I am an Asportual male, too

Perhaps not as bad as Zeno, but close.

At least I used to watch, when I was a kid, whenever Yugoslav national teams in various sports played at big international competitions like Olympics, World Championships and European Championships. I watched Red Star soccer team demolish all of its European and World competition back in 1990. I watched Jausovec, Zivojinovic, Seles and Ivanisevic at Wimbledon and French Open.

Perhaps there is a difference between inter-club competition and international competition and in the USA nobody cares about international competition. Since I never watched anything 'domestic' (e.g., the Yugoslav soccer league matches), I guess I would have been a complete Asportual male if I was growing up in the States as well (I just happened to hear that NCSU beat UNC in basketball today - a fact that I can report with no emotions whatsoever although I am an NCSU alum and I live in Chapel Hill - and that there is something really big in sports happening tomorrow so I have to be worried about traffic if I need to drive somewhere).

On the other hand, since I was myself practicing and competing in karate and equestrian sports at one point or another, I watched much more of those sports at all levels, from local to international and everything in between. But there, when you are inside a sport, you actually personally know many competitors - you probably had beer with them many times, etc. It is a different ball-game altogether.

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I was never into domestic sport either. In Israel there are two sports anyone cares about - soccer and basketball. In basketball, one team is so strong that it typically loses only one game in an entire domestic season; the interesting thing is watching it compete in the European soccer league. That I watched a little bit in 1998 or so, but then grew tired of it. Soccer has a boring domestic league; I watched the World Cup and Euro Cup, but after 2004 decided it was boring and didn't watch the 2006 World Cup at all.

Asportual... took me a while to figure out what that means; I, too, am asportual. In America I dare say it's impossible to attend public school without learning far more than one needs to know about stick and ball games, so for quite a while I guess I was in the closet about my asportuality.

A few years ago I had had enough of American broadcast media and gradually stopped watching TV and listening to the radio. BBC over the Internet is pretty much the only traditional media I consume now. (I find it embarrassing how much England & Company follows the antics of the Americans but that's a different story.) What continues to bring a smile to my face is BBC Sports. It's football, cricket and tennis which are alien games to me. The announcer uses nouns and verbs that are completely unintelligible and I grasp a mere few of the adjectives and adverbs. Might as well be speaking Norwegian. I know it's sticks and balls but I don't seem to clench up inside at yet another hyperidiotic rant about something that sounds important but isn't. I relax into my asportuality as the words flow into one ear and float out the other. Niice.

By Matt Platte (not verified) on 03 Feb 2007 #permalink

Just because it's based in the city I grew up in doesn't mean I care for it. I just don't give a damn about sports, spectator or not.

I keep joking with one of the hockey players in my department that I should attend one of her games with some Seven Sisters college and scream, "Go bears!" (Columbia's mascot is, I believe, the tiger).

An admission that you don't care about sports or watch any games on TV is regarded by many people with the same horror that an admission of atheism would evoke. Sports is like religion to a lot of folks.

Doubly damned.

I used to be asportual, too. I grew up on an asportual family; the only thing we ever paid attention to was the Olympic competition every couple of years. I was proud of my asportuality. Then I realized that the more I knew about a sport, the more I enjoyed paying attention to it. I'm no fanatic, but my sense of superiority has vanished.

That being said, lots of sports are more fun to do than to watch.

"Sports is like religion to a lot of folks."

Sports is religion to a lot of folks.

I can't match Zeno's level of purity for the simple reason that I'm usually overcome by curiosity. When I see something new I'll watch it at least once to figure it out. I'd still be willing to sit through a cricket game with someone who understands the rules and is willing to explain it to me. After that I'll put on the shelf with Australian Rules Football and Sumo as a completed experience.