words Al Woods
Some people don’t care about sports much. They might never sit down to watch a baseball game on TV, and they don’t care about the playoffs. They never watch the Olympics, the World Cup, the Kentucky Derby, or anything sports-related.
There’s nothing wrong with not liking sports, but some people find they add a lot of meaning and fun to their lives. We’ll talk about the sports lifestyle in the following article. It has much to recommend it, though it can come with some potential drawbacks as well.
What Does the Sports Lifestyle Entail?
The term “sports lifestyle” might not mean the same thing to everyone. To one person, it could mean watching the occasional basketball game or TV. To someone else, it could mean never missing a particular fantasy football podcast or scheduling your wedding around the start of your baseball team’s home opener.
Let’s discuss the casual sports lifestyle vs. the more serious one. That’s a difference you might not think about unless you fall into one category or the other.
The Casual Sports Lifestyle
The casual sports lifestyle is one where you enjoy sports, but your life does not revolve around them. Maybe you’ll occasionally go to a Buffalo Wild Wings and watch a football or basketball game. Perhaps you might go see a minor league baseball game or even attend a big-league game if you reside in a city with a professional sports franchise.
If you talk to someone, and they bring up sports, you can hold your own during the conversation. You can talk about whether Joel Embiid should win the MVP in the NBA this year. You might talk about whether you liked the old 16-game regular season format the NFL had or whether you prefer the league adding one additional regular-season game.
Maybe you know about baseball’s infield fly rule. Perhaps you don’t mind watching a Padres game in August, even if the team sits fourteen games out of first place, and you know they’re going nowhere fast. Casual sports fans are into it for enjoyment, whether it’s watching a game or playing for fun. It’s not uncommon that they buy a baseball net to use for physical and mental training. The result of their low-key involvement is that they still have plenty of time to pursue other interests, and they can schedule around any major sporting events.
In short, you know a little about sports, and you don’t mind watching them on TV. However, you also don’t prioritize them to the point that your relationships suffer. If a team you support loses, you shrug your shoulders and go on with your day.
The Serious Sports Fan Lifestyle
The serious sports fan’s lifestyle looks and feels different from the casual one. If you’re not a serious sports fan, you probably know someone who fits the mold. Maybe that’s a spouse, or perhaps it’s someone in your life’s periphery, like a second cousin or a brother-in-law who you rarely see.
The serious sports fan lets sports dictate their life in many notable ways. For instance, if you’re a serious sports fan, you might name your cat Payton after Payton Manning or your goldfish Lou after Lou Gehrig. You might never miss a preseason baseball game on TV.
If you live in upstate New York and you’re a Yankee fan, you will stay up till 10:00 to watch the Yankees play the Angels or Athletics out on the West Coast. You’ll come in bleary-eyed to work the following day because the game didn’t end until 3:30 AM, your time. You might have even been tempted to keep your custom baseball team apparel on to go to the office just to show your dedication.
If you’re a serious sports fan, you might prioritize seeing a football game over your daughter’s college graduation. You may feel like spending time with your spouse isn’t as crucial as flying across the country if your team makes the playoffs and they’re playing in a different city.
You might deck your car out in the team’s colors. You may have a vanity plate that proclaims your love affair with your team for the whole world to see. You might save all of your money to pick up a hobby box of WNBA cards. You might talk someone’s ear off about sports, even if it’s obvious they couldn’t care less about them.
What Kind of Fan Are You?
Some sports fans take things too far. It’s one thing to stay up late to watch your team play in a different time zone. It’s another to punch another person in the face if they say something to you in the parking lot following a game, and then they sue you for damages.
Most people would agree that you’re taking things too far if you miss crucial family events to see your team play. If you lose your family because you love a sport or team more than them, many feel you’re prioritizing the wrong things in life.
The reality is that some fans let the game consume them. Maybe it’s one sport or team, or perhaps it’s sports in general. Maybe you feel a vicarious thrill if your team wins it all, and you want that feeling more than any other.
It’s hard to say what causes someone to prioritize sports over their kids, their marriage, their job, etc. Maybe you played a sport, but knee injury forced you to stop playing before you could go pro.
Perhaps you had a parent you loved a lot, and they worshipped a team or sport so much that you had to go along with them. Even if that parent’s no longer alive, you feel close to them when you watch that team or sport.
Every person must decide what matters to them in life. If you want to get a huge Toronto Raptors tattoo on your chest, that’s fine. If your love for the team means you’re facing a separation or bankruptcy, you’ve probably crossed into territory that should give you pause.
Sports should make you feel good, and if you can barely face the world if your team loses, you should probably reconsider your priorities. You should know that you can find support groups for sports if you’re too passionate about them, just like you can go to AA if you’re drinking too much.
If sports control your life and make you happy, that’s okay. If they’re doing more harm than good, you may need to look at the situation objectively and say enough is enough.