Sports blow my mind

Sara Petersen

I don’t get it.

I can’t count how many times I repeated this to my ex-boyfriend during the year we dated. He’s into sports and has a favorite team. Others paint their bodies for games and participate in things such as tailgating and Superbowl parties that people go absolutely nuts over. I find this behavior irrational. It makes people look like ridiculous, idiotic monkeys running around in jerseys.

I understand the fervor of the game, the anticipation and suspense. Hell, I can honestly say I went to a great high school football game this August. I was able to follow it, and, surprisingly, I enjoyed it. When the Browns beat the Giants I almost had a heart attack, and if the Bengals beat anyone, it’s a miracle. I know enough about sports to identify with the whole idea of it.

I still don’t understand what could have motivated my ex-boyfriend to completely rip my head off every time his football team lost. We had an extremely healthy relationship. I remember having one fight while we were together, and we solved it relatively quickly.

But the only time he was ever truly and utterly furious with me was when he told me his team lost and that he would be irritable for the rest of the day. I responded with a snarky remark along the lines of, “It’s only a game,” and it seemed to set off an atomic bomb that was my ex-boyfriend.

He was so angry with me when I did absolutely nothing to him. He was furious over a football game that, to this day, had completely no direct impact on his life whatsoever. He gets so into these games and shows his fury to the whole world, almost as if he enjoys being one of “those guys.” You know the kind – the “I’m so cool because I love sports so much and I’m such a man” – type of guy.

I also can’t wrap my mind around the torture people put themselves through to play in these sports. People severely injure themselves while participating, and years after they quit, their bodies go through hell and back as a consequence.

I have seen so many people walking around campus with ice Saran-wrapped to various body parts. I once saw a girl with ice packs attached to her hip, knee and elbow at the same time.

My uncle had five surgeries on both of his knees over the years as a result of playing football and basketball in high school and college. You should see him walk. It looks painful. My cousin had knee surgery from a torn ligament and still has knee and back problems. I’m waiting for the day to come when his elbow and shoulder start to hurt from throwing 90 mph pitches in college baseball.

A friend of mine, who will be turning 21 next month, has already had so many surgeries on her knees that her doctors can’t give her any more. If they do, she won’t be able to walk again, and she’s in constant pain every day.

She told me she was upset that she had to quit the team early in high school because of her knees and shin splints. Apparently, softball is just so much fun it’s worth all of that silly, excruciating pain.

Another friend developed shin splints from running cross-country. She also had to quit, and a teammate called her a bitch for abandoning the team.

I will never know what it is about sports that make people such fanatics. I won’t ever become so obsessed with a team, that when we lose a game it will compromise my relationships with my friends. I also can’t see having a lifetime of horrendous aches and pains worthy of a few glory years in high school and college.

I don’t know. Maybe that’s just me.

Sara Petersen is a junior public relations major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Please inform her as to why you are such a sports fanatic at [email protected].