I’m a sports fan.
My sport of choice in which to participate may be running, but what I watch spans a much broader spectrum.
The NHL playoffs are currently in Round Two. My team, the Washington Capitals, are playing in a series against the New York Rangers. Fingers crossed!
Hockey is a fairly new sport in my heart. I didn’t give it much thought till two Christmases ago, when my dad took us to see a Capitals game in D.C. I don’t know if it was the intimacy of the venue relative to other sports arenas I’ve visited, or the enthusiasm of the crowd, or the stress, but that game begat a loyal Caps fan.
Let’s talk about hockey stress. Of all the sports I’ve watched, live or on TV, mid-season or Game 7 [is there any phrase more lovely and exciting than “Game 7”?], none make me more straight-up anxious than hockey. It’s the puck’s tiny-ness, the game’s speed, and the fact that commentators physically can’t keep up with that speed. As a result you get constantly-excited commentating, and a viewer (me) who doesn’t know what the *&#$ is going on. I think watching a closely-matched Game 7 in hockey without having a heart attack requires ample beer or ample yoga-breathing skills. Ideally, both.
Another sport I enjoy watching is baseball, particularly if I’m actually at the game. Some women like five-star restaurants; others prefer jewelry – I’ll tell you right now that one of the most romantic things a man has ever done for me was take me to a Colorado Rockies game. I love foot-long hot dogs and $9 Budweisers and passing food and money between strolling vendors and seated purchasers. Add the crowd-interaction activities between innings and the crack of the bat and the slightly-odd-but-extremely-catchy organ renditions of pop songs, and it’s GLORIOUS!!
I dabble in watching other sports. I succumbed briefly to March Madness this year when the UNM Lobos (Everyone’s a Lobo!…er, that’s not trademarked, is it?) made it to the tournament. I have a lot of respect for a team that apparently never ever misses a free-throw.
Soccer I admittedly don’t watch much outside of the World Cup, but that, like hockey, can get mighty intense. At least a soccer ball is a bit easier to follow than a hockey puck.
As for tennis, I have to admit something: if I’m channel surfing on TV and come across a tennis tournament, I cannot resist watching at least a couple minutes. I can’t. I get hypnotized. And since reading Andre Agassi’s autobiography, Open, which I strongly recommend, my respect for the game and its players has grown considerably.
Football? I invented a pie in its honor, which I only make during the NFL season. That’s all I have to say about that.
I’m not a stat girl. In the mornings, I flip between the news and Sports Center to see if my teams won. Details and decimals and who did what in the last game, though? Not so much. I can tell you that Paula Radcliffe set the women’s marathon world record on Sunday, April 13, 2003, in London, with a time of 2:15:25, but that’s about it.
No time to worry about that. I have to go wash my Alex Ovechkin shirt for the Caps’ next game.