Cassondra said...

Terrio said:

Sure it's about the game. But a little bonus eye candy never hurt anyone.

No, you're absolutely right it's never hurt anyone. (grin) And knowing the folks who frequent the lair, it'll be a required part of the proceedings. ;0)

Cassondra said...

Susan Seyfarth said:

I'm talking about the female sports fans who have not the faintest understanding of the game.

I think you're exactly right in your thinking. It's more about the social connections they make because of their perceived interest. Honestly, I don't have a lot of respect for that. Nothing wrong with it, but I'm a "be your own woman" kinda girl ya know?

Now I DO, like you, FULLY understand the enjoyment of the parties and the atmosphere. But if I watch something, I have to understand it. That's been one of the frustrations of watching televised sports for me. STuff would happen and I'd go.."WHY did they do that?" or "Why was that a penalty" or "How come they had to go back to where they were?" and mostly I got some lame half-baked answer that was designed to shut me up, or "I dunno." Also, in other words, "shut up I'm watching the game." Not conducive to learning.

And I have to have my own understanding of it. If I'm gonna spend my time with it, I have to be able to form my own opinions and yell at the ref cuz I'M MAD, not cuz my boyfriend is mad.

Joan said...

Oh, man. AFter eight hours on an airplane. That is NOT how I'd want to encounter the soccer hunks

Yeah, dishelved with your mouth hanging open and drooling.

Sigh

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

SNNOOOOORRRRRKKK!! Cassondra, you absolutely crack me up. I was chortling all the way through your post. I cannot even begin...SNORK...to get past the tight end thing...and the butt patting...questions arise.

SNORK!!!!

Cassondra said...

OH GOOD! Another real sports fan has arrived in the lair?

Jeanne said:

I cannot even begin...SNORK...to get past the tight end thing...and the butt patting...questions arise.

YES! Questions DO arise! But as yet, none have been answered to my satisfaction.

Is there some portal I can walk through and suddenly become endowed with the knowledge of running backs, full backs, half backs (I still see no difference in the shape of the players' backs, and they all still run)and tight ends.

The butt patting is a whole conversation all on its own.

You know, I even googled "football players patting butts" and "football players patting bottoms."

No pics. It. Is. A. Conspiracy. Designed to keep me confused and in the dark. What else can it be? Even the buddies who understand these things can't explain it.

Cassondra said...

I think, even though there is a lot of padding around about, that I've observed enough football games to say, decidedly, that the ends ARE IN FACT TIGHT. Those are some fine buns. But knowing guys, I still don't see how this brings about the bottom patting.

Am I missing something?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Okay, now that I have my snorking under control, I'll actually join in the convo.

I. Am. A. Sports. FAN.

My father could have cared less. My Daddy's a librarian, book guy, intellectual. No. Sports.

My mom grew up on the side of a mountain and had no interest in sports or (at that early point) anything that didn't include survival.

Thus, no parental influence. Like you, I'm a gun girl, an outdoorsy type even though I don't look it and love doing the whole "dress like a girl" thing. :>

But there's something about sports. It's visceral. It connects you with the primitive, either as a player or as a spectator. As Anna said, it's Tribal. Now, I'll disagree with her on one thing...I live in DC and I am NOT a Redskins fan. (Sorry Anna) I actually celebrate when they lose. Bwah-ha-ha! (How's that for bad sportsmanship?)

How did I choose? I don't remember. I love football (American) I don't know why, I just do. It's like civilized war - strategy, tactics, action, regroup, try again. Now, I've come to be a baseball fan because of my husband. I used to root for the Atlanta Braves because they were the only Southern Baseball team, but only because of that. Now, I understand the game. I have to credit my darling hubby with that. When he explained baseball to me, with all the passion of an afficianado, I got it. Golf, I like to play and can appreciate on TV, but it's kinda like watching grass grow to watch it on TV. :>

Oddly enough, I did't play sports. They didn't have Title 9 or girl teams when I was coming up, except track, which I ran, but that's a loner sport. I'm an extrovert, but not a joiner, so even if they'd had it, I'm not sure I'd've joined in. :>

Rugby now...I like that too. And Polo because it's like footbal (war) on horseback. Grins.

I want to learn fencing, but again, a loner sport...

Hey, Dianna! There ISN'T anything much funnier than those Lil' Tykes Soccer matches. They all scrum around the ball...too funny. My DH coaches our older son's teams and it's pretty cool to watch them learn and grow before your very eyes.

Don't even get me started on the "drugs, guns, and crime in big dollar sports" thing. Grrrr.

That's quite enough from me, I think!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ah, ends and backs. Ends are generally at the end of the line up - hence, ends. :> Backs - hmmm, I'm not sure. I'll have to look it up, I know what they do (protect the quarterback) and I know the receivers - wide and mid field are usually that - receivers for the thrown pass. :>

Oh, and yes, their ends are usually quite tight. SNORK! Did I mention that I LOVE football?

Basketball is all baggy shorts and tattoos...but football...ahhhh.

I've come to appreciate baseball for the snug uniforms as well. Grins. However, I too have signed framed jerseys residing in my house as well as signed footballs, signed baseballs and a signed photo of "Mr.Cub" Ernie Banks. None of those are mine, mind you. My only memorabilia is the photo of me kicking a field goal on the field at Panthers Stadium in Charlotte NC. :> Now THAT was fun...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_football_positions

This has a lovely explanation of the backs and receivers. :> No pictures though...sigh.

Annie Solomon said...

Hallooo Cassondra!!((Waving back wildy))

Yeah, I don't think drill teams are the same.

When I was in high school girls just didn't play sports. When my daughter was in high school there were girl teams everywhere. She started basketball when she was 6. I mean, little bitty babies dribbling that ball...

Minna said...

But you're dead on about the turf. The one thing I know about golf is how to maintain the course and that grass is high maintenance baby. It was part of the horticulture graduate program at my university. I had to learn some golf course maintenance and management.

Not to mention that they don't care very much about where they put those golf courses. I think this was on Globe Trekker: there was a golf course right in the middle of a place that Australian aboriginals cosider sacred and there was rock paintings and such on that golf course.

flchen1 said...

Cassondra, you said that golf isn't much of a spectator sport, and yet, defying all rational explanations, it seems to be a highly watched televised sport! I'd imagine that you'd be WAY more entertaining than that, as you are far funnier on a regular basis than any golfer I've ever met...

Wait, did you just say that you might in danger of becoming a golfer I haven't met?? Stay away from the clubs...

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

Basketball is all baggy shorts and tattoos...but football...ahhhh.

Yeah, but soccer....their clothes are kinda baggy, and STILL those guys make me drool and need smelling salts just from their hotness. The basketball players don't have that effect on me. I do not understand this phenomenon. Maybe it's the outdoors-ness of soccer. I am, after all, an outdoors kind of person. Outdoor athletes are much sexier than indoor athletes to me.

This is interesting. I never recognized this before--that my love of the outdoors plays into which sports I'd like.

But the hockey hunks are indoors too--and I'm thinkin I'd like them. But then again, they're all padded up like the football players. I have not seen enough hockey ends to know if there are any tight ones about. So on that I cannot comment.

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

Rugby now...I like that too. And Polo because it's like footbal (war) on horseback. Grins.

Did I ever tell y'all that when I was in the music business, I was in Nashville at a songwriter show (It was at the Bluebird cafe) and a very wealthy but understated guy sat next to me.

We had a nice conversation, then when it was time to leave he gave me his card and said, "Call me. Come down to Florida. I'll show you my ponies."

I smiled and said thank you so much for the wonderful offer. Then I left, thinking, "yeah, I bet you'll show me your ponies."

I still have that card.

I'm just sayin.

Cassondra said...

Minna said:

Not to mention that they don't care very much about where they put those golf courses. I think this was on Globe Trekker: there was a golf course right in the middle of a place that Australian aboriginals cosider sacred and there was rock paintings and such on that golf course.

Yes, there was a time when there was little regard for the environmental impact of the golf course. Nowadays lots of designers are taking a more responsible stance. I attended a workshop about this very thing in grad school. Some interesting choices for more sustainable management.

Still, building on a sacred native spot is inexcusable. I'm sure there are still a good number of developers out there who have their priorities in what I would consider to be NOT appropriate order.

Cassondra said...

Annie Solomon said:

When I was in high school girls just didn't play sports. When my daughter was in high school there were girl teams everywhere. She started basketball when she was 6. I mean, little bitty babies dribbling that ball...

Yeah...those little bitty girls are probably better at dribbling a ball than I am! IT's sad. I'm not lacking in coordination or inherent ability...just instruction and practice. *sigh*

Girls played sports when I was in school. But I didn't go out for those things. I was into agriculture and art. And like Jeanne, I wasn't much of a joiner.

Cassondra said...

flchen said:

I'd imagine that you'd be WAY more entertaining than that, as you are far funnier on a regular basis than any golfer I've ever met...

Well, I haven't met a whole heck of a lot of golfers, though I do know one guy who plays the PGA circuit. But the thing is...I make absolutely NO effort to be funny. I just say what I notice. The fact that y'all snork at my blog posts leaves me a little befuddled.

Seriously....I CAN NOT BE the first to notice the bottom patting and the tight ends and wonder if they're connected somehow. And surely I'm not the first to mention it out loud...er...in cyberspace...er..ahem...

It's strange, this anomaly in male bonding... I can't help but point it out, ya know?

Cassondra said...

flchen said:

Wait, did you just say that you might in danger of becoming a golfer I haven't met?? Stay away from the clubs...

I did say that flchen. I'm afraid that once I try it, I'll be doomed. If I ever have the free time, I want to do it. But I have to have the time to do a LOT of it. Cuz once I start, I know I won't stop.

Cassondra said...

Joanie said:

Oh. My. Goodness.

I was in hog heaven! Oh, and I also tortured my brother by gushing about it. He finally left for...nachos! :-)


My husband has read this post and has said he may take up watching the Brazilian women's volleyball team. I think he's just making a defensive maneuver, but what do I know? ;)

Pat Cochran said...

Hello to all,

Congratulations, Joan, on winning
the GR!

I don't totally understand every
minute rule and regulation of each
sport, but I do consider myself a
sport fan. I'm one of the "grew up
with them" clan. One my earliest
photos shows me, with my parents, at a baseball game. My Dad was a
member of a sports club and they
played a variety of sports. Today
I follow all the Houston teams, no
matter what sport it is!

Pat Cochran

MsHellion said...

Damnit! I can't believe I missed this blog! This is HILARIOUS! And you're right...I never thought of sports as the same as symphonies... OMG.

GREAT BLOG!

And I don't like sports. But it's from being raised where sports matter more than academics. It just pissed me off. *LOL*

Cassondra said...

Hi Pat!

So sorry I'm late responding. Had one of those days at work today and I'm just now getting back online.

It's a pattern I see. Everybody who grew up with sports still likes sports ....well...very nearly anyhow.

And Houston eh? No matter WHAT the sport?

I think you fit Anna Sugden's definition of "tribal". (grin)

Cassondra said...

Hi Hellion!

Glad you liked the analogy.

And I wouldn't like sports either--not if they were crammed down my throat.

I REALLY don't get the parents who force their kids into it. I can see getting them to try it, but if they don't like it, on to something else. Then again, I suppose there could be something to pursuing a discipline. But I would have resented the whole sports thing being overly emphasized.