Thursday, May 29, 2008

I think I am going to be strung up from a tree somewhere for not being a sports fan.

Boston's overzealous sports fans tend to see my disinterest in all things sports as blasphemous. I've been to my share of Red Sox games, but if they were out of beer and peanuts that you can throw on the ground I would have a much harder time deciding whether or not to go. It just isn't in my blood. If you took a look under the microscope at the genetic makeup of the members of my immediate family, you would find that the ESPN gene is absent. Hockey is fun to watch but only because there's lots of smashing and the rapid exchange of the puck complements my split-second attention span. My brother claims to enjoy sports but in reality I think he'd rather sit down with a book on derivatives in a hotel lounge somewhere than attend a Patriots game. I can usually slide by with responses like "no way!" and "get out of town!" without having my sports trivia knowledge called into question. Then people will recount precise details of a recent sporting event or name a basketball player I haven't heard of because he isn't dating a famous celebrity and I am expected to respond with something other than "ohhhh." People send me text messages informing me of what significant game they're currently at, hoping to elicit jealousy - I mean can you believe I'm actually at this game - and I respond with something I would find equally enjoyable, like "I'm front row at a Yanni concert benefiting orca whales. And they're out of beer."

I never played sports, unless you count signing up for teams in high school on the basis of how cool their uniforms looked (which wasn't very cool - our school colors were brown and yellow), and then spending the overwhelming majority of the season sitting on cold steel benches with very clean, mud- and grass stain-free athletic socks that could have been featured in a Tide commercial. In junior high I had a brief stint in track. I ran in one event, hurdles, only once, which I came in last for, and then I stopped showing up because they were running re-runs of 90210 on television at the same time as practice.

This morning I was asked if I'd like a pair of (free?) Celtics shorts. On my way to work I was stopped by a Globe distributor who I exchange pleasantries with each morning because I am so starved for attention and human interaction at work. He was driving by in his car and recognized me, though we've never actually exchanged names and have limited our conversations to the weather. He rolled down his window and asked if I liked the Celtics, to which I was probably supposed to respond "Ohmygod YES!!!" and instead said something like "ermm, that's basketball, right?" He then rambled on something about his friend who works at ... (I now realize I had stopped listening at this point because he had mixed in some sports vernacular that confused me ) ... and I can get you some Celtics shorts. You want 'em?" And then I nodded and smiled as I walked away.

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