Forever sports-challenged

It dawned on me today that my near-total lack of interest in sports will forever cripple me socially. As I was leaving my chiropractor today he said, “Have a great weekend. Go Hawks.” So empty is my sporting knowledge and so off my radar are professional sports, that I briefly wondered, does he think I’m a birder? Ah wait, no, he must be talking about the Seattle Seahawks. “Yup, you, too” was all I could muster.

I spent most of the week at our corporate headquarters on Bainbridge Island where the big topic for smalltalk was also The Hawks. A few months ago it was the Seattle Mariners. Either way, I’m unable to partake.

How is it that I can be so completely disengaged from something so pervasive that it pops up in a visit to one’s doctor or in every conversation in a building filled with 75 people? It seems somehow un-American and not at all manly. Worse, it tends to impede the sort of social bonding that is important in American business and culture.

The thing is, I’ve never really been interested in sports. Oh sure, I played soccer and baseball as a kid but never with any real passion. My dad once took me to a local boxing match but I went looking for the doors as soon as blood started flying. (Don’t believe me? Just ask him, he loves to tell the story)

As I drove home from the chiropractor tonight, I told myself that I needed to at least be somewhat literate in popular sports. It’s time to subscribe to some basic sports news feeds, I decided. Then, reality set in: I won’t read them. The feeds will refresh and the little unread number will climb until I look around to make sure that nobody is watching, select the feed and Mark All as Read. I can’t even summon the energy to read the headlines.

I’m not a total sports idiot, though. Earlier this year I decided it was time to get back into the one sport that ever really held my interest: auto racing. Thank god for TiVo – I spent the summer watching time-shifted Formula 1 and Le Mans Endurance Series racing as well as a bit of stateside driving. But even this doesn’t elevate me out of the category of the sports-challenged. Nobody at the water cooler wants to hear about Alonso’s pass on Raikkonen at Spa’s Eau Rouge when they could be talking about… um… somebody catching a ball in some overpriced stadium.

See? I just can’t do it. I’m doomed.

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