I had to ask myself just now, “Did the Bears play today?” And then I remembered, no, they played the Giants on Thursday. Not that I would have watched the game. I try, I really do, but I just can’t get into football, and I know that makes me quite possibly an awful America-hating liberal elitist wimpy book-reading snob who hates America and who probably caused the government shutdown just because he hates America so much.
No, I don’t hate America, and I don’t hate football, but I just can’t get into it. I grew up during the heyday of Da Bears and Da Coach in the 1980s, and that was fun, but that was almost 30 years ago. I turn on the TV and it’s all bombast and commercials and all of these loud brash things that I don’t really like.
Then we had Jordan and the Bulls, and I watched a lot of those games, and for a while I could tell you the starting five players for the Fighting Illini. But that was a while ago. Derrick Rose is “healthy” and the Bull should be a real contender, so maybe I’ll give them a shot this year.
I’ve never watched a Blackhawk game in my life. Never liked hockey as a kid, ain’t gonna jump on that bandwagon now.
The sport I’ve been the most loyal to would be baseball. I played a bit of it as a kid, although I wasn’t any good. But I grew up a Cubs fan, and if you gave me a minute I could probably tell you most of the players on the ’84, ’89, and ’03 teams. That old blog I started ten years ago has as its first entries a few mentions of the infamous 2003 playoffs, when we were five outs away from the World Series, until You Know What happened. I had been flirting with becoming a fan of the Red Sox for a few years at that point, and it was around then that I more or less gave up on the Cubs. The next year the Red Sox won the World Series, and that was fun, although I can’t say I stayed a consistent fan. I’ve got the Red Sox-Tigers game on right now, but as I look up I notice that Detroit scored and I don’t even remember that happening.
Still, being a Cubs fan is part of who I am, even though I don’t really watch the games any more. Even though it marked me immediately as a Yanqui devil, I wore my Cubs hat proudly while in Dublin. Needed a bit of home while I was away. But now they’re owned by the Ricketts family, which makes me…conflicted with some of their beliefs. But being a Cubs fan fits my overall personality, if you know what I mean. That Bill Murray-esque weary-with-the-world thing, hoping that something great happens, but enough of a realist to know that it probably won’t.
So, in the end, I’m just not a sports guy, and that can make you a very lonely person in a sports-obsessed culture like ours. I can fake it for about 10 seconds, but that’s about it.
Now, if anyone wants to talk about European rail travel, or the plays of Brian Friel, or thin crust vs. deep dish pizza, or how awesome The Head and the Heart is, then I’m your man.