Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sensitive Geek MAN: There is no crying in Baseball

I am not a 'Sports' person.

Growing up as a boy, this causes some sociological issues. A big way that boys hang out or play and get to know each other is through sports. If you are a boy that doesn't like sports, then you have a significant handicap in making other boy friends.

It isn't like I didn't try. I was in soccer as a kid, but I was the kid who just stood in the middle of the field staring at the sky or a tree or kicking an imaginary ball rather than the real one. Needless to say I didn't excel.
I also kept trying to play with my friends. I shot hoops, I hit baseballs, I tried to catch footballs, nothing really clicked. The friends of mine who were kind allowed me to be horrible but still play without mocking, but I never enjoyed it.
It wasn't that there aren't sports that I like. I like climbing, I like downhill skiing, but the issue is that you don't really do those together. You only need one other person to climb, and you don't need anyone to ski. So those sorts of activities aren't good at bonding and team building.

What I excelled at was video games, but this was at the beginning of video games, so it wasn't culturally accepted to sit around and play video games all day. I also was good at 'make believe' games, but my male friends grew out of that faster than I did. Especially seeing as I still haven't.

Finally, in college things started to coalesce. Not that I got better at sports, just that it became easier to find people who liked the things I like. Also, as I have gotten older, I have started to find things to like in sporting events. It will never be my thing, but relationships are partly about compromising so everyone can benefit.
So i watch the Super Bowl, and even enjoy the game, although I am really there to talk, eat, and watch the commercials.
I go to the (very) occasional basketball game, and (again) enjoy the game, but am really there to talk, eat, and watch the spectacle that happens when the team isn't playing.

But I will never get the appeal of baseball.


  1. I love baseball. It's a beautiful game. Incredibly difficult, yet childishly simple. Half-hours of seeming downtime filled with tension as you wait for that single moment between victory and defeat. Each batter straining to do the near-impossible, making it that much more dramatic when it happens. It doesn't require the brute strength of football, the speed and agility of soccer, the coordination or jumping ability of basketball. Yet the best players of the game are unquestionably great athletes. It's the game that almost anyone with enough desire and determination can excel at. It is thoroughly American. And its history is inexorably linked with American history.

    There is something comforting about baseball. It is a leisurely game, a holdover from when we understood what leisure was. It is a very human game, being that the best hitters only get on base a third of the time.

    Yes, I just watched Ken Burns' "Baseball." But I already loved the game, that's why I watched the documentary.