I grew up in a fairly artsy family. Both my parents write and draw and are very up-to-date with arts and culture. In no part of my childhood was there talk of sports in my household. The only time I would hear about sports was my Grandpa, a huge Chelsea F.C. fan.
However, I did play sports as a child, like soccer, volleyball, ice skating and track. But I never lasted too long due to a lack of passion. As I became a tween, I got into theatre, music, and activities that made more “sense” in regards to my upbringing and family.
As I got deeper into the arts and strayed from sports, I became very disconnected from the scene of caring about the Canucks, Grizzlies or White Caps. As my knowledge dwindled, I decided that instead of learning and asking questions, I would just dislike sports.
It’s scary knowing nothing about something. Being the dumbest in the room? What do you mean you don’t know what position Kesler played???
I was too scared to admit I didn’t know something. And blindly hating on something was a whole lot easier.
The rest of my teen years went like that. I never admitted I just didn’t understand how Football worked, and it had to be that it was boring, stupid, and macho.
Now fast forward to 2020, yes, the cliche year where we all learnt something, I know, I know. For the first time, probably ever, I sat down for a full sports game. My boyfriend’s a huge basketball fan, so that was the sport of choice.
At first, I was reluctant to pay attention or put any mind into watching. I didn’t understand what the difference between a three-pointer and a regular shot was. Why were the points going up by 2? None of it made sense, so I sat there half-paying attention scrolling through Instagram for the first quarter.
Then something hit me, and my ego took a seat, and I asked how does a foul work? Followed by what’s a brick? Why did they get 3 points? And it went on from there. By the time I actually understood the game, I was locked in.
Today, I love basketball, and I even have a team I support and everything. It’s something I can’t believe I spent my whole life not knowing about.
I now also understand and watch baseball and hockey. Still working on football, though, to be completely honest.
My point is, I know so many people who write off sports just like I did. It’s really scary not to know things, and being honest, sports fans can be very intimidating. Before this year, seeing tweets about sports felt like I was trying to read code. It’s a whole world I just didn’t understand.
But if you shift your thinking, sports culture is a whole new world for you to discover. It’s fun and exciting. I let my ego get in the way of me learning something new and universal for so long. I urge my fellow artsier people to ask questions, be the dumb one in the room because you aren’t losing anything by learning something new.