Sunday, September 2, 2012

Getting Old

Yesterday was the first Saturday of college football. With the Fighting Irish playing Navy over in Ireland, you could start watching games at 8:00 am. Sometime after 10:30 pm, USC finished trouncing Hawaii. In between, there were games on at least a dozen channels. I took a look ahead and saw that there is a minimum of 31 games on the tube next Saturday. You are probably thinking that I am in my glory. 

Well you would be wrong. I am not. I have come to the brutal realization that I really don’t care about college football anymore. I’m reluctant to admit it, but I think I am getting old.

It’s true, it has dawned on me that I no longer possess the rabid enthusiasm for most sports that I once had. After a bit of reflection, I was able to come up with a list of the sports that I am still passionate about. Here it is:

1. Major League Baseball
2. NFL Football

That’s it, and in that order.

Last season I did not watch one complete NHL game, not even during the Stanley Cup playoffs. I’m not really sure why hockey no longer captures my interest. As far as the NBA goes, I doubt that I watched more than 5 minutes of any one game this past season. That’s basically because the NBA sucks.

As far as other sports go, I still have a mild interest in them, but not like before. I still enjoy March Madness and will tune into the major tennis and golf tournaments, but not 24/7 like in the past.

I am sure that my time spent listening to sport talk radio will diminish considerably over the next few months. When the talk turns to college football or the NBA, I will simply turn the dial. The impending work stoppage makes the NHL a moot point.

Maybe I should have seen this manifestation of apathy coming. Looking back, I noticed that I didn’t have the same infatuation with many of the superstar athletes as most people do.

Despite their greatness, I never liked John Elway, Cal Ripken Jr., Michael Jordan, Ben Roethisberger or Serena Williams. In the past, it wasn’t a matter of just disliking these jocks, I actively rooted against them. Now, it’s more a case of not being able to care less.

Now my indifference also extends into my hatred of specific teams. In the past, my loathing of the Cubs, Bears, Bulls, Vikings and Cardinals was all consuming. As hard as I pulled for the Packers, Brewers and Bucks to win, I rooted just as hard for those teams from Chicago, Minnesota and St. Louis to lose. I had such strong contempt for those teams, it was ridiculous.

But not anymore.

Sure, it still bothers me if the Cubs beat the Brewers or if the Bears should knock off the Packers. However, it doesn’t gnaw at my gut like it used to. As my friend Bev has told me on more than one occasion, it’s only a game. And she’s right, a game isn’t worth getting all melodramatic and emotional over.

Now granted, there are Cub and Bear fans that still get under my skin with their moronic, knuckle-dragger remarks, but not to the point where I want to squeeze their heads until they pop like a pubescent zit. That’s in the past.

But not anymore.

It amazes me that it took Saturday’s glut of college football games to make me aware that I am no longer as obsessed with sports as I once was. Don’t even suggest that I am more mature and have finally grown up. No way. I am as childish as ever. I prefer to think that I am just getting older.

I’m gonna watch the Tigers/Sox game now. Or maybe I will read a book. Have a safe Labor Day holiday. Until next time…from the booth.

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