I have my own thoughts — but what’s your favorite spectator sport?
The inspiration for this week’s column came from my wife as she quizzed me on a sports question posted on Facebook. I will tell you the story later, but it did make me realize that not everyone has the same favorites when it comes to sporting contests.
The Facebook post dealt with a game that was shown on television this week. It also occurs to me that there is a difference between what kind of sport you might want to watch on TV, but would likely never attend in person. Likewise, some events that you would love to attend might not get a second thought as far as TV watching goes.
Here’s an example. Yesterday was a major sporting event for many people in this area. The Ohio State-Michigan game means different things to different people. Some will attend the game every chance they get. Others will plan parties and congregate in the living room with friends to watch it every year.
Still others may not care about THE game at all.
I have been to the game. I have watched most others on TV. I have also missed a few entirely, but vividly remember my first trip to the Horseshoe to see the game in person. In a word the experience was terrible.
When I saw that my tickets were near the 50-yard line I was naturally excited. Then I got to my seat and realized it was in Row 2. I spent the entire first half trying to look through the Buckeye players on the sidelines to catch any possible action taking place on the field.
I spent the second half ACTUALLY watching that action on television in a Columbus bar!
When it comes to attending sporting events, the major events usually top a person’s wish list. I have been to the Indy 500 several times. The 20 minutes leading up to the waving of the green flag is worth the trip all by itself. From the invocation, to “Taps” to the late Jim Nabors singing “Back Home Again in Indiana” to the singing of the national anthem to the flyover and releasing of balloons to the command to start the engines to the four pace laps … If you don’t get goose bumps you are not a race fan!
In 1980 I attended another major sporting event. I was in the infield at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. There are 11 races on the card that day with the Derby being the eighth race. The infield is so vast and the crowd so huge that I did not actually see a race horse until the ninth race as the crowd dispersed rapidly after the Derby.
It’s cool to say “been there, done that” but I would likely never attend again.
So would you go to a Super Bowl — even if your favorite team was not playing in it? Would you go to a World Series game? How about the Daytona 500? I’m considering going to Daytona this February as this will be the last restrictor plate race. I would like to see, in person, three rows of cars going door handle to door handle at more than 200 mph. Just once!
As far as watching sports on TV, what do you prefer? I watch Major League Baseball, college basketball, college football, NFL football, golf and auto racing regularly. I do not watch much NBA action, very little NHL hockey and virtually no soccer. Sorry, soccer fans, but I just can’t get into it.
If you like watching soccer, or track and field, or even sumo wrestling on TV, so be it. If you think watching auto racing (another left turn) or golf on TV is boring, again, so be it. Each to his own.
Most of my golf watching involves the major tournaments. I did not, however, subscribe to pay TV to watch Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson play an 18-hole “winner take all” $9 million match. I might have tuned in if they were putting up their own money instead of playing for someone else’s, but only if it was on a channel currently available to me and only if there was nothing better to watch — sports or otherwise.
So let’s get back to the Facebook post. The post involved the Monday Night Football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams held on to beat the Chiefs 54-51. It was the highest scoring game in Monday Night Football history.
The question posted was “if you can use one word to describe the game what would it be?” My wife wanted to know what word I would use. I suggested wild. It was indeed a wild and crazy game that was hugely entertaining. To me, anyhow!
She then read the response from Ronnie Roberts, the retiring general manager of the Lynchburg Hillcats, the Cleveland Indians High A minor league affiliate. Ronnie’s a great guy that we have known for some time.
What was his response? Irrelevant!
You see, Ronnie is a baseball guy.
Al Stephenson is an A-T sports columnist.
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