One of the things I’ve noticed during the past few years is that I don’t care about sports anymore.
I watch sports, I follow sports, but I don’t really care about sports.
I enjoy watching sports (my wife and I always watch the Olympics and the World Series and the Super Bowl together, and I follow the World Cup every four years), but I don’t really have any rooting interest. I don’t have any favorite teams. Whatever part of the brain makes people into “sports fans” just doesn’t function for me anymore.
It wasn’t always this way. I used to love sports. When I was a kid I used to read the baseball standings in the Des Moines Register every day, all summer long. I used to live and die (mostly die) with Iowa State football and basketball.
I just don’t have that kind of time and energy anymore.
I’ve become a “sports agnostic.” I recognize that sports are important to a lot of other people, and I appreciate the joy and connectedness that following a sports team can bring to people’s lives, but I can’t quite get there myself.
Somehow I got to the point where I feel like, “Why do I care about a bunch of mercenary millionaire jocks? They’re all on steroids anyway.” As for college sports, now that I’m getting on in years, isn’t it rather silly to live and die by the athletic achievements of a bunch of 19-year-olds? (Granted, some of the “student athletes” are actually a lot older than that, due to the various shenanigans involved with drawing out their NCAA eligibility, but still…)
Maybe my attitude will change someday when we’re not raising a baby and I presumably will have more free time than I do now. Maybe our children will turn out to be athletic prodigies and I’ll enjoy coaching their teams and watching their games.
But I don’t think so. I might never again enjoy sports in the same way that I once did. And that’s OK – I have more “grown up” things to worry about now – like paying the mortgage, cleaning the gutters, doing dishes, and mowing the lawn.
Say, maybe that’s the answer – maybe sports is valuable as an escapist activity, to get us away from the mundane drudgery of our daily lives.
Even so, I don’t think sports is worth the effort for me. I can’t be a “true believer” anymore.