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Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Survival guide to sporting events for the non-sporting types

When it comes to sports, outdoors and activity in general, my life has been one awkward situation after another. I’m just gonna say it right now: I don’t follow/participate in any kind of sport or sporting activity.

It just doesn’t do anything for me. I can’t walk into a pub without some kind of sports event on the television. Like, I understand that a lot of people go to the bar to watch sporting events but what about the rest of us? I’ve seriously seen a bartender turn off Robocop 2 (a cinematic gem) to watch a hockey game. Don’t get me wrong, I was just as excited as everybody else that the lockout had come to a close. But to celebrate at the expense of Irvin Kershner’s masterpiece is just wrong.

During the time of year when new sports fans seem to come out of the woodwork to celebrate the Super Bowl, I implore the girly, nerdy and generally uninterested among us to stand tall.

Know that you are not alone in your athletic indifference. Allow me to help you with strategies I’ve acquired in my long career of not caring about anything sports related.

1. Change the subject

If and when someone approaches me with a sports topic that’s over my head, I’ve found that it’s best to not try and play along. Trust me, spouting off that one random fact that you know about Ray Lewis isn’t going to make the encounter end, it’ll only make it worse. Instead, try changing the topic to one you actually know about. Chances are the other person isn’t going to care about your opinions on the latest season of Dr. Who and the conversation isn’t going to last much longer anyway.

2. Don’t shy away from the party

Just because you don’t care about the event itself doesn’t mean you can’t partake in Super Bowl parties. You’d be surprised how little people actually watch the game once the festivities get in full swing. If all else fails you can just play Chrono Trigger on your phone like you were planning to do anyway (just me?…probably). It should also be noted that hype is universal. If people are going crazy over something, the excitement tends to spread. Making sure you’re amongst a lively bunch is key for surviving sports related festivities.

3. Ask questions

The quickest way to bring your involvement in any situation to a screeching halt is a flurry of questions. I’ve noticed that an overall lack of sports knowledge is crucial to making this work. If you’re invited to a sport or sports related event you should just go! If you don’t hold back and ask every question that comes to you there won’t be a second invitation. Trust Me.

Those three should be enough to at least get you through the NHL playoffs without incident. Good luck. And remember: there’s no shame in admitting you have no idea what sport is being played.

nsmith@lanthorn.com



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