So I think I’ve mentioned here before I’ve never really been much of a sports fan. Growing up I didn’t play organized sports and I never took an interest in watching it live or on television.
I can remember playing baseball with friends and a little football, but beyond that sports were more of an inconvenience to me. I was the guy always picked last in gym class. I was lousy at pitching, catching, dribbling, shooting and passing. I could hit a baseball pretty hard and I discovered I wasn’t bad at short distance running — but beyond that I wasn’t the athletic type.
Jump ahead almost 30 years and somehow I managed to get two of the most athletic children on the face of the Earth.
My daughter loves softball and my son will play just about anything that involves the throwing, catching or striking of a ball.
This sports-mindedness of my children has forced their Old Man to step up to the plate (figuratively) and learn a thing or two about the sports they love. In the beginning, I’ll admit, I was dragged kicking and screaming into the realm of sports. But I’ve come to discover I enjoy sports after all. I’m no die-hard fan who lives, eats and breathes sports, but I enjoy a good game.
Of course, I didn’t get there overnight.
My kids, Lucy and Sam, started me out with baseball and softball and I discovered the game all over again. They even taught me a thing or two. Then when I started seeing Anita I was indoctrinated into her family’s love of Tigers baseball. By the time I went to see my first live Tigers game — since 1988 — this past summer, I knew who the players were and was able to cheer from the crowds at Comerica
Park like I really knew what I was cheering about.
Football, for me, is still an acquired taste. I’ve always liked baseball, but I’ve never really gotten football. Too many rules, too many positions and plays.
Stuff still happens out there and I have to ask someone to explain — especially penalties — which I completely do not get.
Sam loves football, so I’ve had to rely on him to teach me what I know about the game. Yes, it’s embarrassing, I know. A 9-year-old explaining to a 45-year-old man how a game works. But he knows his football and I am learning a great deal from him — enough that he and I were able to watch and enjoy the recent Michigan-Michigan State game.
Basketball season is coming up next and at least I won’t feel as lost as I was during football. I know enough about basketball that i don’t need to have my personal 9-year-old coach break it down for me and tell me how the game is played.
Of course, with my luck, he’ll discover he loves something completely foreign to me like rugby or lacrosse. When that happens, I guess it will be back to the old drawing board for this dad and sidelines fan.