I’ll admit it. I suck at sports. I especially suck at basketball. That for some reason seems to shock people, especially since I’m a black guy. Like I tell them "“I’m only partial to fried chicken, I don’t like to dance and I loathe watermelon, too.”
This morning we went to the gym for PT and the idea was to play basketball. Oh, screw that. I’d have rather just ran for five miles. I don’t find it fun, and the only thing I know about the game is “ball go in hoop”. After being hit in the face twice by the ball I decided to sit it out. I suck at it, I know that. I’m 45 years old. I’ve sucked at basketball since I was 10. When I was a kid the other kids wouldn’t let me play basketball at the playground because I was so horrible at it. My grandfather actually built a basketball hoop in the yard so I could practice, but as I said, I SUCK aty it. Add to that I wasn’t that interested in the game in the first place.
So in an offhand conversation with another soldier as we’re leaving the gym I mention to him that I’m not very good at most sports because I’m not all that interested in them. I don’t play or watch basketball, football, baseball, etc. I don’t even know what team is the best nor do I watch them on TV. (My wife does, she loves watching football and NASCAR. Which is why we have 2 TVs) This prompts this guy to ask “What kind of a man doesn’t like sports?”
Oooo-kay…this isn’t the first time someone has said this to me. I usually just shrug it off because I don’t care too much what someone thinks. But hey, I’m only human and I I do resent the idea that I’m not enough man to like sports. So I said in my most smart ass voice “Yeah, I’m a wierdo. I have more fun watching the discovery channel, or working on my artwork than watching monday night football. I mean, how could I possibly resist the chance to watch some overpaid beefy guys run up and down a field. They make more cash than teachers and doctors! They must be important!”
Of course the other person ccouldn’t let me get away with that remark so he goes on about how its just “expected” for men to like sports. So I had to break it down for him. “Dude, you’re saying you want me to be like you. You want me to like the same things you like because somehow my not liking them offends you. I don’t hate the game, but I don’t enjoy it. How in the world does that make me less of a man than anyone else here? I mean I spent a week in Amsterdam going to museums instead of the Red Light District. Guess I must be gay*, too, huh?”
I don’t get it. Why do people think its so strange that I find sports, well, kinda boring? I don’t hate them, but given the choice of playing football, basketball or softball or going to a museum or even fishing (which I guess can sorta be considered a sport) I’d be in the museum or throwing my lines in the water. Geezuz, I’m sick of the question about what kind of a man doesn’t like sports. I already know I’m the odd man out most of the time…but if its because I don’t have a reaction like Pavlov’s dog to Monday Night Football I’m happy about it.
*not that anything is wrong with that.