Basketball — it's one of the few sports that finds multiple ways to disappoint its fans.
It's March and the madness surrounding impossibly tall people throwing an inflated burnt orange piece of leather through a hoop is wafting all around. From the barrage of Twitter posts to the frustrated yells punctuating office hours, I am held hostage by a month-long series of basketball games.
I am not a huge sports fan. Alright, I'm barely a fan of any sport.
Take basketball, for instance. Why does it deserve a whole month dedicated to a college championship? The World Series only takes seven games and football, despite having a tournament-style lead up to its final game, doesn't flaunt itself — and they're professionals.
To me, basketball is about as interesting as tennis or volleyball; it's just bouncing a ball back and forth. In soccer, at least, they make it a little more challenging by not using their hands.
Don't even get me started on water polo.
Spring training has started for baseball, I hear. I'm not sure why the sport that plays the most games in a season needs so much extra practice. While I'll acknowledge it takes skill to hit a fastball, standing on or near a base or in the outfield waiting to catch a ball seems easy enough.
For baseball, it's the fans who need spring training to be able to pay attention to innings that stretch beyond the length of a Marvel movie (including the credits).
Football, for me, is the most interesting sport to watch. Crime scene forensics has nothing on those replay cameras. You're almost guaranteed to not miss a single play, despite only looking at the screen for a few seconds before moving on to accomplish other, more important tasks like vacuuming and alphabetizing your spice bottles.
There are sports that require hitting a small object into a target area. For golfers, it means squatting down and squinting to determine the exact lay of the land; for hockey players, it just means bashing away at the puck and each other.
Racing cars — people trying to do one of the most dangerous things possible in the safest way possible — is not a sport. Does it take skill, strategy and strength? Sure, but can you play a pick-up game in the middle of the week? Nope. The vehicles are too expensive to risk banging up in practice, even if you could somewhat recreate the conditions of a full-on competition.
I'd mention rugby and lacrosse, but I have no idea how those even work.
Surfing, skateboarding and the like are fun to watch but like other individual sports, unless you have a favorite competitor, it's not worth more than five minutes of your time. After all, there are reruns of NCIS to watch.
While some sports have a use beyond competition — running, swimming, wrestling and, perhaps, fencing — others have no practical value whatsoever. When was the last time you needed to throw a discus, pole vault over a wall or play golf while on horseback?
Some sports are fun to play but boring to watch — bowling, curling and anything involving a flying disc, for example. Others are boring for both spectators and participants. Rowing, I'm looking at you.
The 2020 Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo and viewers will be able to catch highlights from lesser-known sports such as archery, table tennis and trampoline — a list that includes what were some of my favorite childhood activities.
I won't be making a bid for a spot in the Olympics anytime soon. In fact, this whole thing could be, I'll admit, a cry of "sour grapes." I am one of the least athletic people I know — not only in my loathing of most forms of exercise but also in my befuddlement of the rules and strategies employed by most major sports teams.
It also makes no sense to me why people would spend hundreds of dollars to sit in inclement weather to loudly cheer for or admonish their arbitrarily chosen team alongside thousands of (often inebriated) other fans. That's just my personality, I guess.
I'm not saying you're wrong if you enjoy sports, I'm just encouraging you to be mindful of your non-sporting friends, especially during March. They have to tolerate your emotional roller coaster during each game so return the favor if they corner you and give you a play-by-play review of the latest season of American Idol, their latest dietary restrictions or their grandchildren's exploits.
As for my office, I think I'll need to stock up on tissue to sop up a few tears as the month goes on and their brackets are busted.