Am I a sports fan? Heck no, I am not…though I used to love playing volleyball and floor hockey in grade school, if that counts for anything. As teenagers, we also used to have a basketball net attached to our garage, so that we could entertain ourselves at night (and hang around home, I’m guessing) and I became really good at the infamous ‘granny’ two-handed throw. We sometimes went skating, and I once tried tennis until I got sick of chasing after that stupid, little, yellow ball; to be fair, I think my racket had a hole in it. And, of course, living here in Canada, there was no getting away from watching hockey on TV–endless hours of a bunch of grown men skating around after a little, black hunk of rubber–crazy, I figured, especially considering their pay. But, “To each their own”, as the saying goes.
Having said what I have, I will reluctantly admit that over the years, I have been sucked into watching playoff series of hockey and/or football, especially if: the games have been close in scoring, an underdog has taken the lead, and/or our local team has made it into the finals. Yes, I guess you could say that I am one of those on again/off again sports ‘fans’ who pledges allegiance at the last-minute should a win of sorts actually ensue. Kind of pathetic, but also mildly entertaining all at the same time. Maybe you are one of ‘those‘ fans, as well?
As for Baseball itself, what can I tell you? Let’s see… I used to hate being up at bat in gym class. In case people don’t know, that ball is HARD and it hurts!!! And, the pitcher throws it right at you. Fast! ‘What the heck is up with that?’ I used to duck for Pete’s sake! (I wasn’t up to bat very often, as it turned out.) Then, there was the skill of catching with an over-sized mitt that appeared not to have proper instructions with it. Needless to say, I had zero interest in the sport and dreaded when the weather warmed up enough to play it outside at school. Somehow, over the past few years however, my parents have taken to watching baseball; in particular, the World Series. I guess it makes sense because mid-fall is usually a lull time for TV. (I am aware that I might catch flack for wording it that way…). Anyway, thanks to their piquing interest, I have been privy to watching a game or two over the past couple of seasons.
Well, as it so happens this year, two underdog teams (as I have since learned) made it to the infamous World Series, and it was a close one! Underdogs and close scoring–two reasons for me to take to watching the games, along with the fact that there was nothing else of any value on the television tube. Sorry, but that’s the truth. To my surprise, what a playoff it was! Game Seven, especially. At Game Three, I had decided that I wanted the Cubs to break their century plus record of losses; thus, I declared my delayed allegiance to the Chicago team not knowing a single thing about them prior to that game. Just that I felt sorry for them, similar to how I have felt sorry for the many flies that have become trapped between our screen and main doors, leaving me to rescue them. What can I say? I am a sensitive girl! While I could not rescue the Cubs, I could cheer them on, and that I did though, at times, I also felt bad for Cleveland, whose long, dry spell also would have been nice to break.
Sticking to my guns, however, I went along with Chicago and drove my husband nuts with my smattering of questions, as I tried desperately to understand the many rules and terms used in professional baseball. ‘Hmm….more complicated than I thought!‘. Mostly, I was in awe of their repetitive rituals prior to play, and I loved seeing the bucket of 300 Double-Bubble gum that adorned the bench area. Oh, and well, the ninety mile-an-hour pitches, throwing, batting, fielding and outing were fascinating too. So much so, that *I* actually put off going to bed after a long twelve-hour workday! Me? Sue? ‘Was I feeling okay?’ I wondered. ‘Baseball, instead of much-needed sleep?’. It could only have meant one thing–that I was coming down with something, or the least likely option that, at that moment in time, the very core of my non-sports like nature had been forever changed. Which was it? Had I become a baseball fan, a fan of the Cubs? Indeed I had until… I fell asleep just after the rain-out session leaving me to snore my way through the final plays of the tenth inning, Game Seven. Was I happy to hear that my ever-revered (a mild Hyperbole) Chicago team had ‘sealed the deal’ on my morning radio show? Why, yes I was and apparently, so were the other five million people who attended the Cubs’ parade post-series, the seventh largest gathering in human history. Seems as though I became a fan just in the nick of time;-).