There, I said it.
I don’t watch sports.
With the start of school, schedules get busy and days get shorter. The feeling of teamwork is in the air, meeting new friends and teachers at school and extracurricular activities. My favorite accessories, scarves, and boots come out. I would say coats, but honestly, we live in Charleston.
I know so many people that love their Pumpkin Spiced everything and Friday Night Lights. Spirit day Fridays start at school and everyone wants to support their favorite teams. And there are so many to choose from.
And then it starts…the “Who’s your favorite team?” question. Well, I don’t really have one and it is so awkward when I have to break it to them. Of course the obligatory “Hook ’em Horns!” is an easy way to smooth the uncomfortableness that is threatening to follow their initial shock. I understand that football is such an integral part of our culture here in the south, but it’s not that way for everyone. I will always love the Pirates, Bruins, Bears, and Raiders…which could be my problem, I went to so so many schools that I can’t choose just one as my favorite.
Even though I was raised in Southeast Texas which is where the term Friday Night Lights pretty much originated, I rarely went to football games. I know, weird right? It was something that my family didn’t focus on. And I didn’t work to change that when I ventured out on my own.
So my question is: why force it?
Why should I feel bad because I don’t follow your favorite sports team? Why make me feel like I have the plague because I don’t take in ESPN intravenously? I get the feeling of being something larger than yourself and being at a game can be an amazing experience, but I’m not emotionally connected to it as so many people around me. We may be different, but I’m happy with that.
Our family’s calendar is full of our own activities and we really don’t have a giant hole in our lives that sports need to fill. Our Sundays include getting ready for the week. Monday nights are all about my seven years old’s soccer practice, and Friday nights will find me tucked in early so I can be out around 4:30am for my long run on Saturday. We are actually really fulfilled without football.
My favorite team is the one my kid plays on. We will always support our kids’ endeavors and if they choose sports when they get older, then I will be their greatest cheerleader (to the point of severe embarrassment, I’m sure) but they will never feel pressure from us to choose one sport over another as long as they are doing something productive with their time.
So when you are meeting new people and they tell you that they don’t watch sports, remember they are human too and for one reason or another, they don’t have the exact same likes as you. And that’s ok. Don’t feel pressured into making them love your team, just ask what they are into and move on.