Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sports- An Outsider Looks In

After glancing through the headlines of the New York Times, I toss aside the  sports section and go straight to Arts and Leisure.  I'd rather see "Endgame" than catch the big game any day.  I've devoted the last five years of my life to pursuing the arts, and it's the path I intend to follow for as long as I can.  Maybe forever.  Forever would be nice.  I am swept away by theater; marvel at its spectacle, stare wide-eyed and breathless at its subtleties.  I watch episodic television like it's my job.  I wish it was.  Maybe one day it will be.  That would be nice too.  And I've yet to find anything more exhilarating than feeling my ribcage vibrate from a movie theater's digital sound system blasting the perfect pairing of soundtrack and screen action.  

That is, until recently.  I should preface this with the fact that I grew up a loyal and devoted Yankees baseball fan.  I was a Yankee for Halloween (perhaps without a choice) at least three times.  My family, namely my mother father and sister, haven't missed a game on tv in years. Curiously it's my sister Sara who's the most devoted (and loudest) fan of them all.  So I've been watching the past couple games, if for no other reason than to try to understand how something so simple could draw so many people so many days for so many years.  Last night's game housed 43,867 people.  And after three games, I was hooked.  It is truly exhilarating.  There's something about watching these people, experts in their field, under the greatest amount of pressure possible, that makes your heart pump like nothing else.  Watching sports makes you feel alive.  If you let yourself.  

I'm reminded of last year's Super Bowl, which I watched with my friend and fellow RSF blogger David.  Neither of us cared about football.  Neither of us cared about the Giants.  I only knew the rules of the game from being in my high school marching band and half paying attention to every single high school game for four years.  We were really only in it for the commercials. But when the Giants were behind, and that dude caught the football on his helmet, the two of us literally, without thinking, jumped onto the couch and shouted for about a minute.  We went from not giving a shit, to being totally invigorated by a sport we wanted nothing to do with.

Now I'm certainly not going to start wearing shirts with team logos.  I'm not going to refer to a team as if I belong to it, i.e. "my yankees".  I will still make fun of the people that do.  I'm not gonna fall in love with Coors Light and call people queers.  But I don't know.  I think I'm starting to see what all the fuss is about.

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