Monday, May 15, 2006
Why I don't watch sports
I've never really been a sports fan. Sure I played on the baseball, basketball and volleyball team when I was younger but that was more because I had to. Besides, I have always been more of a solo sport kinda person. Equestrian, tennis, skiing, kayaking...these are the things I like and probably the only thing sports-wise I like to watch (even though kayaking isnt technically a sport...and watching it would probably be very boring).
But all of that changed when I moved to New Zealand and I discovered Rugby. Not just rugby but the All Blacks. Here was a team I could get behind and cheer for. They were loud, proud and exciting to watch and had a whole country backing them up. I looked forward to going to local rugby games and watching the All Blacks demolish other teams on the telly.
That was until the beloved Blacks lost to Australia in the Rugby World Cup. That wasn't good for my blood. It angered me. I got too worked up. I didn't like seeing the Kiwis cry. I didn't like feeling hopeless. I felt that maybe if I yelled enough at the TV, they would win. It didn't work.
SO when I got up at 5:45 this past Saturday morning to go watch the Hearts VS Gretna game, I had completely forgotten about how riled up I get about this kinds of things. Plus, I was so tired, I didn't even know where I was. (turns out, a British ex-serviceman's club in Vancouver somewhere).
The game was supposed to be a cinch. Not exactly easy but since Gretna was a 2nd division team (or something like that) the Hearts were expected to kick their arse. Only they didn't. It took forever for someone to score. Gretna was playing their little arses off while the Hearts were kinda of hodge podging around. They were.."pants."
Ross was getting ancy. The other Scots were getting ancy. The little Scottish man with his homemade Heart heart couldnt even watch. Then we were up one. Then they were up one. Then it looked like it was all over.
I turned around in my seat and watched the Liverpool VS Westham game going on in the other room. I couldnt bear to watch the Scottish Cup so I decided to watch the English one instead. The tension was killing me. The tension seemed to be killing everyone else as well. Even in the other room, where half the people supported Westham and half supported Liverpool, the tension was frightening. I didn't have any ties to THAT game, so I felt safe watching it. But I didn't feel safe watching people's faces. Their game was tied like our game was tied. I realized that no matter what, someone always has to lose. At the end of the day, not everyone in this room was going to be happy.
Thankfully, that wasn't the case for us. Both games went into overtime and both went into the penalties rounds. The Hearts won. The Scots got up and cheered. The English looked on with feigned amusement. Perhaps, like me, they wanted to watch a game that they had no ties to.
We drove through Vancouver afterwards with the Hearts scarf flying out the window. And despite the traffic and us running late for our sailing appointment, my heart stopped racing and I felt like I could finally breathe. I made a mental reminder to myself, next time I have a lot riding on a game, I should cut down on my coffee.