I was in the middle of a couple of debates on the internet yesterday when a serious question struck me. "Why do we love to talk sports so much?"
|Photo by: Frank Nudo|
It's something I, and most of the people I call my friends (well, the guys, at least) have done for as long as I can remember.
Out of fairness, I've pretty much always argued everything. My mother used to say that I would argue with a brick wall. My retort was simply, "Nah. I would argue with any kind of wall."
That natural sarcasm serves me well when arguing sports.
I've yet to figure out what it is that makes us sports fans, especially of the male persuasion, want to argue about something so insignificant as sports. Maybe it has something to do with the testosterone level. I notice that women, even those that are sports fans, don't seem to argue nearly as much about the merits of the designated hitter, or whether artificial turf should be banned in all outdoor stadiums.
I have four good friends that I've known for 30 years. I doubt seriously in those 30 years that we've ever gotten together and not had at least one disagreement about some inane sports story. It's usually all done in good fun, general ribbing ensues, a dismissive wave of the hand, roll of the eyes, and/or shake of the head then ends it.
Maybe even some mildly profane word mumbled under our breath.
But somehow, just battling with those clowns doesn't seem to be enough. I've joined multiple Facebook groups and message boards that were simply created for just such idiocy as sports arguments. Nothing more.
I'll get on them several times a day and spend 10 or 15 minutes arguing with guys half my age that I've never met about things like whether Ichiro Suzuki is better than Pete Rose (I'm not going to rehash that one again, but the answer is no).
The funny thing about it is, while I love the arguments as they're going on, once I'm done berating, heckling and running smack to those people (both my friends and the folks I don't know from Adam), I feel kind of bad about it. I don't like the person I become during those arguments. Even when I know I'm right.
My heart starts racing, my blood pressure rises, and I get worked up to the point of agitation. All over a stupid sports argument. And I know I'm not the only one.
So back to the original question; why?
I think it's because, right or wrong, sports brings out a passion in those of us who call ourselves fans. Especially those of us who were competitors at one time. It's our own little competition, our way of winning and losing, of being back in the game. In short, it's what sports is all about.
So go out there and find someone to argue with about who will win the World Series this year, or whether Colin Kaepernick will be a one-hit wonder or one of the best QBs of all time, or if soccer is a real sport or not. And do it with passion.