Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Big Event

  • It happens once a year.
  • Leading up to it, competitors meet to bash each others' brains in, with one side coming out the winner.
  • Strategy and good coaching make all the difference.
  • It fills many pages of the newspapers. Reporters are assigned to cover it to the exclusion of anything else, becoming experts on the major players.
  • Radio talk shows are devoted to discussing mistakes that were made each week.
  • Television analysts tell us about who was blindsided, who fumbled, and what was a game-changer.
  • People discuss it around the water cooler, at lunch, and on Facebook. Each person has a favorite.
  • Finally, only two competitors are left.
  • And then on the first of November, we go and vote.
What, you thought I was describing the Superbowl?

I realized today (yet again, but in a new way) that my interests are completely inverse to those of many other people. I have no interest in football, and in fact would not know who is playing in today's Superbowl if John Stewart didn't keep mentioning the Giants and Patriots on The Daily Show.

If a local team were in the game, however, I would probably pay more attention. For instance, I did watch every game of the two World Series that included the Minnesota Twins.

Many other people feel the same way about sports as I do about politics. While I can't help wishing for a shorter election season, I admit I have a very high threshold for sustaining interest in all the details. Even when it starts two years before the date. Sports fans, after all, have an on-going interest in the stats of players and even create fantasy teams, right?

My almost-grudging participation in the Twin's World Series' appearances is similar to how some folks feel about voting. They do it, but only in presidential elections, and they spend a minimum of time considering their vote. Others don't do it at all.

Because of my bias, I can't help thinking that our general level of interest in these two parts of American life is exactly backwards. Or that, at a minimum, it would be better if we could manage to find an interest in both, as some people do. It's our government, after all -- the way we work together to make common decisions that affect us all.

But I'm afraid it's the sports fans who'll have to acquire a new interest in elections, because it's very unlikely I'll suddenly begin to find professional sports fascinating.

No comments: