A Casual Bystander’s View of Sports



I’ve really never been a sports-minded person.  Sure, I participated in a bit of basket shootin’ and hittin’ the ball around when I was in grade school but that’s as far as it ever went.  The reason may have had something to do with the size of rural school where I attended grades one through eight.  I guess when there is a total student population of 14 – yes, in all grades, girls included – it’s a little difficult to completely grasp the “team sports” concept.


High school was a different story though.  Growing up in sports-minded Nebraska, I certainly had every opportunity to get involved in football, or even basketball or track for that matter.  So why didn’t I?  Well, probably because I was really (and I mean REALLY!) a shy farm boy with the self-confidence of a grape.  I took me a lot of years to wiggle my way out of that hole and truthfully, depending on the situation, I still have my moments.


As a result, I never really developed a full appreciation for either individual or team sports activities.  I don’t have any favorite sports “stars” (well, maybe with the exception of NASCAR driver, Mark Martin…) nor do I root for any particular team – in any sport.  Oh sure, I do appreciate the effort and training it takes to become skilled in any of the sports.  And I have a basic understanding of the techniques and strategies involved in many of the sports activities.  But that’s about as far as it goes.  Sick, huh?


Having said that, I’d like to take a minute to offer a big round of applause for all of those creative individuals and organizations that have contributed in any way to our present sports activities.  Through their efforts, we as a society are now able to:



Spend countless hours every week nestled comfortably in our recliners, drinking beer and ignoring the rest of the world.


Swear at the TV without being considered weird.


Cook brats on a grill in a public parking lot.


Watch bouncing boobies on the sidelines without being the recipient of disapproving looks from our spouses – or…


Watch a whole herd of tight buns on the playing field without being the recipient of disapproving looks from our spouses.  (You’re welcome, ladies…)


Spend half a week’s paycheck for the privilege of socializing with seventy thousand other people.


Swear at the TV


Spend four hours trying to leave a public parking lot.


Consume the most expensive hot dogs in the whole world.


Spend half a month’s paycheck to purchase sticks to knock a little hard ball around a pasture.


Play with our balls in public (you know - bowling, basket, foot, base, soccer etc….)


Pat other guys butts without getting decked.


Have something to talk about other than the weather or politics.


Provide semi-valid reasons for smelling like a pig, puking in public or wearing a cast.


Swear at the TV.


Watch millionaires play with their balls (you know – basket, foot,,, OK, so that’s not what I really mean…)


Spend a month’s paycheck (or maybe two or three) to fill display cases with souvenirs and collectables of our favorite team, driver, sports celebrity, etc.


Drive like an idiot and blame it on the last NASCAR race we watched.


Have a legitimate reason for making up an excuse to miss two days of work - so we could attend our favorite sporting event (Sorry boss, it was that damn flu bug again).


Semi-legally gamble at work (I don’t need to explain this one, do I?  Nah….)


Shout, scream, yell, jump up and down, and say dumb things in public without attracting the least bit of attention.


Watch other adults get paid - for shouting, screaming, yelling, jumping up and down, and saying dumb things in public.


Dress really weird without getting arrested.


Watch adults – one at a time or in groups – try to legally knock other people down, out or senseless.


Refer to a group of people with the name of an animal or bird, category of people or other object – and not have them get upset about it.


Write numbers and other strange things on the windows of our vehicles without having anyone question our sanity.


And of course, swear at the TV…


Thank you sports-minded people everywhere!




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