I Hate Fanatics - Sports

I hate all fanatics whether they are political or religious. Today I will confess that I loathe sports fanatics and sports because of them.

I am was somewhat of a natural athlete like my whole family. Whatever sport I chose to participate in I managed to do fairly well out of the gate and got better from there. Except for basketball and it wasn't because I didn't try. So it's not that I loathe sports because I lacked the health or physical ability to play sports.

So maybe it's more accurate me to say I loathe the fixation with sports.

Let's not even discuss the unbalanced, obsessed parents who live their lives through their children's achievements in sports because that's a whole different topic.

I'm also not talking about parents who support a child's desire to be involved with a sport but who are balanced about its importance in the grand scheme of things. ie: keep up a B average, do your chores, winning isn't everything etc.

I mean the adults, living in an adult world who cannot converse in detail on any other topic and who laughingly dismiss anyone who cannot relate like they're entitled to laugh at these poor souls. Souls like me. The former spouse mocked me, and told me I was in a very small minority of those who do not love sports and that perhaps I need to seek out mental help to get to the root of my abnormality. He said that like it was in insult, like he 'owned' me in an argument. That's the mentality to which I'm referring. The one that does not allow a person to entertain any other subject to the point where a person not sharing that same obsession is a defective person.

Why can't I respond to sports lovers with the same incredulity and be taken seriously? (What you enjoy sports? What are you an idiot?!) Just because a misguided majority believe something doesn't mean I'm defective if I don't join in. Hello? Right wing fundamental conservatives?

I hate the way fanatics tune out the entire world when they're watching a game. Life is allowed to interrupt during intermissions and commercials, for example. I hate the way they can rhyme off stats on players and game wins/losses and can't remember when they got married. I hate the way they actually parrot this information like it has any kind of value and they spew it at me knowing I could care less. I hate the overpaid, egocentric, entitled jocks who are idolized for doing nothing but taking a projectile from one end of a playing surface to another. I hate the way those who choose not to bother themselves with sports are treated like they are defective humans. I hate that the only conversations I remember having with my former spouse - if you can call them conversations - involved him listing statistics in sports, setting up back ground information on a specific play with details so intricate I wanted to kill myself all so I could share his excitement when he explained how someone got a goal. Or home run. All of them involving numbers with incomprehensible letter combinations that did not make words or worse, they made words but not any word meaning that made sense to me. RBI, ERA, and WHIP for example.

One time I decided that I had had enough of one sided conversations where I tuned out and he droned on and I thought maybe I should pick a sport and get to learn it, maybe I might like it and at the very least it would give me some frame of reference in conversations where I was forced to listen to this shit. So, I chose baseball. Baseball is played mostly in the summer so it doesn't involve ice. I liked that idea because even though I'm Canadian I hate hockey mainly because it's played on ice. With metal blades strapped to a person's feet. Sadly I chose to follow the Toronto Blue Jays during the two years they won back to back World Series trophies.


...to back

Not only did the Jays never do anything remotely interesting after that, the lad's father proceeded to start following even more sports which left me behind. Again. This is the crux of my hatred for sports. I feel that was intentional. I feel the men in my life, including my father, use sports to shut me out. When the lad's dad pointed out to me that there are many women who love sports I told him it's because it's the only subject they have in common with their boyfriend/husband and if they didn't they'd have nothing to talk about and I like talking about almost anything else in this world except sports. He told me I was delusional. (well, maybe religion. sports and religion but everything else is an excellent topic)

Did you know...

This was a blue jay long before...

...this was a Blue Jay?

Anyhoo, I am female and that means when I dismiss conversations involving sports I am patronized more than vilified. I pity the guys who feel the way I do. Oh yes! There are men, with actual testicle balls, who do not like sports.

"Call me stubborn in my refusal to get interested, but I have better things to do with my leisure than surrender it to the commercialized, banally competitive, jargon-ridden, overexposed, overbearing domination that sports exercises over our culture." This person, let's call him An Actual Man, posted about this on his blog. He went on to say:

I do resent it that so much of my society's time, money and attention is consumed by something I don't care about. I do resent it that even close friends become droning pod people when sports comes up. I do resent it that sports talk serves as such a casual superstructure of exclusion for so many men in the office, the tavern, on the radio, or wherever.

But mostly I just hope for a crumb of reciprocity. I don't assume you want to hear my thoughts on, say, the use of bottle caps in folk art [Well....], so perhaps you could back off when your concern for some quarterback drains the life from my face.

Drains the life from his face! (Oh see, that's where I got the word "drone" I guess) This is what sports fanatics never see. Even religious fanatics see this reaction. They start talking religion and see the other person's eyes glaze over and even they know enough to stop talking. But sports fans start talking sports to someone and they are so confident, so complacent, in their belief that I'm interested that they do not see the life draining from my face. Or the fact that I am already tuned out and making a grocery list in my head. Former Spouse never noticed this. In fact he never noticed I left him entirely as a wife. My body resided in the same household and I said "hmm" and "really" at the right points in the conversation, resigned myself to sex occasionally and that was enough of a marriage for him. Years later I would tell him that I wanted a divorce and it would come as a complete shock and it devastated him. Imagine my surprise.

In the meantime, the only haven is across the gender divide where, sex-role stereotyping be praised, sports talks intrudes only rarely. Subjects like shoes and child-rearing may not be my favorites, but even at its most retro, thank god for the company of women."

"Thank god for the company of women". See that? A non sports fan who enjoys the company of women. Coincidence? More from this article here.
I read some of the comments left by men who feel the same and found it enlightening.

This quote is from a blog post entitled "I hate sports".

"I hated seeing so much time and effort put into sports and sporting events, making small celebrities out of the athletes while at the same time, those who were in school for the actual purpose of school - to be educated, were sidelined. I hated seeing all those letter jackets for the sports people when there were no equivalent letter jackets for scholastic achievement or even for those who excelled on the debate team or other intellectual teams for the school. (And again, this isn't because I wanted such recognition - I was never on any of the scholastic teams.) It seemed to me to be sending the wrong message - a focus on the wrong priority. You are told to do well in school, but then those who do so are ignored and sidelined as nerds while those who do poorly but can throw a ball are heroes.

More of this article here

From the comments on this post:

Personally, I enjoy participating in various sports, but watching them on television is so boring, so lazy. And then talking about them ad nauseum? Come on. Get a life.
Truth be told, I've always thought that people who love watching and talking about sports simply weren't too smart."

A comment from the blog post "Why Do People Watch Sports" here

"I've always said if I ever became a millionaire, I would pay someone $10 dollars an hour to move a large rock from one end of a field back and forth to the other. People think I'm joking. The joke's on them. They don't realize there isn't any difference in terms of what this would accomplish, when compared to professional sports- except that I'm paying a few million less an hour to get it done."

I guess I'm with the comment who said "I've always thought that people who love watching and talking about sports simply weren't too smart". I believe it. I've known too many jocks and the fanatics who follow them.

There is a website devoted to people kind of like me. I wouldn't say I want sports eradicated, just treated with the seriousness they deserve in relationship to poverty, hunger, environmental and other issues like crime rates or even good comedy. At this website, they hate sports but they say that as if there are two groups in this world. Those that love sports and those who are geeks. You can find them here.

So, I'm not really a geek either. I tend toward geekyness at times but I'm not a geek. So am I destined to be neither one thing nor another once again? A bat, if you will, neither an animal nor a bird? I'm OK with that. Bats are cool as hell.

And, for you sports fanatics, I mean this kind of bat...

...not this kind


A-Gran said...

Ahh, that was brilliant. I hate sports too. My ex was also the type to bore me with facts and figures knowing I didn't care but when I asked him to teach me more about the game he always refused. Why? Because he didn't really want me to learn. And yes, like you suggest, he was a yawningly stupid man. New husband likes football but watches it when it's on and misses games if he's busy. He also never talks to me about it because he knows I don't give a frozen shit about it and I don't want to learn.

I couldn't agree more about the sports heroes at school thing. Academics should be more glorified than jocks.

Anonymous said...


Mr. Ann could care less about televised sports THANK GOD. His father, on the other hand, LIVES for his televised sports and every visit entails at least a 10 minute convo of him prattling on about whatever sport events happened that week and me responding over and over "yah we don't watch that - yah I don't know who your talking about - yah I don't watch that". It doesn't stop him in the least b.t.w.


Frimmy said...

That's exactly what I'm talking about. Sports fanatics don't seem to understand that there are those who do NOT want to hear about it simply because they don't care. I care to hear about your team's stats about as much as I want to hear about your latest ear wax cleaning. Yes. That's how small my regard is for sports. What's not to get about that? And yet they don't get it.

What other conversation subject would entitle someone to speak endlessly to another person who clearly isn't interested and doesn't know what you're talking about and doesn't want to know?

If I said, thanks but I'd rather hear fingernails being scratched across a chalkboard they would be shocked and think there was something wrong with me.


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