I have never understood the appeal of sports entertainment, whether going to sports games or watching it on TV. Despite growing up with a raging Broncos fan for a father and being exposed to the culture my whole life, as a kid I was never more annoyed than when Sunday night football came on.
My distaste for sports is apparent; I’m not fond of watching basketball or hockey, and I straight up hate golf. What is so fascinating about watching people push a ball into a little hole in the ground for hours?
I think part of the reason I have such a pessimistic outlook on sports is because I never participated in any as a kid. I never showed much interest in anything and was never pushed to try any sports when I was young. As a result, I retreated to theater in middle and high school instead of a sports team or the cheer team.
While I didn’t grow up playing sports, my family was considerably sports oriented. My sister played hockey and softball for several years growing up, and all I can truly remember from the experiences of going to her games was the longing to leave them. (No offense to my sister, I bet she was a great player.)
My dad also loves football. If he could watch football all year round, he would. I remember throwing minor tantrums whenever my dad turned off “SpongeBob” to watch a college football game of two teams that I couldn’t care less about. Honestly, sports culture haunted my childhood.
I loved theater, but I often felt like an outcast because of the way that high school is structured; sports are always prioritized over any other extracurricular activity, and if you don’t play a sport, you don’t matter as much.
My high school never tried to pretend that this wasn’t their mindset, as we had three whole gyms within our campus, while art classes were literally shoved to a narrow hallway at the back of the school.
Even the word “sports” has a negative connotation in my head; it makes me think about people in sweaty uniforms running around nonsensically while some coach yells at them about their form from the sidelines (which is, in a way, very accurate to what sports is).
With all of this being said, anyone who has the skill to play a sport is worth celebrating. I may not be too fond of the culture, but I can respect an athlete’s incredible ability to score a goal and be a part of a team that is bigger than themselves. I’m partly envious of people who play sports because of this experience they have with a team, and I am envious of fans who can love a sport so much that they can sit and watch games for hours.
Sports is something I might not ever understand and might always disregard, and that’s OK. Everyone has different experiences through life, so even though sports and sports culture were miniscule in my experience, they were important to others, and who am I to step on what might make other people happy? I am just a former theater kid after all.