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Master Wordsmith With Heart
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The Meaning of Stuff
Living With Sports Apathy
Thank You for Being a Spatula Customer
The Way We Never Were
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Living With Sports Apathy

Now that the Super Bowl is over--and let me tell you I'm extremely happy the Dolphins won. I've been to Florida several times now, and the weather is so congenial there it's got to be a great place for a baseball team like the Dolphins to spend their....

Oh, hold on. Ah, I have just been told that the Dolphins are not, in fact, a baseball team. Hold on a minute....Yes. I have it now. A colleague has set me straight. The Dolphins are not a baseball team, and they did not play in the Superbowl.

Okay. What I was going to say was that now that the Superbowl is over, I urge all those males who know nothing about sports to come out and resume normal life. You no longer have to pretend you know how many downs are in a period. An inning. What is it called, dammit?

Come on out, don't be shy. I feel the time is right for discussion on this: There are men who know nothing about team sports. It's nothing to brag about, let me tell you. When you're a guy who doesn't understand sports, people can't catalog you. I wouldn't even be telling you this, except that sitting here in my South Jersey Mountain Fortress, it's not likely any sports fans will find me and express brotherhood by punching me in the mouth.

The love of team sports is not learned. It's not imbibed with beer. It's not conveyed by any of the means that men communicate with each other, such as backslaps, gruff hugs or intercontinental ballistic missiles. Rather, it is inborn. It's genetic. Those who lack it can't change it.

I am sorry to say this, because in a nation of sports crazies, life is not easy for the sports challenged. If these people want to fit in, they must learn to bluff a knowledge of sports. They must be able to say, very casually, with just the right mix of zeal and derision, things like:

"Brady should definitely hold the line going short!"

Or: "Their special teams squad has really come back this year."

Or, my favorite: "When the clock's running they gotta make the plays."

They must know how to say these things without any idea what they mean. And they must know how to act at sports-related gatherings, such as Superbowl parties and other national holidays. If they watch the game, they risk being bored or discovered. If they help out with food and organization _ which at the parties I've seen is usually done by women _ then they score points with the women but tick off the men.

I say, your safest bet is to appoint yourself beer runner. As beer runner you graciously consent to keep yourself sober, and incidentally to get yourself the heck out of there on the sacred mission of beer supply. No one faults the beer runner.

I should also point out that there are consolations for being a sports challenged man. For one thing, during a large event like the Superbowl, all roads, bikepaths, jogways, intercoastal waterways, auto parts stores and ski shops are empty. Not a soul out there. For three glorious hours, you have the world uncluttered.

For another, there are always plenty of women looking for something to do.

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