Dec. 23rd, 2014

jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
Becoming A Sports Person has really opened my eyes to what a dick I was when I was A Non-Sports Person. Not everyone falls into these two categories--there are plenty of people who just don't care about sports, and don't feel the need to make that part of their identity. But there's a large number of people, myself formerly included, who don't like sports and have to make sure you know that. They have a lot of opinions about how useless and ridiculous and harmful sports are, and they say repeatedly that they don't care, but it's hard to keep believing that when they won't let you change the subject.

I've tried to unpack what exactly it was that made me so hostile to sports before I tripped and fell into hockey; I think it was that the whole idea was so very unappealing to me that I didn't understand how it could appeal to anyone. Sports get so much attention and money and energy from so many people, and it irritated me that all those resources were being wasted when those people could have been doing something productive, or at least something actually fun. On some level, it just didn't compute that other people honestly got the same enjoyment out of sports that I got out of the things I loved. Especially because they all complained so much when their teams lost--and boy, if my seventeen-year-old self could meet the me of today, she'd get a nasty surprise there. I think there just isn't another realm of interest that fits this structure of constant emotional highs and lows, and so I had no context for understanding why anyone would want to subject themselves to that. It just seemed like a colossal waste of time. There's really no way to convey the joys of sports to someone who has internalized that.

For my last birthday, I received this from my mom and this (reverse) from my friend Carrie. Neither of those people get sports, but they don't need to get it to understand that hockey matters to me. They put their own resources into it purely for my sake, and that really means a lot to me. That's the kind of person I aim to be, when it comes to things I don't get. It's a hell of a lot easier for me to be supportive of other sports fans now that I am one, though a few (particularly football) still don't appeal to me. But there are other things I don't get, like shoot-'em-up video games, or following celebrity news, or fashion. There are things to criticize about those pastimes, like there are things to criticize about sports, and it's okay to have those conversations. But I am trying not to be a person who talks endless shit about things other people love.

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jedusor

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