Twenty years ago or so, I paid no mind to sports. The only two sports I knew about were soccer and boxing. Even then, I wasn’t able to say that I was a sports fan, with a straight face. Picture American Dad’s Steve Smith attempting anything sports-related.
For example, I wasn’t fully aware of club teams in soccer and their respective tournaments. What I did know was that the FIFA World Cup happens every four years, with various international teams representing their countries. I knew of a few players and teams like Mexico’s Cuauhtémoc Blanco and Club America, USMNT’s Landon Donovan and NY MetroStars. By default, I cheered for Mexico and the USMNT.
The same applies to football. I wasn’t aware of any other teams, beside the New York Giants (because I’m a New Yorker) and the Dallas Cowboys (because they were the most dominant team at that time). Additionally, I did not know the names of any players, other teams, or season results.
Boxing is that one sport I watched, because it’s easy to understand. I remember the best years of Oscar De La Hoya and Juan Manuel Marquez. It was always fun to enjoy big family gatherings, all crowding the tv, attentive to every jab and uppercut, celebrating victories and mourning over lost fights.
But why watch sports in the first place? First, it’s a form of entertainment. You escape into a world in which nothing else matters, relieved of stress, watching a live theater with no predetermined outcome. It’s newsworthy and it creates history; something that TV shows, movies, or books cannot do.