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It's been tough to get into sports

January 13, 2013
By CRAIG HOWELL , Weirton Daily Times

I've never been a big sports fan.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy a nice, relaxing day at the ball park as much as anyone. I can sit at home and watch just about any sporting event for a little while, and usually I even manage to stay awake for most of it.

But the last couple of years, I really just haven't had much enthusiasm for any of it.

Growing up in my house, you cheered for West Virginia University football, the Steelers, the Pirates and the Penguins. If you wanted to watch another team, you found another television and you didn't mention it around anyone.

Watching any sport, though, was always more of a thing of fan loyalty for me. I never really had the mind to keep track of stats, scores, rosters or team history.

I learn enough to be able to keep up with some of the conversations with friends or around the office, but taking in a sporting event is more of an opportunity to get away from the craziness of my daily routine.

I've checked out a few other teams in recent years, mostly just if there was nothing else on television, but nothing has really drawn me in. Let's face it, there really hasn't been a lot to cheer about with my traditional "favorites" either.

The Pirates have been up and down depending on the time of year, the Steelers definitely need to make some changes in the off season, and the Penguins, well, even with the shortened season, I'll possibly check out only a couple of games.

As I mentioned, I enjoy watching athletic events. Trips to the ballpark with family and friends offer some great memories.

Hockey season is interesting around the office, especially since Summer, our community editor, has become a fan.

Summer and I have known each other since high school, and I can remember a time when she knew nothing about any sport. Then, one day, she found out hockey players could fight during games. She was hooked.

The NHL lockout has made it an interesting few months, and I'm not sure any fan will really recover.

That's the tough thing about professional sports. It's a business first and foremost.

We can all sit around complaining about how much these guys are making for playing a game when the rest of us will probably never see that kind of money.

At the same time, we don't know the costs they have. Most of them aren't living in huge mansions and buying dozens of cars and other expensive trinkets.

But, I digress.

I guess I was always just more interested in reading a book than sports anyway. I never played growing up. I usually was that kid who was picked last in gym class.

So, sports just wasn't high on my priorities, unless it was in a video game.

As an adult, I've worked to broaden my horizons a little here and there.

I watch as much of the Olympics as I can when it's on. That, of course, if all determined by the time difference between here and the host city. But, that's only every few years.

There are some skateboard and bicycle competitions, or snowboarding events; all things I could never do.

I've even checked out the occasional golf tournament on television.

Golf is something several friends and business associates have tried talking me into picking up over the years.

While I understand the idea of getting out on the greens and maybe doing some networking, making a few business deals or just enjoying the outdoors, it's just not something I've ever seen myself doing on a regular basis.

I did give it some serious thought a couple years ago when my high school class put on a golf scramble to help raise money for our 15th reunion.

I looked around the club house and quickly realized I was the only guy there. Not that I minded hanging out with the ladies, but it got me thinking. Just not enough to go buy a set of clubs.

I got into NASCAR while in college, and I used to not miss watching a race. Unfortunately, it just seems like it is the same group of drivers and teams getting the wins and the attention each year.

Fan interest has been dropping substantially, and changing the car design every couple of years doesn't do much for those of us not involved.

Sometimes I wonder if the lack of interest makes me weird.

Everyone likes some sport, right?

Maybe I just have to find the right thing to get me into it all again.

So, I guess the bottom line is if you ever are in a position to purchase a present for me, game tickets are fine, just stay away from the sporting equipment. It won't get used.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

 
 

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