Go My Favorite Sports Team!

     I didn’t grow up in a household that watched sports.  That’s not to say we didn’t associate with sports.  I did the rotational thing most parents do with their kids as they sign them up for every seasonal sport to find out which one they excel at (for me, it was none of them).  Me and dad would even occasionally go out back and throw the ole’ pigskin around (sorry, back then we still called it a football).  But as far as watching sports went and knowing individual teams, that didn’t happen.  This could have been that besides the Jazz, Utah didn’t have a professional sports team to cheer for (growing up not knowing about the Jazz was too bad since the 90’s were probably their best years with Stockton and Malone, now all that’s left of those players are car dealerships named after them).

     A few year’s ago, Utah got a professional soccer team – Real Salt Lake – which is actually pretty good.  But unless you grew up playing soccer, are a die-hard fanboy, or are from anywhere in the world outside the United States, you can’t really say you’re a soccer fan.  But don’t be fooled every 4 years when the World Cup comes around, every American suddenly becomes soccer fans and it’s all anyone talks about.  It all blows over about a week after it finishes (or when America loses), and not even Tim Howard can stop that.

     There are other sports teams in Utah of course, the kind you got tickets to for getting gold stars in elementary school: the Utah Blaze, Salt Lake Buzz/Stingers/Bees, and the Utah Grizzlies.  Who are they?  It doesn’t matter, let’s move on.

     My first and biggest exposure to sports growing up was probably from NFL Blitz on the Nintendo 64.  Along with Goldeneye and Super Smash Bros., this game stands out as a classic, not only because of its high entertainment value, but also its educational value.

I didn’t gain exposure to many teams since I always chose the Buccaneers (I liked pirates you see).  As I grew up more and watched real football, I began to realize that Blitz wasn’t as informative as I thought.  For instance:

  • You can’t just go tackle someone and do a body slam on them after the play.  It’s illegal apparently.  And less fun.
  • It’s unrealistic to expect a quarterback to throw a 100 yard Hailmary. 
  • Players don’t actually catch on fire when they are “on fire.”

One of my favorite shows is Scrubs (excluding season 9), due to how closely I relate with JD.  One of the running gags is his apathy for sports.  The following clip is pretty much my approach (a bit of language):

Then when I try and talk sports with other people, I mix things up and end up feeling silly:

So now I just learn to keep it to myself.

If the occasion calls for it, I’ll go to someone’s place and watch the big game.  My reaction time is usually a second after everyone else has responded to a call so I can respond accordingly for not knowing what happened.  Odds are though, while everyone is yelling at the TV, I’ll be in the kitchen like “hey, what kind of wings are these?”

Another Year in the Lonely Hearts Club, Thanks for the Reminder

     A few years ago, I was working in the psych unit at the hospital on Valentines night.  The older patient whose room I was in began to ask me a series of questions:
“Young man, shouldn’t you be at home with your wife tonight?”
“Um, no ma’am I’m not married.” I responded.
“Don’t you have a girlfriend who cares about you (she really knew how to word her sentences for maximum effect)?”
“Nope, but I get to work here instead and help—“
“DO YOU EVEN LIKE WOMEN?” She interrupted, obviously frustrated with my answers. 
     I started to laugh, but stopped when her stony expression told me she was serious.  After sheepishly explaining that I did indeed like women, I hurriedly finished up and left.  I tried not to let the experience bother me; after all, it came from someone in the psych ward (On another occasion there, a different patient told me that because she liked my name, I would go far in life.  I’m going to hold on to that one).  But year after year as a single in Provo, there are certain things you can come to expect this time of year:
Bad Candy.  My boss once told me that the best chocolates come out only during holidays that have Jesus in them; so only Christmas and Easter (although I’ve never tried any Lent or Yom Kippur chocolates).  Whenever I’ve gotten one of those cheap heart-shaped box of Stouffer’s chocolates, I’ve rarely found one I actually liked.  It’s a good thing my life isn’t like a box of chocolates, because I hate dark chocolate and mints.
A sudden influx of engagements.  Every year, we take bets on how many engagements will be posted by the next day.  The winner last year was spot on at 9.  Welcome to Utah.

Unsolicited words and advice from married friends.  After they start appearing again after going off the grid after getting married, those friends just love to talk about marriage and how they want everyone else to have it too.  After I tell them of my nonexistent dating life, I will often get responses such as:
“Don’t give up, it’ll happen!”
“Let me set you up with someone, they’ve got a great personality (this last part isn’t spoken, but usually implied)!”
“There are plenty of fish in the sea.”
“But you’re so great/you’re such a catch!”
“That sucks!”
My response is usually:
Thanks guys.

Single people parties trying to make a statement.  Nothing screams “I’m lonely” like throwing a toga party in your apartment.  Other such parties may show up BY single people, FOR single people.  Lots of people go on trips too.  I don’t know about this year however, I’ll be in St. George with a bunch of friends.
Watch those hands boys!
An increase in the amount of marriage articles in the school newspaper.  Perhaps this one is more just BYU related.  Yes, you usually can find marriage articles on a weekly basis in the Universe, but those are page 2 or 3 articles.  The Valentine’s edition is page 1 . . . and two, and three . . . actually it’s the whole paper essentially.  You can check out such winning articles below like:
“‘I do’ at BYU” (If you’re 24, you’re really pushing the bar)
Tying the knot in College” (ironically followed a couple weeks later by “Divorced students at BYU”)
Single’s Awareness: The 5 Stages of Breaking Up Playlist” – (Aw, they were considerate and decided to remind us that we’re not married!)
A few years ago, there was a story on Tinder and how weird it was.  When it started actually getting people together and getting married, the paper did a lot more articles and seemed to endorse it.

Better luck next year friends.  Maybe you’ll meet someone at that toga party.