There’s a raucous explosion of pure excitement that erupts like lava spewing from a volcano. The Patriots have just won the Super Bowl with an epic touchdown that grants them the victory. Hooting and hollering echoes around the room, startling my poor dog Cookie into a hyped frenzy where she is wagging her tail and darting around the room craving attention. And then there’s me. Sure I may be happy that the Patriots won, but I have other thoughts that have crossed my mind, and having just killed an entire quarter with a blank stare watching beefy men in uniforms and helmets race across the field and knock each other to the ground, I’m ready to pursue an interest of mine that’s more suitable to my liking. This is the reality of being the lone wolf who is nonchalant towards sports, and who lives in a house where everyone else is obsessed with sports to the degree that it has practically become the second religion that our family (except for me of course) observes.
So how exactly does my family observe this second religion if you will? Well, since most baseball or football games are “holy” in our house, all four of my family members gather around the television shouting at players, fixated on this one thing and blocking the majority of everything else out. And of course the Super Bowl and World Series are the equivalent of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which means that missing these games would be a huge disgrace in their eyes; watching these games are mandatory, unless, of course, it’s me we’re talking about. And so, because I have refrained from observing this second faith, I use the football and baseball games as the opportunity to retreat to other areas of the house where I immerse myself in one of my favorite films like The Terminator or Aliens, or blast various tunes on my phone by streaming through You Tube. However, this does not mean that I can ignore the spirited atmosphere festering downstairs, for in-between songs on my phone, or especially during less intense scenes from a movie, the sounds of howling, squawking, cussing, and even some jeers fills my ears. It’s a wonder I don’t go deaf from everything circulating in my ears during this three-to-four-hour time frame. And for those of you who maybe don’t know what it is like to witness a typical sports game in my household, allow me to share insight into what each member of my family typically behaves like. First, there’s my mother, who, at any other hour of the day is a mild mannered and calm person. However, throw a screen that shows a baseball or football game in front of her, and you’ll watch her transform into a screeching coach, chastising the players and developing a very negative attitude of what the eventual outcome will be. She’s practically sucked through the television and feeding off the emotions of the crowd in the stadium! Then there’s my youngest brother Jack, who turns into a monkey, bouncing all over the couch and irritating my other brother Brad, to the point where the threat of being punched doesn’t even intimidate him. Brad enters a zone where the next three hours are all about sports and anything else that is not related to what’s keeping him glued to the screen is irrelevant to him. Finally, my dad has morphed into a couch potato who refuses to leave the couch unless something arises that requires his assistance and cannot be done by anyone else. So there you go. Now you’ve gotten a little glimpse of the family dynamics which illustrate the mood of the game and how each of my family members acts in the presence of a sports game.
I know at this point you must be thinking: “way to be asocial, Robbie.” OK, so if that’s what’s running through your mind, allow me to speak on my own behalf. First of all, if sports does not interest me in the slightest, then why should I have to sit through an entire game and pretend to be excited when I would much rather blast and jam to a song or watch Jack Sparrow battle it out with Will Turner and Commodore Norrington in Pirates of the Caribbean?Second of all, I’m pretty sure that there’s something that your family enjoys that you don’t care for, and I’m pretty confident that during those incidents you find yourself doing your own thing as well. So now that I’ve shared my side of the story, I think it’s fair to say that for those of you who feel like you’re the only one who distances yourself from your family when they turn on the television to watch a sports game, know that there are other people in the world or who are similar to you in this respect, and don’t be ashamed of it--because let’s be honest, if everyone was that excited to watch a sports game (or that excited over any particular interest), we’d live in a very dull and uninteresting world.