Please help me select my favorite sport squadron. And possibly sport.

I like sports, generally speaking, but if bathrooms were marked ‘Jock’ and ‘Geek’ I’d always use the latter. Yet I don’t share the snooty upturned-nosery of many of my fellow dorkwads when it comes to sports, and I don’t completely understand it. Most of us, myself very much included, love games. Sports are games. And they come with lots of number-crunching, or so I understand, plus history-nerding opportunities.

More importantly, to me, is that they represent an important part of humanity’s expression of itself. I get that. I like that. It moves me. But I don’t really know a damn thing about sports. I wish I could blame being a queer guy for that, but all my rainbowriffic friends are better sport-informed than I am, even the one who literally wears a lace kerchief in his sleeve.

I like watching basketball, especially in person, but on TV too – men’s and women’s both. I don’t know about teams and players, though, or the fine details of the rules. This is probably the one I want to hear most about. I used to follow tennis, a long time ago, but I think I’m more interested in team sports now. Football honestly bores me immediately, but if I got it that might change. Baseball I do get and it still bores me, but maybe I just don’t get-get it.

I figure if I can get to know some teams, and some of the reasons why people like particular athletes and sports, maybe I can expand my interest base. What I want is for you to tell me about your favorite team, and why you like them. Maybe why you like that sport in general, too. Obscure sports are okay, though I am seeking mostly team sports. Convert me to your squadron!

I’m in the exact same category of ‘geeks who like sports’. As for the major American professional sports that you can easily watch on TV, my order is football, basketball, baseball and then hockey.

I really like that football is once a week (maybe multiple games if you follow multiple teams). It’s nice to be able to see every game and still have time to do other things. It’s kind of fun to follow a non-local team, too. I live in MN and met some of my closest friends by being from PA and watching the Steelers. I’m not sure that I’d pay much attention if it wasn’t a social thing - I was familiar with the basics of football when I met these people, but I’ve learned more about the game (and especially specific players) by watching it with people that care more than I do. It probably took me 2-3 years to really know who more than the headline players were and some finicky rules still surprise me, but then I’ve only devoted game time and maybe reading power rankings to the project of learning football. I really like the strategy aspects and the totally useless statistics amuse me. Oh - and while my football watching group is on the geek heavy side, there are a few jocks from time to time and so long as that geek-anti-sport attitude that you mention isn’t there, they’ve been wonderfully helpful with answering questions.

So anyway, I’d pick football and just start watching games with people who already follow a team. I’m not sure that the team matters much - I always had a passing interest in the Steelers so it was an easy pick, and my timing couldn’t have been better. It might be a drag to follow, say, the Texans or 49ers, but I’m sure their fans would tell you differently.

If you like basketball, then there’s only one team worth paying attention to:

The winningest program in NCAA history, owners of 7 national championships (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998), YOUR University of Kentucky Wildcats.

I was born a member of Big Blue Nation, as most children in Kentucky are. I remember crying when Christian Fucking Laettner ended the Unforgettables’ run in the '92 tournament. I remember sneaking my radio on after bedtime in '96 to listen to the end of the tournament final against Syracuse. I was part of the two largest crowds in Rupp Arena history (February 4, 2003 against #1 Florida and December 17, 2005 against Louisville.) Heck, my location up there? The eRUPPtion Zone.

I really like Kakofonous’s suggestion of professional football based on its once a week qualities. It’s a very easy sport for managing your fandom. You have a basic knowledge of your team’s schedule years in advance – you can more or less count on just about every Sunday during the season, with a few surprise Thursdays and Mondays thrown into the mix. The play-off schedule is also very straight-forward, and you don’t have to fear the possibility of your team making into a seven game play-off series that could coincide with a big project at work.

On the other hand, if number-crunching and history are important to you, baseball might be your sport. You say you don’t get it. Frankly, I don’t get it either. But that could actually work out to an advantage if you want to focus on the stats aspect. There’s just so much material to work with.

In terms of choosing an actual team, where do you live and where are you from? You don’t necessarily have to live in the area where your team is from, but I think gathering with fellow fans can add to the enjoyment, plus it will be more likely that those teams will be easier to view on TV in public places like bars, so that you will not have to get in to the whole premium cable sports fanatic package right away.

On the other hand, if you pick up a team from outside your area, you could translate that into some fun social opportunities. If you were to sign with my team, for example, the Buffalo Bills, you could have an annual party for the second game every season*, and serve chicken wings and beef on weck (which we can tell you how to make authentically). Your party will be a hit with all your friends, even the non-sporty ones, because you will have a great menu. Obviously, you could pick some other team and still have great theme party potential (but you know, not nearly as great as if you went the authentic chicken wing route :wink: )

*You can’t do this for the first week of play, because fans have long-standing committments related to their own teams.

Don’t overlook the minor league teams – hockey and baseball. These can be good gateway teams to follow, since if you do well with cultivating your fandom, you can follow a great player to the major leagues. There’s also a lot to be said for the local color value of some of these teams. You will stand out in your sporty crowd, because just about anyone can have a Mets jersey, but you will have your Coney Island Cyclones jersey. People will track down obscure team-related items for you for holiday gifts, and they will be thankful because you are easy to shop for. Also, if you pick a local minor league team, ticket prices are usually very reasonable compared to professional teams.

I’m from Syracuse in fact, though I live in NYC area now. I also lived briefly in Columbus, Ohio. People who don’t follow college sports are going “Uh huh, and…” And I think it’s funny that I’ve lived in two places where the local fervor for the team (basketball at SU, football at OSU) is rather pronounced. (Though at least in Syracuse the mayhem is kept to a manageable minimum, whereas in Columbus, living near campus, I practically boarded up the windows and fled to the cellar on game nights).

Football seems exciting and the regularity is an interesting point in its favor. Also, Hunter Thompson loved it. The concept is simple enough – this guy wants to go this way and these guys want to stop him – but…what’s the spark of it, for you? What gets you out of your seat to see happen, what keeps you coming back to watch again and again these athletes demonstrating their art? What’s an example of a really beautiful football moment?

I think the hook could be there for me. I’ve tried just watching games, but I can’t focus on it for long without a context of interest. Picking a team definitely seems like the first step.

Maybe this belongs in IMHO, now that I think about it, being more of a poll, but I’ll leave it to mods to worry about.

I like the stop-and-go nature of football and that it constantly has small goals that lead up to the final goal. When one team has the ball, their ultimate goal is to get it over the endline. But in the meantime, they have 4 chances to move the ball 10 yards. Accomplish that and they get another 4 tries. So what’s the best way to do that? You can throw really far downfield and accomplish your intermediate goal and get closer to the final goal, but it’s hard to do that. You can give short passes or throws and just grind through the 4 attempts, moving a few yards here and there. Which to chose? It’s your last chance and you just need to move the ball a yard. If you succeed, you get 4 more chances. If you fail, the other team gets the ball, likely quite close to their goal. Risk/benefit analysis, you usually punt. But not always.

The interaction between offense and defense is also interesting. The defense is trying to get the ball back, either by interception or by preventing the offense from moving the 10 yards. They have to think about what the offense is going to try, and the best way to prevent success. The offense then needs to quickly assess what the defense is anticipating, and try to work around that. It’s an interesting feedback loop.

That makes it sound a bit more intellectual than I find it when I’m watching the game. There’s a constant suspense and people accomplish physical feats that I find impressive.

Ditto to everything Kakofonous said about football. Here are a few other thoughts about why I like it and get excited about it:

It’s a game of fairly limited and discete actions that you are going to see – you can run with, pass, or kick the ball. However, there are tons of combinations that can happen. The start-stop action of football is not appealing to everyone, but I like it because you, the fan, have time between plays to consider what you think should happen. You have to factor in things like game time, field position, down, the strenghs and weaknesses of the specific guys on the field on both teams, what you want the outcome to be to set up the next play, the weather, and freak acts of God. Oh yeah, and the rules. It really helps to know the rules, because that sets up your initial list of possible outcomes right there. I’m sure it’s frustrating for people who watch wondering why that guy didn’t get the ball, when that player is actually an ineligible receiver. When you have a greater knowledge base, you can read a play better – you know what the players are thinking and anticipating when you see them set up for a play. “What’s with the double coverage? He’s not that good.”

Football is good when everything chugs along like clockwork, but it is great when something comes along that beats the probabilities and surprises you. “WHOA, HE WENT FOR THE SHOVEL PASS!” You can even get a grudging admiration for plays that go against your team “Man, I CAN’T BELIEVE he intercepted that pass, there’s just no way he could have gotten there so fast.”

Naturally the best moment ever in the history of sports that happens to have occurred in a football game (whether or not that is hyperbole I shall leave as an exercise for the reader) is the 1993 Bills comeback game against Houston, which you can read about here. Intellectually, looking back on it, it was an amazing display of athletic excellence combined with a series of events that simply weren’t likely from a statistical viewpoint. At the time, I had no intellectual thoughts about it at all because I was having a football-induced nervous breakdown.

I also recommend football, but with a twist: If you’re looking for a quick way to gtet yourself into it, sign up for a fantasy football league. You can choose players in a draft (just pick up the issue of Sports Illustrated they put out right before the bginning of the season to find out who is good, since you won’t have any idea), manage your own team, make trades, and beat other people. It’s like sports, but with a huge game aspect. You will be interested in winning your fantasy matchups, and then you’ll become more interested in following your players’ progress. To do that, you’ll end up watching the games, and you’ll learn a lot more about the game.

My wife, who was ambivalent at best about most sports, has turned into a rabid fan because of our fantasy league. I’ll stumble out of bed on Sunday mornings to find her glued to the TV watching football. :smiley:

I was never a fan of any form of sport until 11 years ago when minor-league hockey came to my town. My username represents the “Snakes” - Columbus Cottonmouths - and I have been a season ticket holder for 7 years now. I’m corresponding secretary for the Booster Club. As a friend of mine puts it: I got it bad!

Hockey is non-stop action; there aren’t long periods of time where guys are standing around scratching themselves and spitting. The sheer physical endurance of these guys amazes me - if one of them falls, he’s up and down the ice while I would still be in the air on my way down. Some of the moves the goalies make to keep that small rubber disc out of the net are beyond belief. Some of the moves the players make to get the disc in the net appear to be physically impossible.

And there’s nothing like seeing your team win the league championship and coming home to an e-mail that reads “I’m sure it wasn’t my quiet, reserved sister-in-law I saw on the news tonight jumping up and down screaming banging on the glass, was it?”

I’ve also met some very nice people and made some very good friends going to games. And game-worn minor league jerseys are only a few hundred dollars as opposed to a few thousand for a major-league jersey.