Confessions of a Former Sports Junkie

So I didn’t watch the Super Bowl and haven’t seen one in 13 years.  That may make me unusual, but not remarkably so.  Some people just don’t enjoy watching sports on T.V.  In my case it’s probably been 10 years since I watched any televised sports.

But what is somewhat notable about my lack of interest in sports on T.V. is that I was once a total sports junkie. And I had it bad.

Back in the day I couldn’t get enough of watching other people play sports. I had NFL season tickets, as well as basketball and football season tickets for my alma mater, even though I lived 750 miles away.  I went to professional baseball games, hockey games and NASCAR races.

As much time as I spent in stadiums, arenas and at race tracks, I spent even more camped out in front of the T.V.  I watched at least 100 baseball games per year, was part of a “fantasy” league and spent countless hours tracking my fantasy team.

During football season I’d try to be home from work by noon on Saturday. Then I’d sit on the sofa and watch games from noon to till past midnight. Some I’d tape to watch again.  I took notes.  Seriously.  Like I said, I had it bad.  On Sundays I’d tape the NASCAR race while watching the NFL game. Then I’d watch the race that night.

Basketball season was even worse.  This was before the days of cable TV with hundreds of channels, so (at least before our kids were born) I’d have to drive all over town to find some sports bar that would devote at least one TV to my team’s game.  And there were several games each week.

I went to bowl games and post-season basketball games.  I started planning my trips long before it was even known if my team would be in those games. Every year my buddies and I went to Vegas for opening day of college football season and we’d spend all day and night watching games in the sports book section of the casino (despite my addiction, that would be the only time of the year that I’d wager on games–I had it bad, but it could have been worse).

I used to dream of moving back home and one of the reasons I most wanted to do it was so I’d never have to miss another one of my college team’s games.

It all seems crazy and utterly ridiculous to me now.

As the first step of transitioning to this life we sold our house in Florida and rented a house here.  The idea was to make sure that Cherie and the kids liked it here before we built a house on our farm and I quit my job. Meanwhile I commuted between Florida and Virginia every week.  In order to be able to be home on weekends I worked till late at night all week. That meant no TV sports during the week.  Then on the weekends I was so busy on the farm that I had to start shedding hobbies.  TV sports was the first to go and going to games soon followed.  There was just no time for it.

But once they were out of my life I discovered that I didn’t miss them.  At all. In fact I soon came to realize that my addiction to them had caused me to waste a lot of my life.

So, as with several other things that once seemed important to me, I just quit.

Now we don’t even have T.V. here and haven’t for many years.  I don’t expect to ever watch television again, but if I do, I’m confident I won’t be watching sports.

Not long after I quit sports-watching cold-turkey I commented to Cherie that I didn’t even know who my old team was playing that weekend, and that I couldn’t care less.  She looked at me, amused, and said with a smile, “Who are you and what have you done with my husband?”