Wednesday, November 6, 2019

On Being a Sport's Fan

     I find that I am drawn to being a sport's fan of the sports that I have participated in some time in my life.   At this stage in my life I no longer participate in some sports of my youth but still can get a good sense of what is going on when I am watching them.   Fortunately, I am still both able to downhill ski and enjoy  watching both competitive and recreational skiers.
     Over the years my sports watching habits have evolved.   At one time enjoyed watching football both live and on TV.   That is not longer the case.  The brutality of the sport has turned me off.   No matter what football game you watch at any level, there will be numerous visits to the field by the trainers to attend to injuries!   And now there is an accumulation of data demonstrating the long term effects of multiple concussions.   Thankfully only one of my male grandchildren played football and probably wasn't the kind of macho player looking for the big hits.  I know my attitude flies in the face of societal norms about football but I am at the point where I'll forgo watching this activity.  However, I confess I still pick up my alma mater's free tickets as a Professor Emeritus and dole them out to friends.  And occasionally I will go to a Cornell game to watch the Big Red Band perform at half-time.   Daughter Victoria and Son-in-Law Matt are alumni of the band and often go to Homecoming.
     Since I am into a negative mode for the moment I have another pet peeve.  How can a person be a fan of watching a person physically beat another person to pulp?  If what boxers and mixed martial arts athletes do to each other was done outside the ring or cage they would be charged with assault with intent to kill.   Don't we have enough violence in the world already?   Again I know I fly in the face of society norms for many people who think that such activity is honorable combat. 
     What do I consider the most satisfying sports to watch?   Obviously I prefer watching both team and individual non-contact sports.  I guess basketball is still a non-contact sport for the most part.  However to me the shot-clock has reduces team play and finesse.  To me the men's game has become run and gun.  Therefore I tend to find the women's game a better game to watch.  What they lack in physicality they make up for in team play and finesse. 
     Another team sport that I have enjoyed lately is volleyball!  The action is fast paced and I am amazed at the reaction times for setting the ball from a kill shot.  There is a great display of athleticism and team cooperation.  In the arena of individual sports, I am an avid tennis fan.  It is a thrill to watch extraordinary movement, grace, and stamina.   Probably because I have played tennis over 75 years I can really identify with the players.
     Finally, back to skiing!  Every day on the slopes I am a fan of anyone there, whether they are expert or amateur.  It is always entertaining while on the lift ride to watch my geezer companions, teenagers, toddlers, ankle biters and the like enjoying gliding with grace or not so much grace, down the slopes!


Nancy Rehkugler said...

The truth is that you just really enjoy watching the women, right Gerry?

And on the lift ride, I thought you were too busy talking to fellow lift-riders to watch the skiers down the slopes!

Gerry Rehkugler said...

Of course!S I always like scenery that is easy on the eyes!