Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Denver Broncos and My Personal Sports Neutering

Sort of torn this week. The Broncos won the Super Bowl and this made my kids, my wife and her family very happy, and honestly, I’m truly happy for them. This is a major softening of a stance I would have held five or ten years ago. There was a time where my Oakland Raider loving heart would have derived as much joy from a Bronco loss as it would have after a Raider win. That has changed over time, but the disturbing thing is while this years Super Bowl was going on, I was doing laundry, doing dishes, cleaning and such.  The Broncos winning the Super Bowl should be bothering me, Macy dressed in Bronco gear should bother me and damn it, doing dishes during the biggest game of the year should bother me!

What has happened to me? I used to be into sports to an uncomfortable degree. I had a sports blog, I worked in a sports bar, and frankly, I wouldn’t miss an event. Imagine my surprise when I discovered I wasn't cursing Denver's defense, hell, I wasn’t even actively watching the game. There was a time when I threw Super Bowl parties and now a sink full of dishes seemed every bit as important as the game.

To some, this would just seem like maturing, but in reality,  it's a neutering…sports-wise. I tried to track back when the change occurred.  Let's see,  I have no idea what my college basketball teams record is, I don’t know where my baseball team finished last year, my fantasy teams have been getting progressively worse year in year out, clearly this has been going on for a while. Perhaps it’s the overflowing estrogen that my wife and three daughters have pumped into my home.

I was discussing this “problem” with my friend Dave, looking more for an explanation than a solution. What I came up with is this, the more sports and activities I participate in, the less I care about the activities of others. Is it that simple? I don’t know for sure. But I can say this, I used to enjoy college football, but since I started coaching my girls’ soccer teams, I can’t remember the last time I watched a game. Saturdays are soccer days now. I generally reserve my longer runs for Sundays which eats into Raider day, and they’ve been so bad for the last two decades, I’ve hardly noticed how we’ve grown apart. Then there is golf league and soccer practices and camps and everything else that goes along with a dad who likes his girls participating in sports and is also trying to minimize the expanding waistline that seems to have accompanied fatherhood.

Then I thought about the successes of the teams I follow.  I have had one team that has won a championship in the last 30+ years.  Syracuse won the national championship in 2003, that's it, thirteen years ago, one stinking championship.  Maybe that's it, my wife loves the Broncos and loves Duke Basketball (ugh).  That means she has celebrated more championships in the last calendar year than I have since Reagan's first term.  

Here's the catch, be it futility or estrogen or just a lack of time, I'm actually better for it.  So girls, here's the nugget.  You'll hear me joke about the Raiders and the Broncos and Daddy will still take you to Coors Field during Rockies season, but take it all with a grain of salt.  I've seen both sides many times over and believe me, it is far more entertaining to lace up your cleats than it is to watch someone else lacing up theirs.  Get out there, get dirty and do your best. 

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