I have a new favorite sport. This may come as a shock to some of you who know I am a certified sports idiot.
It’s true. I unashamedly admit it.
I can explain the recently discovered miniature pyramid on Mars better than I can most popular American sports. By the way, I haven’t a clue regarding the Mars pyramid.
I grew up in a very small Indiana town. The only sport we played was the equivalent to sandlot baseball. We didn’t play it very often because the kid who owned the ball had a lot of chores to do.
My school in Spiceland (Go, Stingers!) offered track, baseball, golf and basketball. I couldn’t run, hit a ball or make a basket. I hurt myself with the golf clubs.
So with this background, I was destined to become a sports idiot. No one in my family was interested in sports, so sports were never on the radio or the TV.
As an adult, my exposure to sports was limited to plugging in commercials to whatever baseball game WSMJ carried in the summers, and the Sports Around The Table show on Saturday mornings from the White House Restaurant. My involvement, by the way, was restricted to the studio. They knew better than to ask me to chime in.
I also produced a season or two of “Checkers” hockey for WIFE over in Indy. Producing meant cuing the announcer for commercial breaks and controlling the audio going back to the station. No actual sports knowledge involved.
For that effort, I did learn a tiny bit about the game and that I should have actually been paid for my efforts.
The last time I saw the Colts play in person was at Market Square Arena, and the last Pacers game was in the Indiana State Fair Coliseum. They still allowed smoking in that venue back then, and I could barely make out the players through the blue haze.
In the mid-80s, my son began playing soccer. It started with a tiny huddle of kids that were distracted by every train, plane and automobile that crossed their sight path, right up to travel teams and the high school team.
Those games were the key to my understanding of my new favorite sport — Women’s World Cup soccer finals.
I actually had an understanding of the game, and I’ve got to admit the USA team really knew how to play the game. That made it even easier to follow.
I suppose that makes me a “fair-weather fan.” Oh well, at least I was actually watching a game and understanding what was transpiring on the field.
Here are the key elements that made me a fan. First, the game was exciting. Second, there were no commercial breaks during the actual competition.
I was a little distressed to learn that the halves were 45 minutes long and that they added time lost to injuries and other such play-stoppers back into the game. But because of the lack of commercial breaks, the time flew by.
Finally, if I understand things correctly, this game is only played once every four years. So, I can take a reasonable break and rest up for the next game in 2019. Whew!
Oh, I forgot to mention that my wife and I both watch golf on many Sunday afternoons, too. Well, it’s not really watching. It’s more like napping. The commentator’s voices are so soothing.
Never mind me, I’m just grumpy.
Tim Renshaw formerly taught broadcasting at Greenfield-Central High School. He lives in New Palestine and can be reached at email@example.com.