Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sports

Rant alert: Possibly boring and tedious gassing on about why sports suck out loud to moi.

__________
I am utterly missing the sports gene. I understand why cats chase balls, but have no idea why people do. This makes me quite the oddball (nuh har har) to much of American society, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it.

This lead to a lot of angst on my part as I grew up. I'm not talking about being picked last in P.E. - I expected that, and it didn't matter one bit of course because other than the exercise I could care about the game we were divvying up for. I'm also not talking about an aversion to activity and just bombing around as a kid. I was an avid skateboarder (as my knees will attest these days), loved biking around, and dug hikes out to a cool island in the middle of the river in my hometown.

No, I'm specifically talking about getting some object in some pre-designated place so that my team will receive (imaginary) points, which if we end up with more than the other team, we will WIN! Wow!

Win what? Nothing but the joy of having won. Lotsa folks somehow translate this over into a feeling of superiority over the other team, as though we are somehow better than they. But so much of competitive sports, when the teams are balanced in ability as they usually are (and if they aren't the game is kinda moot), is about the luck of the bounce, the direction of the wind, and other uncontrollable and intangible things. Thus when the ball bounces one way rather than the other, makes the winning point, and the winning team screams at the other, "You suck! We are the champions!" I am mystified by the supposed alchemy that endows this seemingly random and meaningless superiority. It's like a neighbor and myself deciding that on cloudy days I win and on sunny days he wins. So, I walk outside on a sunny day, and my neighbor appears, smiles, and says, "You suck! I rule!" How much sense does that make?

Another aspect of sports is that some folks somehow enjoy having permission to kick the snot out of someone else. Maybe it's a character flaw, but I don't like hitting, kicking, or hurting anyone. I don't like getting hit either. I've noticed a lot of sportsniks really dig that kind of contact, though. Sometimes the rougher the better. Freaks.

My childhood is littered with events where I had to play a game of one sort or another, usually for P.E., and some clod just wiped the floor with me. For instance, once in a P.E. touch football game, no one was covering me because I was a late bloomer and pretty small at the time, and everyone knew I didn't enjoy sports, so I was essentially invisible. Well, I lined up right across from the quarterback and no one blocked me when the play started. I literally walked over and tore the flag off the quarterback as he was looking for an opening. He looked down with utter shock and said, "You little shit!" Of course, from that point on I had the three biggest buys dogpiling on me for the remainder of the game, with a punch or two thrown in. When I made some comment to the coach about the reaction being a little over the top, he more or less said that's the nature of the game and to cowboy up.

Only one P.E. teacher out the many I had throughout school seemed to understand that P.E. was supposed to be for keeping ALL the kids in shape and not just a time for the jocks to bash the smaller kids heads. The rest of the P.E. teachers I had the misfortune to encounter routinely seemed to enjoy seeing the little guys like me get knocked around. One of the more cretinous one's resulting smile would be in direction proportion to how badly a kid got hurt. This spitwad had me wrestle a kid (from the wrestling team, no less) 40 lbs. above my weight class. The guy put me out of commission for a month and a half by bruising the skeletal muscles on the left side of my rib cage (as the doctor later diagnosed) through an illegal move. As I lay there on the mat trying not to pass out from the pain, I heard the bastard coach even slap his knee as he yucked it up.

Those situations, however, didn't really play into my not understanding the point of and eventual dislike of competitive sports. Way before that stuff was tossed my way in school, the height of boredom would ensue when someone would say, "Let's play some ball!" That was usually my queue to hit my bike and look for fun elsewhere. Oh, I gave it a try, but would always get looks like I had an arm growing from my forehead when, after tossing a ball around for a while, would say, "Um, is this all there is? Just keep throwing this thing around?" No, the approved beatings in school were the just shit icing on what to me was already just a urinal cake.

After high school, I blissfully escaped the world of mandatory participation in any sport, and with the exception of temporarily losing part of the gang to the TV when the chosen team was GOING ALL THE WAY!, sports and I parted ways. We missed each other not at all.

Till recently.

Last season my daughter's soccer coach more or less drafted me to be a referee. I gave it a try because there was a need, and I was OK with helping given there wasn't much of an alternative. But, dear Lord, I loathe it. I just don't have the mind for it or the interest, so paying attention to the minutia of the ball crossing a boundary and who kicked it last, and then putting up with argumentative parents catcalling from the sidelines (and always only if their team is losing), is a regular trip through an outer circle of hell. I just wanna watch my kid enjoy herself from the sidelines. But, when it's for the kids, sometimes you just shut up and deal.

Oh, but sports had bigger plans. It wasn't done with me yet.

A week or so ago, there I was, enjoying one of our wonderful gatherings of friends and neighbors, having a cold one, shooting the breeze, and someone said, "Hey! Guess what! We're gonna form a softball team! Hey, [Yahmdallah], ya up for it?!?"

Pause.

"Um, no. But, hey, more for you!"

"Oh C'mon! It'll be great! Just get out your glove and show up. It'll be a blast!"

Thinks I: Yeah, like carving tribal tattoos into my own sober flesh with a Philips-head screwdriver would be a blast. But says I, "No, really, I'm not much of a sports guy."

"But it doesn't matter how well you play! This is just for fun!"

I've heard that promise in the dark before. Trust me, the second everyone has a couple beers in their system and a pop fly is missed, or someone strikes out easily, we will blow past the fun barrier with extreme ferocity accompanied by much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Again, some folks kinda like this kind of fighting and yelling. It's how they relieve stress, maybe. Not I. So, here I am again, smack dab in a circle of folks looking at me like I'm just not quite right, virtually back in high school hell. Why can't I just get with the game?, they wonder.

Because I hate the game. Got it? Anything that thrashes between thunderously boring and snarlingly tense is just not my idea of getting the ya yas out, k? So what if we won? Or they did? Does this result in something useful or tangible like free beer or gratuitous nudity? A better parking space in the parking lot? Heads on spears for that extra Martha Stewart touch in the landscaping?

If I am stricken with the desire to throw a ball for fun, and so far this has occurred maybe one and a half times in my life, I'll go out back with the dog, because HE enjoys the hell out of it and could care less if I throw it right or left or if I can catch it at a crucial moment. Better yet, he won't throw that sucker back at me. You throw something at me, I duck. That's it. My fight-or-flight system offers no other alternatives. Best of all, my dog won't stroll up, drop the ball, and say, "I wish I could give you what you're missing by not playing sports," which someone once said to me, with all good intentions, of course. But I gnawed on that one for a long while and eventually came to the conclusion that I am so completely devoid of any desire or interest in competitive sports that I can't think of a single thing I would gain from them (outside of a bruise or two). It would be like an alien species saying to me, "Y'know, you humans just don't know what you're missing by not having a third arm protruding from your chest like we do. It just makes mealtimes so much less of a hassle." I grant from their perspective I have some sort of hole in my life, but from my side, it's just another day in paradise, damnit.

So, these days, I chuckle darkly when I think of that great quote of Michael Corleone's in Godfather III: "Just when I thought that I was out, they pull me back in."

I wonder how I'm going to get out of this one.

(Apologies to those of you from my crew who read this blog, btw.)

14 comments:

Da guy said...

Amen, bro. Amen.

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember a Hockey game we attended and you were havin a bitchin time grinnin' every time two players slammed up against the boards in front of us. (I scored tickets in the front row on the corner, where most of the "boarding" takes place.) That memory has never left me, because I always wondered, Yahmdallah has made his point about his disdain for sports, and yet he's really enjoying himself here! At the time I didn't want to rain on your parade - I was tickled you had so much fun. So cmon, you gotta admit there's sports in yer genes. Even if it's the size of a lepton. Eh dude?
Sleemoth

Yahmdallah said...

Actually, I considered bringing that up, and it was in the draft version, but it didn't gell with the rest. That was one of the two times I enjoyed watching a team play. The other time was a game of our high school basketball team with our 7' 6" center and our 5' 4" guard who would leap from amongst the giants to grab the ball, run between their knees, and then pop up again to pass ball back to our center. It was like a cirque de soleil version of basketball.

I also left out my enjoyment of live women's volleyball, but that has almost nothing to do with the sport itself.

Steve Austin said...

I like yuor blog. Please check out my black dog blog.

jon said...

I was searching for red dog info and found this post. I agree totally!

Paul

Richpoo said...

Cool blog you have going here, I will check in often! I have a similar site about clothing sports womens. It pretty much covers clothing sports womens related stuff.

Roy Naka said...

I've stumbled across your blog when I done some dog breed gift research in Google. You're doing a pretty nice job
here, keep up the good work! check out dog breed gift

cc Infopage said...

.

Yahoo News - Oct. 13, 2005


Yahoo Japan steps up mobile content distribution (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
Yahoo Japan Corp. said on Thursday it had launched a mobile content distribution service, in which cellphone users can buy games, ring tones, news and other entertainment and information from 59 content providers.


Microsoft, Yahoo to link instant messages (USATODAY.com via Yahoo! News)
Microsoft and Yahoo will make their instant-messaging programs work together, a partnership that could give the companies more power to compete against market leader America Online. The companies expect the service to start by June 2006.


Yahoo to Bar Minor-Adult Sex Chat Rooms (Washington Post)
NEW YORK -- Yahoo Inc. said Wednesday it will bar chat rooms that promote sex between minors and adults and restrict all chat rooms to users 18 and older.

Today's News From & About Yahoo


Delivered by Infopage.cc: 30,000 daily updated Information Pages about all kind of subjects


Have a nice day,

jeepee

Anonymous said...

Help me Dude, I'm lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw Elvis in the supermarket yesterday.

No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new plasmatv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a plasma tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger then I'm gonna go home and ask Michael Jackson to come round and watch that waaaay cool surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on my new plasma tv .

And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on "

Strange day or what? :-)

Linux Unix said...

Cute blog! Please visit my nate dog blog.

Adult Personals said...

hey nice site you have here!

Any tips on bloggin ? id like to see your reply to this story :)

look forward to the next edition

i have bookmarked you

Anonymous said...

I just came across your Blog about dog pile and wanted to drop you a note to tell you how impressed I was with the information you have provided here. I also have a website and blog about dog pileso I know what I am talking about when I say your is top-notch! Keep up the great work, you are providing a great resource on the internet.

Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a christmas gift site/blog. It pretty much covers gift ideas for christmas related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

Anonymous said...

Many of our modern drugs have harsh side-affects and cost the “earth”, so the next time you come down with a cold or the flu or anxiety cure, why not try a gentle alternative that costs next to nothing?

Instead of immediately forking over large amounts of money for over-the-counter drugs, go to the kitchen cupboard and see what you can find to relieve your symptoms including anxiety cure.

Here are some helpful hints for anxiety cure …

A simple hot compress applied to the face is very soothing to those throbbing aches and pains of a blocked sinus, while a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a handkerchief can provide welcome relief for similar conditions. While supplements of vitamin C, D and zinc will shorten the lifespan of a common cold, a hot lemon drink is also extremely good. And be sure to cuddle-up in bed when you have a cold, as it will make the body sweat out the germs.

Cool lemon juice and honey are a great soother for a sore throat and gives the body much-needed vitamin C at the same time The juice of one lemon in a glass of water is sufficient. Melt the honey in a little hot water for ease of mixing.

A smear of Vaseline or petroleum jelly will do wonders for those sore lips and nose that often accompany a cold.

A 'streaming cold' where the nose and eyes water profusely, can respond to drinking onion water. Simply dip a slice of onion into a glass of hot water for two seconds, then sip the cooled water throughout the day. Half an onion on the bedside table also alleviates cold symptoms because its odor is inhaled while you sleep.

People prone to catarrh may find that chewing the buds from a pine or larch throughout the day will clear up their condition in just a few days.

Do you suffer from sore eyes? If your eyes are sore from lengthy exposure to the sun, try beating the white of an egg and then spread it over a cloth and bandage the eyes with it. Leave the preparation on overnight. Soft cheese (quark) is also a good remedy for this condition.

For those unpleasant times when you suffer from diarrhea, two tablespoons of brown vinegar will usually fix the problem. Vinegar can be rather horrible to take, but who cares! The problem is more horrible. Vinegar can usually be found in most people's cupboards, so you don't need to worry about finding someone to run to the shop for you in an emergency.

Sleepless? Instead of reaching for sleeping pills, which can quickly become addictive, try this: Drink only caffeine free tea or coffee starting late in the afternoon.. Go to bed earlier rather than later, as being overtired tends to keep people awake. Make sure the bedroom is dark and quiet. Use only pure wool or cotton sheets and blankets. Polyester materials can cause sweat and make you thirsty (if your child constantly asks for water throughout the night, this could be the reason).

And don't watch those scary movies just before retiring! If you still can't sleep, make a tea of lemongrass or drink a nightcap of herbal tea containing chamomile. It's easy to grow lemongrass in your garden or start a flower pot on the balcony for ease of picking. Simply steep a handful in boiling water for five minutes. Honey may be added for a sweetener.

Of course there will be times when you do need modern drugs, so if these simple remedies don't have the required affect, be sure to see a health care professional.


anxiety cure