Sunday, January 6, 2013

Good Sport


Tales of a couple sporting events.

I watched NFL football most of the day today and I wish I hadn't. It's not a particularly healthy thing for me in many ways. For one, I sit on the couch the whole time which leaves me sore, lethargic, and blah. According to an article on The Well in The New York Times it also means that I'll likely die about an hour sooner than I otherwise would have. This is depressing.

More than that, I didn't have to much rooting interest in either of the games, but what little interest I had was dashed when the game went another way. So it goes with sports. I spent the day mildly interested in the outcome and then mildly disappointed in what happened. So far this isn't feeling like a lot of fun.

Another difficulty is that I am bombarded with commercials for absolute crap. I hate commercials, they make me angry. I'm always reminded of a moment from my childhood when something was advertised as being new and improved. I asked my mother about it and she said something that may have been the truest thing she ever told me. She stated blankly that all commercials lie. I have yet to see a commercial prove her wrong.

Finally, there is the food. For whatever reason, the television and I are a recipe for weight gain and crap eating. I would like to blame this on the television, but I put most of this on myself. I just tend to eat and drink stuff that is terrible for me even when I'm watching a show about healthy eating. I didn't drink anything other than water today while I watched and that's more than a minor miracle, but I ate poorly and in too great a quantity. I ate so that I didn't notice what I was eating and barely tasted it. My one real push this year is to learn to taste my food and appreciate it. I failed at that today. I'll do better tomorrow.

Now, the preceding 300 words might be taken as an angry screed against sports, but that's not my intention. (If I was trying to be angry I would just complain about the beatification of Ray Lewis and his stupid-ass dancing on the field, but I'm not that guy today.) Instead, I'm thinking about the ways in which I can appreciate sports or any other moment in my life. That leads me to thinking about the Syracuse University Women's Basketball games.

My father and I have season tickets to the women's games this year and I hope we will have them every year for the foreseeable future. While the SU men's games are attended by at least 23,000 fans, the women's games have only a few hundred of us. We have free parking across the street from the Dome, no lines for bathrooms, get to choose our own seats, and in general have a great time. My dad and I get to do something together.

So far every game has been a win for the Orange, but I can imagine how it will be when they lose a game we attend and it will be about the same. Dad and I will share a box of Junior Mints that we have smuggled in, we might buy a drink at half time, I'll take a picture or two with my phone, and we will go home at the end of it.

The difference is that it's a special event for both of us and so I don't need to distract myself with terrible food. I don't have to listen to stupid commercials (though there are plenty played over the public address system). And I feel energized after the games instead of run down from being so sedentary.

I guess the thing I'm trying to say is that I want to go to the women's games in more areas of my life. I don't want to sit back and wait to be entertained. I want to find the joy for myself, find the excitement. Watching an NFL game by myself on the couch is very rarely going to be anything but boring and negative. Instead of what I did today, I should have had a friend over to watch with me. I should have gone somewhere with someone. I should have been active.

This isn't to say that I have to berate myself for what I have done. No. It's just that I want to think about these things more carefully and do them right the next time. The SU women play again on January 12. Dad and I will be there and this time, even more than previous times, I want to pay attention to what is special and bring that to the rest of the things I'm trying to do with my life.

I didn't know what was bothering me so much about my day on the couch today. It took writing to get me there. And once again I'm shown that much of the way to another life is simply to write on.