Super Bowl? Super bored

It’s weird that I even know who’s playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday. Usually I’m hard-pressed to name the teams because frankly and emphatically I really, truly, rabidly don’t care. But, sure, Sunday’s face-off between the Cowboys and Dolphins should be something super neat-o. 

Yeah, I’m a riot — Rams vs. the Patriots, there we have it. And how that means absolutely nothing to me. Zip. It’s a gaping vacuum in my personal cosmos, a shrieking black hole of wild indifference. I won’t eat wings on Super Bowl Sunday. I won’t watch the inane commercials. Half-time band Maroon 5 makes me alternately apoplectic and very sad.  


My antipathy to sports is long and legion. They never spoke to me — or is that grunted to me. I think of atavistic grunting when I think of sports, chiefly team sports, for which I reserve the most distaste.

Grunting, yelling and grab-ass — the team sports post-play repertoire. Players, those self-adulating egoists, shoot arms in Nixonian salutes, teeth bared. They thump their chests and leap onto the nearest teammate, bonking helmeted heads together. This is raw joy. Twisted, but still something recognizable as euphoria.

It’s a glee I do not share. I don’t care about that game-winning grand slam, swan-diving touchdown, three-point swoosh. Still, I am not wholly unmoved by athletic grace and skill. I know it when I see it, and I am often impressed. 

For instance, I recognize the poetry in a goal by Cristiano Ronaldo, a breathtaking feat of mathematical precision and almost tearjerking eloquence. I get it. I gasp.   

While athletics aren’t in my DNA, I enjoy the Olympics and I thrill watching individual competitors — track stars, skiers, surfers, gymnasts, cyclists — going for it, fueled by sheer will, determination and transcendent talent. 


Though never a jock — I was more into rock — I played soccer for years, if pretty reluctantly. I kicked that habit for BMX and snow skiing — individual athletic expressions of reckless speed and airborne glory. Granted, I wasn’t terrific at either sport, but I had a blast. 

I’ve quoted author Roxane Gay before on this subject, and do so again: “As a child, I was uninterested in becoming athletic. I was not a team player. I was a dreamer, something of an oddball loner. I wanted to spend all my time with books.”

That was me. 

Bizarrely but not surprisingly, some sports fans can’t resist equating coming out as a non-fan to coming out out. “Gay” someone wrote on an online message board in response to a man who admitted he didn’t like sports. 

“Are you sure you’re a guy? When was the last time you checked?” wrote another genius. (Tony Hollowell’s book “I Have a Penis and I Hate Sports” is a rejoinder to such nincompoopery.)

This is what we’re dealing with. Homophobic taunts and pea-brained putdowns. Guys must love sports or they’re not entirely manly. Their virility is at stake. The jerry-rigged logic of that racks one’s head like blunt trauma.

Which brings me to what I really abhor about sports, besides the crushing tedium of the actual games: the fans and the culture. Yelling, all that yelling. The militaristic crowds that smack of the obscenely coarse rallies of a particular world leader. The mob mentality and animalistic tribalism that fosters brute behavior, not excluding the rare deadly riot. 


And the yelling. The endless yelling.

A level-headed sports fanatic wrote online why he thinks some people hate sports: “Sports tend to create a very superficial culture. Athletes are popular for primarily their athletic abilities, not necessarily for their philanthropy, intelligence, personality, or any number of gauges we tend to look for in friends or other role models.”

That’s pretty perspicacious coming from a fan, and I agree with almost all of it. 

Not being a fan is like being excluded from a humungously happening party, and it’s not always the most comfortable spot to be in. It’s akin to not liking “Titanic” or “Avatar” (I find both movies laughably bad) — you become the party-pooper, the hater, the other.

But that’s OK. As long as I don’t have to watch those movies again — or sit through Sunday’s interminable football game, that gigantic neon advertisement for numbskull primitivism and frenzied jingoism — I’ll be fine.

6 thoughts on “Super Bowl? Super bored

  1. Totally agree. Always hated sports, always will. Except for World’s Strongest Man, which I love, though I’m not sure if that totally counts as a sport. I had to spend time in a pub that was showing the rugby last weekend, and I cringed every time something happened and everyone in there made a collective “woo” or “boo” noise. I loathe the tribalism.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know, why can’t sports fans just settle down? They’re a hazard to the environment, major pollutants to the peace. (Thanks for stopping by, Jessica!)


  3. I didn’t watch the Super Bowl either. Took in a movie and went out to dinner. There was a time though when I looked forward to the bowl and took in much of the 2 week pre-game hype. I had season tickets to the 49ers and for a time I was the drunken lout in the stands – at least for some games. And then I realized that I was more obnoxious than funny and clever.
    I’ve come around a bit. Football started to lose me when the NFL made the wild proclamation that concussions don’t exist and if they do they don’t cause brain damage. All of that amidst a rash of suicides by former players. And the game itself started to bore me.
    A lot has turned me off about sports. I used to watch the Tour de France every summer and then Lance Armstrong was forced to own up, even though in my heart I knew all along that he was dirty and trying to play the world for a fool (and being successful at that until the chickens came home to roost).
    I was disgusted by the baseball steroid era.
    I’m equally disgusted by the NCAA culture.
    Probably what I hate the most is how parents can take a game and ruin it for kids who just want to have fun.
    I no longer see athletes as role models except as an example of what can be achieved through passion and dedication.
    I still like sports only on my own terms. I’m not vocal about it anymore. I sit and watch the game, admire the skill and yes root for a team and I’ve found that in not being “fanatic” and rabid and watching a game as I might a movie I enjoy the contest much more.
    The fanatic that you quoted accentuated the obvious in saying that athletes are popular for their abilities. Of course they are, just as Miles Davis was popular because he could make a horn sing. The other, about philanthropy, intelligence, personality are all generalities that you could make about any group.
    I haven’t watched the Super Bowl in years and I’ve been accused of being everything from a party pooper to a “libtard” to someone who doesn’t know anything about sports.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Chris. Either you haven’t taken a deep dive into the cesspool of social media political discussions or you’ve just been wading through a different swamp. Libtard is a staple insult launched by the Trumpers.

        Liked by 1 person

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